Dedicated hacker adds USB capabilities to his Commodore 64

usb_basic_commodore_64

To say that Commodore 64 aficionados are a dedicated group would be quite the understatement. There are still quite a few individuals that spend all sorts of time building and programming for the C64 in order to make using them enjoyable, and to keep up to date with current technologies.

[Luigi] is one of these people. He wanted a way to easily transfer files between his PC and his C64 that was fast but cheap. To [Luigi], this meant USB file transfers, which would take quite a bit of work to implement. He started out by rolling his own BASIC interpreter which could eventually be extended to support USB. Using his BASIC-Plus interpreter, he was able to implement a USB Kernel, which could transfer files at 1.2 KB/s via a USB to serial adapter. Wanting faster file transfers, he built a USB to parallel adapter, which resulted in a nearly 8-fold increase in speed.

So, if you have been dying to have USB capabilities on your C64, look no further, [Luigi] has just what you need!

Continue reading to see a quick video of USB-64 in action.

[Thanks, Matt]

23 thoughts on “Dedicated hacker adds USB capabilities to his Commodore 64

  1. I never had one of these because they were extinct before I was born. All I know is that this guy is awesome! Thumbs up (Y)

  2. Interestingly enough, my C64 is somewhat of a family heirloom, so hacks like these give me a warm fuzzy feeling.

    My father bought it in the early 80’s for work but it didn’t mesh with his paper based job, so handed it down to my older brothers (who are 18 and 15 years older than myself), in turn they passed it down to me.

    It was my first computer.

    Which means despite being born in the late 80’s (when things like the Amiga came out, so 3.5″ Floppy was the medium of choice growing up alongside SNES’s and Megadrives), I’d experienced tape drives and learnt the value of patience at quite an early age.

    Probably explains why I did Comp Sci at University.

    The C64 in question still works like a charm btw. Even though I’ve since picked up the C64C version as it’s more compact (Amiga case design) and use that when I feel the retro urge.

  3. I felt so bad after I sent this tip in yesterday, I emailed Luigi and warned him he might get swamped with traffic. I love the C64 and have a C64 30 in 1 Joystick and the Radio Shack Hummer game that Jeri Ellsworth designed and enjoy the games.
    My pet project is a SID chip copy . Many good imitators but only one true SID. I wish I was better at reverse engineering silicon.

  4. Great stuff!!! Amazing to see what folks are still accomplishing with these machines :)

    VERY nice work, Luigi!

  5. i want one of this but for a ISA/PCI 486 pc. Getting a 5 1/2 floppy drive to work now a day is a hell of a work and most of the times the disk itself is damaged so even worst.

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