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C64 - A reappraisal 2017


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#101 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:13 AM

Didn't Atari early on consider using a Motorola CPU before going with MOS, or have I been dreaming about that? The 6809 was introduced in 1978 so it might've slotted in late in the Atari 8-bit development.

 

It's certainly possible, but I don't recall coming across any of that when co-authoring CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer. As you'd see in the book, the close Tandy/Motorola relationship happened pretty early on, a few years before the CoCo's 1980 release. I'm just not sure it would have come across Atari's radar in time, particularly given their use of a 6502 series microprocessor in the Atari VCS.



#102 jmccorm OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:28 AM

Didn't Atari early on consider using a Motorola CPU before going with MOS, or have I been dreaming about that? The 6809 was introduced in 1978 so it might've slotted in late in the Atari 8-bit development.

 

Atari was using the 6502 in their arcade division as early at 1976. Actually, they also started using the 6800 around that time, but in just a couple of years, the 6502 won out, I don't think we see any 6800-based games after 1979? As far as I'm aware, their only flirtation with the 6809 was the Star Wars vector game (and two of the CPUs, no less). After the 6502, their next major jump was to the 680x0 series.

 

Any issue of price or sourcing aside, Atari had a good deal of internal tools and expertise with the 6502, and we all know that their earlier 2600 consumer product was running on its 6502-lite CPU. It seem like an easy choice for them to stick with the 6502 for the home computer. Even more so with their then-rivals sporting the same processor. It would have been awesome to know what their thoughts were at the time.

 

Say... I remember this one video from when I was last active in the AtariAge forum. This guy stuck a 6809 in a 130XE and it ran the NitrOS-9 UNIX-like operating system on it. Pretty neat, but I think the consensus was that rather being a CPU upgrade for the Atari, it turned out to be more of a chipset upgrade for NitrOS-9? Of course, it is easier to throw stones at someone's else's effort than it is to try something new. He did some neat stuff, but it just didn't turn out to be popular with the Atari crowd.

 

 

UPDATE: Want to put a 6809 in your Atari 800/1200/130XE? Pull your 6502 and install this $65 kit, which comes with an EEPROM pre-loaded with NitrOS-9 compatible firmware. If anyone wants to try a 6809 in your Atari 8-bit, it has never been easier. It may also expect an SIO2PC (with a different piece of software driving it) to provide the machine with a large virtual drive.


Edited by jmccorm, Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:34 AM.


#103 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:39 AM

 

 

Say... I remember this one video from when I was last active in the AtariAge forum. This guy stuck a 6809 in a 130XE and it ran the NitrOS-9 UNIX-like operating system on it. Pretty neat, but I think the consensus was that rather being a CPU upgrade for the Atari, it turned out to be more of a chipset upgrade for NitrOS-9? Of course, it is easier to throw stones at someone's else's effort than it is to try something new. He did some neat stuff, but it just didn't turn out to be popular with the Atari crowd.

 

 

That guy, Boisy Pitre, is my friend and co-author of the aforementioned CoCo book. Yeah, I don't believe there was a great deal of interest in the project. It's undeniably cool, but obviously incredibly niche.



#104 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:33 PM

I've always had a question about the 6809 mod. According to the datasheets, there's a limit on how long you can halt the 6809 (probably due to dynamic cells) and a text badline exceeds that spec. Did I calculate something wrong or is just working anyway?



#105 carlsson OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:54 PM

I probably mistook the Syntertek 6509 (which I don't know anything about anyway) for a Motorola 68xx. Marty Goldberg and Curt Vendel has a write-up in their book Atari Inc: Business is Fun.

https://books.google...epage&q&f=false

 

InfoWorld had a note in May 1980, which is way later than the development process of the Atari 400/800, about another 6509 rumour that neither of the major 6502 manufacturers could acknowledge.

 

Rumors about the impending introduction of an upgraded 6502, to be called either the "6509" or the "6516" and which would have 16-bit registers and expanded addressing, are decidely premature, according to all three major suppliers of the 6500 series.

 

Commodore, the owner of MOS Technology (the original supplier of the 6502's) said that their present production is concentrating on ROM and RAM chips, and that CPU development lies in the future since the design resources are not available.

 

Synertek, who had made preliminary design studies for the enhanced chip, stated that the development had been indefinitely postponed while they concentrated on developing peripheral controller chips and second-sourcing the Z-8.

 

Rockwell, the third supplier, states that although they are developing a line of enhanced 6500 series chips with RAM and ROM on-chip, the joint development plans with Synertek on the 6516 have been postponed. All expressed willingness to second-source the 6516, if someone else would develop it.

 

I think Commodore at that point were holding back some buisness secrets, as they certainly were working on new custom chips, e.g. the 40 column version of VIC-I that required too expensive fast SRAM to be useful, and a little later I suppose work on both the VIC-II and SID would begin. Eventually Commodore made a CPU called 6509, using the CBM-II series, but it is a regular 8-bit 6502 with memory mapping options so it can access 1 MB, nothing more fancy than so as far as I remember.

 

I know that in the late 70's and early 80's there were a lot of rumours and misconceptions all the time, but I wouldn't want to mistrust Curt and Marty's sources for their book, even if the mentioned CPU alternative to the 6502 might only have existed in fantasy. If Synertek really were planning an improved CPU that was binary compatible with MOS, the fact that Atari already were using 6502 and 6507 wouldn't be as much of a problem if they found something even better for the Atari 8-bit computers. 



#106 thetick1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:39 PM

There a reason you're responding like this in what has proven to be a great, thoughtful discussion on this topic for once? Seriously dude, relax. He has every right to like or not like whatever he wants. It all comes down to personal taste, even if I personally like the Atari palette much better than the c64. This kind of response just ruins threads. Agree to disagree. 

 

_The Doctor_ has defensive issues when someone criticizes his beloved Atari-8bit.  Bill is not the only one treated this way by the _The Doctor_ .



#107 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:48 PM

Looks like you are trying to start a flame war.... I won't bite. You have a whole 182 posts and have been around a couple months. Nice to see you. You definitely don't know the history of the people involved, nor their contributions. Thanks for being so judgmental. Maybe you'll guide the thread to it's eventual lock. It was easy to see you're friends with Bill and feel the need to defend him (quick profile check). You didn't suggest anything to fix an issue. You didn't say anything good or bad about the computers being discussed. Thanks for an empty post that served no purpose but to attack.

 

Now back to the topic at hand, I was just watching a video of Sam's Journey on the C-. I want to fix the sound on the Commodore. Do you think bringing the sound directly from SID will help or is it baked in? I was thinking that if I pull it directly and then send it to a stereo and process it with a DSP I could brighten it up. Of course I am wondering if it could be done cost effectively at the board level, self contained inside the case of the C- itself. Any suggestions for that idea or is it just a dream still.

 

Sam' journey looks solid and might inspire the moving of the C- from the garage bench to the house, I'll make sure to put a small silent fan on it. I think it's the next to the last Commodore I own as all of the others have died.

 

*edit* I've un-boxed a 128. I have a Commodore monitor that's in a box as well and should put it to use. It's not happening tonight. I'll have to sit a while to make sure it's room temperature anyway, the garage is colder than the house.


Edited by _The Doctor__, Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:07 PM.


#108 thetick1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:05 PM

Looks like you are trying to start a flame war.... I won't bite. ...

 

No just stating a simple fact concerning your behavior. Huh you did just bite as you wrote a bunch more.  Anyway Bill is a lot classier than I am when dealing with hostility.  I should take a tip from Bill and fight back with humor but I guess I'm just too stupid to figure that out.


Edited by thetick1, Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:06 PM.


#109 BillLoguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:14 PM

Now back to the topic at hand, I was just watching a video of Sam's Journey on the C-. I want to fix the sound on the Commodore. Do you think bringing the sound directly from SID will help or is it baked in? I was thinking that if I pull it directly and then send it to a stereo and process it with a DSP I could brighten it up. Of course I am wondering if it could be done cost effectively at the board level, self contained inside the case of the C- itself. Any suggestions for that idea or is it j...


Yes, because among the greatest 8-bit homebrew games ever created in Sam's Journey on a computer renowned for the quality of its sound chip just sounds so awful. I think you're trying a bit too hard.

#110 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:24 PM

No, I corrected the situation, and pointed out what your are doing. Bill is arguing with other people in at least 3 threads, not just me. I don't see anything classy about it. He uses a skilled pen to craft his nonsense. I feel like it's a little high school happening here... I'll be confronted by a little circle of friends who will start silly stuff because their friend might have been slighted or talked to in some way. yaddah yaddah yaddah. The post will progress like so many others. Just because a person responded they bit. No that's a tool to shut a person up. That doesn't indicate victory on either side if that's what your going for. So you've made yet another empty post, defending your pal. How about you contribute to thread in regards to the computers or how to adjust or fix an issue. Perhaps what you like about one or the other, or possibly why you decided you liked something.



#111 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:36 PM

I can't comment on it being the greatest ever... I haven't played it yet. I am going to. I haven't made any judgements other than it looks very nice. I wanted to hear it. Only one person was reasonable enough to send some audio or video to me, and I appreciated that. I want to fix the sound on the commodore, is that a bad thing? It must be. You clearly want to push the idea it's perfect and renowned the world over... which it is not. Many like it, many don't. I want to improve it. I suspect like everything else in the Commodore it was done just well enough to get by. I doesn't have to be that way. So please pull your hair out and get a gang going... who would ever want the sound to be good or even great? nah let's leave it... it's okay. Part of what happens in the retro computer scene is modifications to improve all aspects of the machines while still keeping them essentially the same machine, heart and soul if you will. Improve the video, improve the sound, add stereo, fix what cost cutting had done to it and make it what it could have or should have been. Same thing is being done with software. But if all a person wants to do is defend it in it's original state, then there would be no progress. At that point why bother at all? Who needs crystal clear video or audio? Why bother writing a new game with all that has been learned?


Edited by _The Doctor__, Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:31 PM.


#112 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:14 PM

I don't know much about the C64, but I did own a SX-64 for awhile, and although I didn't care for the slow disk drive speed or the odd way required to access it (kind of reminded me of the Apple][ in this regard), I really loved the ease of creating multi-color text which I always thought the A8 had missed the mark on that one. Anyway speaking of improving the sound on the C64, I came across this upgrade board that looks promising...

 

SID-Fixer-Flyer.jpg

 

Brochure



#113 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:19 PM

I don't know much about the C64, but I did own a SX-64 for awhile, and although I didn't care for the slow disk drive speed or the odd way required to access it (kind of reminded me of the Apple][ in this regard), I really loved the ease of creating multi-color text which I always thought the A8 had missed the mark on that one. Anyway speaking of improving the sound on the C64, I came across this upgrade board that looks promising...

 

SID-Fixer-Flyer.jpg

 

Brochure

NICE!

Thank you!

The email address is in the brochure. Looks like it addresses a multitude of issues. Hopefully it's still available.

You're always a plus in any thread Michael!


Edited by _The Doctor__, Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:36 PM.


#114 thetick1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:08 AM

Since it seems you might be interested in improving the sound there is also the Cynthcart 1.2.4 that is sold at the AtariAge Store here.  Same guy also makes an Atari 2600 version which I guess you likely already know.


Edited by thetick1, Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:10 AM.


#115 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:26 AM

No, I corrected the situation, and pointed out what your are doing. Bill is arguing with other people in at least 3 threads, not just me. I don't see anything classy about it. He uses a skilled pen to craft his nonsense. I feel like it's a little high school happening here... I'll be confronted by a little circle of friends who will start silly stuff because their friend might have been slighted or talked to in some way. yaddah yaddah yaddah. The post will progress like so many others. Just because a person responded they bit. No that's a tool to shut a person up. That doesn't indicate victory on either side if that's what your going for. So you've made yet another empty post, defending your pal. How about you contribute to thread in regards to the computers or how to adjust or fix an issue. Perhaps what you like about one or the other, or possibly why you decided you liked something.


First off, I'm not friends with anyone who has chosen to "defend" me (although I'd be happy to be friends with them), nor do I need defending. I'm also not arguing with anyone. I'm discussing stuff on a discussion forum. Anyway, it's obviously the way you write your posts in a snarky way (to be kind) and how you don't like to address facts that is so off-putting at times, but I think you know that. I'd be hard pressed to believe that you really don't understand what you're doing and how you come across.

Anyway, best of luck with your quest to find a working Commodore computer and fixing the god awful sound, two actions that are in no way outliers.

#116 Mclaneinc ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:46 AM

God awful sound?

 

There's an army of people that would happily disagree with you, sure its an opinion of yours and you are welcome to it but as a man representing himself as a journalist and historian I don't think it comes across as a fair comment when you do know there's an army of folks who love the SID. The C64 demo and music scene has been one of the largest and most long surviving scene's out there, a scene where they express their love of all things C64, but apparently they are wrong and its a "god awful sound".

 

Be better than that Bill..Be a lot better than that..

 

Paul....(An all round lover of all things retro computing & gaming)

 

I'm NOT saying the C64 is perfect and have posted about the varying quality but in general the music is done well..buzzes or not..


Edited by Mclaneinc, Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:57 AM.


#117 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:47 AM

1) his profile lists you as a friend and your profile does as well (are both a lie?)

2) another confided in me that he is a friend of your friend, and indeed he was rational.

3) Call it what you want.

4) Looks like enough people found a problem with the audio that they went to some pretty decent lengths to fix it. I am glad that at least one fix posted here appears promising.

5) I can't speak to your hearing, maybe you can't hear what so many other people hear.

6) You post in a back handed way, but cover it in flourishes.

7) Your opinions are not facts. Neither are mine.

8) I have a working 128, both 64's died... and sadly that's not uncommon.

 

I did gather a decent lead on a fix  from Mytekcontrols and that addresses the majority of the issues. I think that's a reasonable course to follow. I like helpful people like him, not hurtful people like you. I enjoy many machines, as do most people here. I still use a CompuPro S-100, depending on the sound and graphics card it can be quite the machine as well. I'm sure you will express some opinion against that in some back handed way, after all I posted about it in a positive context.

 

I have the feeling the people who made that sound board are Commodore super fans... it's my guess they heard what I heard and did something about it. I think that's a fact you might research. I don't know if you will include it in any of your writings or productions, as it doesn't support your take on things.


Edited by _The Doctor__, Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:05 AM.


#118 carlsson OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:56 AM

AtariAge friendships are not like real life friendships, not even like Facebook friendships. To be honest I don't know what purpose AtariAge friendships serve, other than a way of telling someone else that you respect or like them.



#119 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:02 AM

I see things are developing more or less as per expectations. :)



#120 thetick1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:17 AM

AtariAge friendships are not like real life friendships, not even like Facebook friendships. To be honest I don't know what purpose AtariAge friendships serve, other than a way of telling someone else that you respect or like them.

I use the friendships to easily search for posts from those persons as I add users when I see interesting posts.  I don't know Bill at all other than reading his books, articles and the posts here.  I'm pretty sure he has no idea who I am as I try and stay anonymous online.

 

I'm adding  _The Doctor__ to my friendslist as I would like to easily find/read his future posts as he does appear to have a few useful posts.  Adding _The Doctor__ as a friend does not imply anything other than my desire to easily find  _The Doctor__ posts.  He's still a snarky a$$ in my book.


Edited by thetick1, Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:24 AM.


#121 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:18 AM

That's a interesting way to use the function, in order for it to work the friend has to approve the request last I knew. I'll approve you.

I was thinking the thread could use some lightening up, and this popped into my head.

lol,


Edited by _The Doctor__, Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:21 AM.


#122 VladR OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:18 AM

200w.gif



#123 Mclaneinc ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:20 AM

I see things are developing more or less as per expectations. :)

 

 

Don't they always, in the words of Harry Hill, FIGHT!!!!!

 

I give it another page :)



#124 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:24 AM

everyone better get in before the lock!

Call your friends, get the neighbors!

:)

I'm nowhere near done cataloging all of FJC's stuff for ebay.... how does one acquire so much stuff!

How's it coming on your side of the room?


Edited by _The Doctor__, Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:27 AM.


#125 Mclaneinc ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:25 AM

What, Atari Friends?   :)






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