Commodore Free double whammy.

Two issues of Commodore Free magazine in one go? Don’t mind if I do!

Issues #74 and #75 are out now and available in all manner of digital reading formats including .d64

Personally, I’m all up for the .mobi’s as the Kindle app now supports keeping everything nice and tidy with the Collections feature…..

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….followed by the .d64 loaded on my C64 because I still continue to get a kick out of seeing new stuff running on older hardware.

Issue #74 has a nice Vic-20 on the front hinting at the wealth of Vic-goodness inside.

Editorial
* Commodore Free E-Cover Tape #7
* Readers Comments
* General News
– Happy Birthday MIDI 1.0
– Happy 50th Birthday Cassette
– MicroMusic.net 14 Year Birthday
– Non Functional Goodies
* C64 News
– KickAss Cruncher Plugins
– Dr. Evil Labs
– CODEBASE 64 Scanning the Keyboard
– UNP64 v2.30 Released
– Prg2Sid 0.80 Released
* VIC20 News
– Realms of Quest IV: 4-Level Demo
– Assembly Programming on Vic-20
– Boogieman, Exploria and Korque
– Theater Of War Trilogy
* Amiga News
– AROS Vision 2.0 based in Magellan
– AmigaKit AMITCP 4
– AEROS for Pi beta 4
– Obligement Magazine Issue 100
– New Software Releases by OnyxSoft
– SketchBlock 2.2
– AmiSystemRestore R1 Beta7
– Vampire 600 Accelerator
– Zomco’s parody of “Desert Dream”
– Interview Glenn Corpes
* Review: Moon Mission [C64]
* Review: Theater of War [VIC20]
* Interview with Ghislain de Blois
* Incomplete History of The VIC

Really looking forward to that last article.

And on to #75 with its Raspberry/Commodore PI cover.

* Editorial
* Commodore Free E-Cover Tape #8
* General News
– Retro Planet Issue 1
– Arc64 Updated To V2.5
– C&A Games Issue 7, 8, 9 and 10
– Retro Asylum: David Whittaker
– Retrocomputing Retr0sbiancante
– Cassiopei
* C64 News
– C64 Studio v3.1
– Submarine Rescue
– Windows 105
– Use Mssiah with sd2uiec
– Commodore and Lego
– Jim Drew Website + SuperCard Pro
– C64 80 Column Adapter
– Hoxs64 Emulator v1.0.8.6
* VIC20 News
– Pitfall
* C16 & Plus/4 News
– Vic20/C16 Newsstand Compilation 2
– Tree Some Released for the Plus/4
– C+4Hires Picture Disk Released
* Amiga News
– Bed Games 1: Carola
– Triangulation 118: Tim Jenison
– AmigaOS SDK Update (Finally)
– syaSokoban v2.0.1 for AROS
– WHDLoad Updates
* Speaking Notes for a Presentation
* Interview With Scott Hunter
* “The…System…Is…Down”

and a welcome return of the E-Cover tapes too……….Commodore overload!

Kettle on and head to http://www.commodorefree.com/issues.html

Happy reading and don’t forget to submit your feedback.

For Chris – Commodore Pi Joystick setup.

Hi Chris, thanks for your comments. I thought it would be easier to respond via a post so I could add pictures to help you set up a joystick on your Commodore 64 Raspberry Pi.

The original post can be found here – https://stiggyblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/commodore-c64-raspberry-pi-case/

If you haven’t already done this, plug in a regular USB keyboard into your Raspberry Pi as well as the Keyrah/C64 keyboard – obviously this ties up both USB ports on the Pi but it’ll only be for this initial setup.

To get to the options menu in VICE  to configure the joysticks you’ll need to press F12, a key that the Keyrah doesn’t have so it needs remapping to a C64 keyboard key.

With VICE loaded, press F12 on the PC keyboard and you’ll get to the main menu.

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Select – Settings Management

Select – Define UI Keys

Select – Activate Menu

Now press a key on the C64 keyboard that you wish to use to access the VICE menu.  Something that’s not used very often, say for example the ‘£’ key or the ‘<-‘ key.

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Exit this menu by pressing Backspace once on the PC keyboard.

Before hitting Backspace again Select – Save Current Settings.

You can now exit  VICE, disconnect the the PC keyboard and plug in one or two joysticks into the Keyrah Joystick ports.

Once you have Chameleon booted again and VICE loaded and back into the main menu –

Select – Machine Settings

Select – Joystick Settings

You should now be at a screen that looks like this .

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Select – Allow keyset joystick. There should be an asterix here to show that the option is enabled.

Select – Define keysets

Here you can remap the keys/buttons to your joysticks.

Simply select each control and move the joystick in the relevant direction.

Here’s my mapping for my joystick plugged into Joy1 on my Keyrah board.

If you’re only using one joystick, its best if you now plug it into port two and configure the keyset for port 2 as well.

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Once you’ve defined all of your controls for one and  two joysticks, exit the menu once to go back to the Joystick settings.

Select – Joystick device in port 1 – > and change it to Keyset 1

If you’ve configured a second joystick

Select Joystick device in port 2 – > and change to Keyset 2

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 Some C64 games require joysticks plugged into either port 1 or port 2. You can either physically swap the joystick from port 1 to port 2 on the Keyrah (which will work as you’ve mapped both keysets) but to save wear and tear on the physical ports, use the – Swap joystick ports option in this menu to swap joystick ports on the fly.

Exit the Joystick menu.

Exit Machine Setting menu.

Select – Settings Management.

Select – Save current settings

Exit the menu and test with a game, hopefully you’ll now have classic C64 joystick support in VICE.

Happy gaming!

Commodore C64 Raspberry Pi Case

A few years ago, I took the shell of a Commodore 64, added a very slim PC motherboard, a custom keyboard interface, did a spot of re cabling , had an afternoon with a Dremel  and made myself a rather fun little retro PC. You can read about the details of this project over in the ‘Commodore C64 ITX PC’ category on the right hand side.

Any-ho, after I’d had my fun with it, the motherboard was reused on another project and the empty C64 shell was put away until a rainy day. Well it’s not raining today, but whilst I await delivery of that ‘Oric’ themed keyboard to  I thought, as a quick keyboard fix to use on my Raspberry Pi , why not use the C64 shell again and make myself a Commodore 64 Retro Pi…thingie.

Here’s the breadbin C64 case and keyboard all ready to go.

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My first job is to install the keyboard interface and for this  I’ll be reusing  the Keyrah board I’d previously used on my C64 PC and ‘Atar-berry’ projects. In a nutshell, the Keyrah provides a way of connecting keyboards from the Commodore 64, Vic 20, C16, Plus/4, C128, and Amiga 600 computers and converts them into a standard USB PC keyboard. The Keyrah also has two 9-pin D-Sockets so you can connect those vintage joysticks to complete the retro experience.

I’m using the discontinued V1 board, the new V2 board is multi regional and also supports Amiga 1200 keyboards – For further details and ordering information, head on over to – http://www.vesalia.de/

The Keyrah is designed to fit in the top left corner so that you can use the original port facia on the C64 (and Vic20).  I’ve connected the C64 keyboard cable to the correct set of header pins and have also connected the Power LED which will function as a keymap indicator….plus, it looks cool to have it lit too!

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Hehe, i remember on the C64 PC project, trying to figure out how to best position the motherboard and making various dremel cuts here and there to make it fit. No problems with the tiny dimensions of the Raspberry Pi. I could fit a whole army of them in here.

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That’s about it really. All that was left to do was to hook up the usual cables to the  Raspberry Pi and connect the Keyrah board to the Pi with a USB cable – you can do this either externally using a standard A to B USB cable, or for a much neater internal job, make a DIY header cable – one end (for the Pi) should be a standard USB plug and the other end (for the Keyrah) should terminate into a four pin block and attached to the header pins on the Keyrah.

For the operating system I thought I’d check out Chameleon Pi – http://chameleon.enging.com/ which not only is preconfigured with  a great C64 emulator, but there’s a whole bunch of other emulators too.

I’ve downloaded the O/S  image (ver 3.2), written to an SD card (via Win32DiskImager) and booting my…..hmm, what to call it>?

Commodore Pi….Raspberdore 64….RP64?

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Before I start messing around with the emulators, there’s a few house keeping chores to do first, like expanding the ‘rom’ folders, setting the correct overscan for my TV and making a coffee.

Copying game images over to the Pi has been simplified even more so with ChameleonPI. Sure, you can still do it via SSH of FTP if you want to, but for ease, just browse to the built in samba share by typing the Pi’s IP address into Windows Explorer and you get a familiar view of folders that you can drag/drop games into. Hmm, even though there’s no Amiga emulator in this particular build, it’s interesting to see  that there’s a folder called Amiga. Maybe a hint of a future inclusion?

Chameleon

Right, lefts try one of……hehe, the default screen saver has just activated –  C64 Blue screen of death 🙂

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The first emulator I wanted to try was the  C64  (VICE) of course, however on launching it,  I couldn’t access the options menu because by default key to access these you need to press F12, which sadly isn’t  supported on the Keyrah. No matter though, to reconfigure I  temporary connected a standard PC keyboard, pressed F12 to access the menu and changed the emulators UI keys to something else. Once done (i remapped to F1) I  reconnect the Keyrah and can now access the options.

Woo, so many options to play around with.

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I found that once you got the options set the way you like them (including joystick mappings, video and sound…which incidentally, at the default 44100hz its a little distorted and much better on 22050hz) you can save these out as default.

I copied over the superb C64 game Knight & Grail and loaded on the emulator. It appears to run perfectly but you can also have the pop up status box to see what kind of FPS you’re getting.

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Right, what other emulators to try…??

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(Darth Vader) Noooooooooooooooooooo!

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Raspberry PiCade – Lunchbox edition.

Following on from the other day (see blog post https://stiggyblog.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/raspberry-pi-arcade-controls/) I thought I’d make a quick and simple case for my Raspberry Pi and no stranger to a spot of lunchtime retro gaming fun, I thought why not combine the two?

Here’s my Raspberry Pi Arcade – Lunchbox edition.

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Starting with a fairly thick and robust  two litre lunchbox as we don’t want the lid wobbling about too much,  I cut out a couple of 28mm holes for the  buttons/Joystick and then gave them a bit of a sand down.  It then has a bit of a clean as we don’t want any loose bits ending up ones sandwich nothankyouverymuch!

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A couple more holes cut into the sides for the HDMI, USB , Power cable and SD card.

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The fun bit next – putting it all together.

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Referring back to my wiring diagram/pinout notes from the other day to ensure that I’m connecting them to the correct GPIO pins

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A quick test to ensure that all was working o.k before I start wrapping up the wiring and getting everything positioned inside the lunchbox.

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Sorting out the mess…..and making a Sandwich.

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I FTP’d the default Mame4All splash screen over to my  PC  and jazzed it up a bit with Photoshop.

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Game on and snacks for later 😉

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Here’s a quick video of my PiCade in action.