A Series of Questions for C64 Veterans

#1 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

I recently decided to pull out my C64 and make it work. It does...barely. I now have some questions that might expedite the process of making it work better

1. Can I just use an Atari joystick, or did the typical C64 stick have more buttons?

2. Is it normal for the disc drive to stop spinning and games to continue loading, or does that mean that it's frozen?

3. What are the usual words for loading software from a disc? A few of the discs that I have include boot instructions (usually "menu" or "chlr"), but most don't.

4. I'm using an RF adapter to connect to my TV and it looks AWFUL. It gets even worse when I plug the disk drive in. I have a y/w/r RCA cable, but of course my TV doesn't take a luminescence/chroma signal. Does anybody know of a way around this short of making my own s-video cable? At the very least, what can I do about the disk drive issue?

5. Is there an external keyboard available?

6. Sometimes when I use the cursor keys, it starts printing symbols. Why is this?

7. Is there any kind of options menu in the basic (ha!) OS, or is it just load and run?

8. Is there a way to get it to list the available commands?

Thanks!

#2 Posted by Von (328 posts) -

1. You can use an Atari joystick. The C64 joysticks only had one button too (or in the case of the venerable TAC-2, two buttons doing the same thing).

2. It depends. If the screen is flashing it usually means that the game is decrunching to load itself into the C64's memory. If it just stalls on a loading prompt in basic then it might have crashed.

3. LOAD "*",8,1 if it's a disc with just one game. Otherwise type LOAD "$",8 followed by LIST to see the files and then replace the asterisk in the first command with the program you want to run, and erase the ,1 since it's usually not needed when you run software that way.

5. Not for the common C64 or C128. I believe the 128D and the SX-64 had external keyboards though...

7. No options menu but get the C64 reference manual for all that juicy basic stuff. You could try to get hold of GEOS for a graphical enviroment though.

8. Same as above, the reference manual got all the things you need.

#3 Edited by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

@Von: Awesome, thanks for the answers! I just solved the video problem (I'm not sure how, but if you connect the two cables just so you can make one RCA video cable out of it) and I've found my manual, so I think I'm good with those other things. Shame about the keyboard. If I ever have some time, I might try to make one on my own.

#4 Edited by HarlechQuinn (444 posts) -

6. As far as I remember this might be related to the "Commodore" key. With the "Commodore" and the "Shift" keys you were able to switch between Upper Case/Graphic Mode. But currently no idea which where the exact key combinations...

Edit: This linkmight be helpful for starting.

#5 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

@HarlechQuinn: Thanks, I didn't realize that was what the Commodore button was for. That was probably it.

#6 Posted by Rattle618 (1463 posts) -

The solution to all your problems is encoded here for you.

1. Extract.

2. Manipulate.

3. Unify.

4. Load.

5. Authorize.

6. Translate.

7. Organize.

8. Randomize.

You are welcome.

#7 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

@Rattle618:

GEE.

I HADN'T THOUGHT OF THAT.

GUESS I'M JUST AN IDIOT THEN.

#8 Posted by Rattle618 (1463 posts) -

@nintendoeats: Im just messing with you man, I get that getting the thing running would be cool, but all that stuff sounds like such a pain...

#9 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

@Rattle618: It is...but possibly less of a pain than trying to learn how to use the system while also learning an emulator.

#10 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -

Real men use tape drives!

#11 Edited by HarlechQuinn (444 posts) -

Regarding question number 4 I can only provide links:

1. DIYOf course on your own risk...

2. Ebay links(German Ebay, but this might give you at least some idea, don't know about the quality though)

Since I am using an HD television I never got through the hassle again to connect my C64 or Amigas to it (should have kept one of my old CRTs), using emulators instead... although they'll never beat the real thing...

Edit: A few more links to C64 boards which might be more helpful...

#12 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

@HarlechQuinn: I've got it going now. If you position them exactly right, you can use an RCA joining cable to get a composite signal. I don't pretend to understand it, and it's not ideal, but it works.

@Tim_the_Corsair said:

Real men use tape drives!

I have one, but I don't have any tapes for it. It seems to me that the thing to do is to get one of those 3.5 mm -> tape cables and then put all of the games on an MP3 player.

#13 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -
@nintendoeats

@HarlechQuinn: I've got it going now. If you position them exactly right, you can use an RCA joining cable to get a composite signal. I don't pretend to understand it, and it's not ideal, but it works.

@Tim_the_Corsair said:

Real men use tape drives!

I have one, but I don't have any tapes for it. It seems to me that the thing to do is to get one of those 3.5 mm -> tape cables and then put all of the games on an MP3 player.

That...sounds pretty badarse, haha.

When I next visit my parents, I'll see if my old tapes are stored where I think they are. If I find em and they aren't fucked, id be totally willing to send them to you.
#14 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

@Tim_the_Corsair: That would be awesome! Do you mean digitally or for realsies? I'll cover the shipping of course :)

#15 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -
@nintendoeats

@Tim_the_Corsair: That would be awesome! Do you mean digitally or for realsies? I'll cover the shipping of course :)

I mean for real lol.

No guarantee they're in good condition though, been a long time since I checked. If they are though, they're yours.
#16 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

@Tim_the_Corsair: Thanks in copious amounts!

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