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full size "the 64" coming

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UPDATE: Bought the full size theC64 , tried it out and just sold it. This is not enough of a C64 replacement I was looking for. If you were adept at using a real C64 back in the day, you may find this product frustrating as the games can be hit and miss. But my Ultimate 64 works great at whatever I throw at it. This I feel is for the casual fan only. Pick up an Ultimate 64 https://ultimate64.com/ or ultimate 1541 from Gideons Logic. Yes it's gonna cost more but what you get in return is worth more than the price you paid. Just my opinion, its your cash so do what you like. And the Ultimate 64 can switch between PAL and NTSC on the fly.

55935250_2274868739507706_1530429673723396096_n.jpg

Edited by David Alexander
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Is getting an old school C64, perhaps serviced with new capacitors etc where required, out of the picture so we today are stuck between FPGA emulation or software based emulation? For that matter there's also the C64 Reloaded which is a modern motherboard reusing the old custom chips where those matter.

 

But yes, all the time I thought THEC64 no matter if it is the mini, full size or possibly upcoming handheld models, were for the casual gamers who got reminded about their youth, not necessarily for the surviving fans who already ought to have working setups they take care of along the way. As I wrote before, I have friends who are looking to get THEC64 and sell off their old C64 setup which I can only understand as if they have lost most of the interest in the system and only want it to replay some of the old games.

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Emulation is NOT meant to be used like it's being used in "the64". Emulation is rather a PC-only endeavor - and that's where it shines.

 

Selling original hardware to replace it with "the64" is an idiotic move. Might as well do free emulation on the PC!

 

---

 

Software emulation is already very good. I dare say excellent and has the capacity to exceed original hardware in the fun factor and reliability and versatility. Especially when you have the file management resources and storage capabilities of a PC behind it.

 

I'm also pointing out that Software Emulation sees more updates and features being added at a rate that far outpaces anything FPGA. Once an FPGA implementation is completed, it tends to stay put. But with SE new capabilities/versatility is often added semi-yearly more or less.

Edited by Keatah
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If one were to get an Ultimate 64 and a new C64c case - where does one obtain a keyboard? I saw someone was working on a new drop in keyboard replacement but it look like that effort stalled.  Are people taking keyboards from old/dead 64s?

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2 hours ago, Casey said:

Are people taking keyboards from old/dead 64s?

Appears that way.  I certainly did.

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I really wish someone would start a project to make new mechanical keyboard replacements. I just installed one into my CoCo 3....and now this computer has the best keyboard of any vintage computer I own ;) Funny how the C64 is so much more popular but still has nothing like this to date.

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13 hours ago, eightbit said:

I really wish someone would start a project to make new mechanical keyboard replacements. I just installed one into my CoCo 3....and now this computer has the best keyboard of any vintage computer I own ;) Funny how the C64 is so much more popular but still has nothing like this to date.

https://www.breadbox64.com/blog/the-mechboard64/

 

I think he's taking a break from making more at the moment. I have one, but it's not quite the slam dunk you would hope for, given the cost. It required adding keycap adapters to fit the original keycaps to the Cherry MX switches - a frustrating process, which (at least in my case) leaves the keys looking and feeling a bit uneven/unstable. My F7 key kept popping off until I trimmed down the adapter a bit. And if I ever want to change out the keycaps, I'll need to obtain a new set of adapters.  That said, it is very nice to type on.

Edited by Laner

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Yeah, that was an Indiegogo campaign contemporary (but entirely independent) with Dallas Moore's C64C shells. I understand that the person planning to make keycaps ran into .. issues, as usual when ideas exceed resources. Jim starts fresh and at least is a known name which would vouch for some credibility. Not that it really matters for anyone who has zero C64 stuff since before, getting an Ultimate 64 motherboard and a newly produced shell if the circuitboard and mechanics for a keyboard is missing, even if you have the caps in place.

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I saw the reviews, and though I would love one, I cannot justify the price over getting an Ultimate64 for one of my many spare breadbin case/keyboard combos. I don't fault the company at the price because I don't know the manufacturing costs/return ratio for a niche company to recoup. If it were under $100 eventually, I might bite - until then, I am happy with my MK2 board from Individual, despite the S-video output being frustratingly subpar on mine.  

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20 hours ago, seastalker said:

MK2 board from Individual, despite the S-video output being frustratingly subpar on mine.

You are not alone.

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I hate "crowdfunding campaigns". Just invest the money (or get a loan to do so), make the product and sell it. If it is something that you feel people want it will sell. That's how it was done in the old days.

 

The guy who created the CoCo 3 mechanical keyboard didn't do that. He just invested the money and the time and made it...and now they are all sold out because people wanted them. 

 

The C64 mech board link posted looked really hopeful until I saw the business of the keycaps. That sucks. 

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Ultimately, I think these are C64 Flashbacks. Maybe they intended to do better, but deadlines, price point and demand give you a “pretty darn good” flashback, considering the C64 is much more complex than the other flashback consoles. 

 

I have to read up on the Ultimate as it just seems FPGAs often under-perform compared to the real thing and, short of using real software, a good emulator. Maybe over years of updates they work out. 

 

Maybe if casuals are selling their old C64s for these, it is because their old ones don’t work right and they aren’t learned in repair or they think they need it or want it for their new TVs as part of the “razor sharp pixel” fanatics. 

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FPGA is no better than Software Emulation. It really all depends on the amount of effort and attention to detail that goes into any one specific FPGA or SE implementation.

 

SE has the huge advantage by being longer lived and handed down over the years. Consider MAME, new developers join up and older ones leave - in an ongoing rotation. This isn't happening at all with FPGA - not many new devs are picking up others' works as they move on. MiSTer may be different in that regard however.

 

And also consider that MAME (or VICE in the case of the C64 (no pun intended)) will always have new and better hardware to run on whereas FPGA is rather static. This year 2020 and next we'll be seeing 6-12 core CPUs running at 4GHz become mainstream standard. Maybe even entry-level basic machines will gain those specs too. And overpowered optional GPUs will slip below the $150-$200; if they're not already there. Current Intel Integrated Graphics UHD630 and up are quite sufficient for most all emulation needs. And it (or better) is in like all new PCs.

 

So, yes, SE has a huge installed base of powerful hardware sitting there ready to roll.

Edited by Keatah

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4 hours ago, Keatah said:

FPGA is no better than Software Emulation. It really all depends on the amount of effort and attention to detail that goes into any one specific FPGA or SE implementation.

 

SE has the huge advantage by being longer lived and handed down over the years. Consider MAME, new developers join up and older ones leave - in an ongoing rotation. This isn't happening at all with FPGA - not many new devs are picking up others' works as they move on. MiSTer may be different in that regard however.

 

And also consider that MAME (or VICE in the case of the C64 (no pun intended)) will always have new and better hardware to run on whereas FPGA is rather static. This year 2020 and next we'll be seeing 6-12 core CPUs running at 4GHz become mainstream standard. Maybe even entry-level basic machines will gain those specs too. And overpowered optional GPUs will slip below the $150-$200; if they're not already there. Current Intel Integrated Graphics UHD630 and up are quite sufficient for most all emulation needs. And it (or better) is in like all new PCs.

 

So, yes, SE has a huge installed base of powerful hardware sitting there ready to roll.

I think the limitation of PC emulation is it is high on practicality but low on physical nostalgic atmosphere (console, carts, old TV, etc.). How the 1080p razor sharp pixel lovers fit into this, I don't know.

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Yes something like that. There is little to no nostalgia beyond the sounds and graphics of the game. No supporting materials like boxes, specialized controllers, consoles, wires, printed instructions, patches and swag.

 

Maybe it has something to do with having always wanted an all-in-one "console" that could do it all. And just not wanting to bother with maintaining the Great Wall of China of Cartridges. I always wanted to be free of the bulk And I don't have much of a problem with the lack of physicality.

 

Or maybe emulation came at the right time for me. A time when I was sorely missing the games I had gotten rid of or trashed. A time when I believed the arcade games I played 10 years ago would never ever be seen again. What a tragedy! How could "they" let them disappear like that? Arcade by arcade, year by year, the places were closing down. It was incomprehensible to my (still) infantile mind why people were losing interest.

 

I don't fully understand the want and need for razor 1080p graphics. It's nice to explore a game or play it for a while like that. To study onscreen objects or collision detection. But to always play with sharp graphics? That's not for me. It's a novelty that gets old fast. Thankfully we can switch back'n'forth between that and CRT/NTSC effects.

Edited by Keatah

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It may be that in order experience the retro experience to its fullest, you'd have to start out with real cartridges and real consoles. And get into emulation much later, as long as 10 or 15 years.

 

First you have to appreciate the "stuff" in the physical sense. Then as the stuff breaks down, decays, becomes ratbaggy and rots, you move into emulation. Emulation eliminates all the trials and tribulations of corporeal tedium associated with connectors and physical space and maintenance/repair, degrading plastics. All the while building up sentimental attachment to the software and hardware and such.

 

Emulation is the natural progression after real hardware. And there will be something after emulation, too. But it is as unforeseeable as present-day emulation was in the 1970's.

 

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On 12/29/2019 at 7:42 AM, David Alexander said:

UPDATE: Bought the full size theC64 , tried it out and just sold it. This is not enough of a C64 replacement I was looking for. If you were adept at using a real C64 back in the day, you may find this product frustrating as the games can be hit and miss. But my Ultimate 64 works great at whatever I throw at it. This I feel is for the casual fan only. Pick up an Ultimate 64 https://ultimate64.com/ or ultimate 1541 from Gideons Logic. Yes it's gonna cost more but what you get in return is worth more than the price you paid. Just my opinion, its your cash so do what you like. And the Ultimate 64 can switch between PAL and NTSC on the fly.

55935250_2274868739507706_1530429673723396096_n.jpg

I don't suppose you could elaborate? I'm curious as to what you found so wanting with THEC64. I mean, that was the impression I got but I haven't owned either, so I'm not really in a position to speak on the matter.

 

I'm also curious about SID chip emulation, since nobody has really discussed that. I imagine it's not running the latest version of VICE, for starters.

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2 hours ago, TankedThomas said:

I don't suppose you could elaborate? I'm curious as to what you found so wanting with THEC64. I mean, that was the impression I got but I haven't owned either, so I'm not really in a position to speak on the matter.

 

I'm also curious about SID chip emulation, since nobody has really discussed that. I imagine it's not running the latest version of VICE, for starters.

Hi, there are many homebrew games I own. One for example was Sams Journey. I could not get it to play on theC64. Also there were some old commercial games that wouldn't load for me and some games the joystick needs to be in another joystick port which I physically could not switch using theC64. I know that you can add certain suffixes to your ROM to tell the emulator what to do, or change the joystick port but I don't have the time nor the inclination to do all that to play a game. All my games work on my Ultimate64 and if I need to switch joystick ports I can do it manually just like on a real C64. In the end it was an impulse buy, but I sold it and got most of the money back :)

Edited by David Alexander
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27 minutes ago, David Alexander said:

Hi, there are many homebrew games I own. One for example was Sams Journey. I could not get it to play on theC64. Also there were some old commercial games that wouldn't load for me and some games the joystick needs to be in another joystick port which I physically could not switch using theC64. I know that you can add certain suffixes to your ROM to tell the emulator what to do, or change the joystick port but I don't have the time nor the inclination to do all that to play a game. All my games work on my Ultimate64 and if I need to switch joystick ports I can do it manually just like on a real C64. In the end it was an impulse buy, but I sold it and got most of the money back :)

Thanks, I really appreciate the extra information!

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5 hours ago, David Alexander said:

Hi, there are many homebrew games I own. One for example was Sams Journey. I could not get it to play on theC64. Also there were some old commercial games that wouldn't load for me and some games the joystick needs to be in another joystick port which I physically could not switch using theC64. I know that you can add certain suffixes to your ROM to tell the emulator what to do, or change the joystick port but I don't have the time nor the inclination to do all that to play a game. All my games work on my Ultimate64 and if I need to switch joystick ports I can do it manually just like on a real C64. In the end it was an impulse buy, but I sold it and got most of the money back :)

 

All you do in order to play a joystick port 1 game is rename the game you are trying to play and add "_J1" to the end of the filename. Pretty simple stuff.

 

There are really only a handful of games that require port 1 use anyway....and all of them have been hacked to use port 2 if renaming the original file is something you do not want to do for some reason.

 

As for Sam's Journey, I know there is a specific version for the c64 mini...and I assume that works for the full size model too:

 

https://www.protovision.games/shop/product_info.php?products_id=200&language=en

 

Edited by eightbit

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20 hours ago, David Alexander said:

I know that you can add certain suffixes to your ROM to tell the emulator what to do, or change the joystick port but I don't have the time nor the inclination to do all that to play a game.

Yeah, that's probably one of the biggest annoyances I see. Needing to add a bunch of values to the end of an image name on a per-game basis to get it to work properly?  Nope. 

Edited by Laner
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1 hour ago, Laner said:

Yeah, that's probably one of the biggest annoyances I see. Needing to add a bunch of values to the end of an image name on a per-game basis to get it to work properly?  Nope. 

Certainly not the way to go if you have the Real Thing, or a reasonable facsimile, on-hand.

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In WinVICE you use Alt + J to swap joystick ports. If you have a USB keyboard attached to THEC64, can you use the same key combo or are hotkeys disabled in order to not confuse new users? Anyway, it'd be a one time configuration to rename image files as you see required. If there is a curated set of games known to be working, I would suppose those already are labeled properly as well?

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