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LOAD"$",8 (pagetable.com)
12 points by amichail on July 28, 2009 | hide | past | favorite | 12 comments

What's been astonishing to me is that there are new devices being produced for the C64 (not mass-produced, but there are a few companies and individuals doing it). Some of them are astonishingly modern, and the C64, for all its limitations, just accepts their existence. I bought an SD card based internal "hard disk" recently for my C64. It's really cool. Quite complex DOS commands are required until I get JiffyDOS installed, but still, it's astonishing to me that a C64 can deal with a device that can hold thousands of 1541, 1571 and 1581 disk images.

The communities around the old 8 bit platform are alive and well, much to my surprise!

I think it has something to do with the retro-gaming movement, away from the 3d realistic games back to simpler 2 dimensional games that are great because of their inventiveness and playability rather than their realism.

On a side note, I wonder how many people upon seeing 'load' hear the sound of some fsk sounds :)

The demoscene has a lot to do with the C64 being very much alive still as it is a coveted and respected platform for productions.

Furthermore, demosceners are still pushing the limits of the hardware; case in point, see Edge of Disgrace by Booze Design. Yes, that is a ~1MHz machine drawing shaded primitives. :)

Yeah, I love that there are still folks "discovering" things about the platform...the research into how to get (dramatically) more than 16 colors out of VIC-II, or how to playback samples on SID, for example, are simply amazing. And this stuff is still happening 25+ years after the products release.

I don't do anything fancy with my C64; it's just another musical instrument out of many (MIDI interfaces are still being manufactured; and the MSSSIAH software to drive it is still being updated regularly), but it's certainly hellafun to play with, and brings back great memories every time I fire it up.

I've read that the Sony folks made the argument that they wanted the PS3 to be a hard platform to work with, at the start, so that it would still be relevant in five years. When I first read that I thought, "That's just stupid!" I still think it's utterly stupid, but I also think that a really great platform might just get people developing for it well into the future by providing interesting technical challenges. I think it takes huge popularity, though, and PS3 will never have that. The best examples of living far beyond their useful life are the C64 and the original Gameboy...both of which were not only good devices in their time, they were both the most popular device of their class, of all time. So, I don't think the PS3 will have a scene in 25 years, but the Wii or DS might.

Given the positive reception of the Nintendo DS within the demoscene, I have the feeling that we'll be seeing sceners doing interesting things with whatever iteration of the hardware that anyone has handy for several years to come, much like we've seen with even the old first-iteration Game Boys from 1989. It's really catching on there, and I wouldn't be surprised if we see some excellent games come out of this area from a few Swedes or Finns who have way too much free time. :)

Semi-relatedly: Interestingly enough, for those of us born through during the latter half of the 1970's and through the 1980's, the Germans call us the C64 Generation, which is a label that I really wear with pride since the C64 was my first foray into tinkering with micros after I turned three in 1990.

after I turned three in 1990

Way to make me feel really old. I was eight when I got my first C64, and it was when they were new on the market, so around 1982 or 1983. I ran a C64 BBS by the time I was twelve. In 1990 I had just bought my first Amiga.

But, I too enjoy having been a C64 kid, and take pride in the quirkiness of using one to this day.

Must recommend this book again...

On the Edge: the Spectacular Rise and Fall of Commodore http://www.amazon.com/Edge-Spectacular-Rise-Fall-Commodore/d...

As I recall the responsibility of getting the 1541 working with the C64 was the responsibility of one of their more crazy, drunken, hard working employees. His name escapes me...Bill....

Cool to find out what that actually means -- I always just knew it as the magic incantation needed to play Jumpman or Impossible Mission :)

I'd recommend 'The anatomy of the 1541 disk drive' or if you speak German 'Das Grosse Floppy Buch zur 1541', both co-authored by the great Lothar Englisch.

The real command was LOAD "$",8

Of course, any serious user of a C64 had an Epyx Fastload cartridge. Then you could just type $.

but of course you could use LOAD"*",8,1; to load the first PRG from the disc... or my favourite command: LOAD"USAGI",8 :P

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