[Frank], like many people, has a soft spot in his heart for the Commodore 64. He prefers to play his C64 games on his computer nowadays, but likes using his old school Competition Pro rather than some modern controller with remapped buttons. The only problem with using the controller is that his new computer doesn’t have any ports that accommodate its 9-pin D-sub connector.
The VICE emulator maps keyboard inputs to controller actions, so he decided to build himself a D-sub to USB adapter that implements a virtual USB keyboard. He wrote a firmware package for the Freescale MC9S08JS16L microcontroller that allows him to send keypresses to his emulator whenever he performs an action with his Competition Pro joystick.
The circuit looks easier to duplicate than some other C64 interfaces we have seen before, and as you can see in the video below, it works quite well. We imagine that this setup can be used to connect all sorts of old input devices to modern PCs with little to no tweaking.
Continue reading “Commodore 64 USB controller adapter for your PC”
“Everyone needs a hobby,” they tell us. For the blogger mysteriously identified only as “R,” that hobby would be an almost fanatical nostalgia for the Commodore 64 computer.
At first we thought this was a fan community site, but apparently it’s all the work of a single person. [R] has tweaked, extended, repackaged and resurfaced this 1980’s icon in nearly every imaginable way. They tend to gloss over the technical aspects of these mods, but that’s okay – the C64 is such an exhaustively documented system now that the site dwells mainly on the aesthetics and meaning of these reborn devices.
The 64 has made an indelible impression on electronic music, and the machines are still sought after by collectors, composers and circuit-benders. [R] pays homage by housing these vintage systems in styles reminiscent of even vintage-er synthesizers. Any one of these would warrant a post here, yet there’s a whole collection to browse. Check it out!
[via Retro Thing]
Before we get started, lets just point out that this C64 was broken. He did not take a functional C64 out of operation for this. What he did do, was to build a hardware interface for for his VICE system. For those unfamiliar, VICE is a cross platform C64 emulator. [Simon] points out that the old games just weren’t as much fun without the original hardware. Having a broken C64 lying around, he put it to good use. It now acts as the interface for all the original fun stuff.
If you are a fan of the hardware, but just want to interface it as a normal USB keyboard, that is possible as well.
[Matthias] built a wooden enclosure for his keyboard. He’s used to using a Commodore 64 keyboard and decided he didn’t need the num pad found on modern keyboards.
It’s not the finished product that interests us, but the methods he used to create such a nice looking enclosure. From the wooden binary adder he produced we know he’s a talented woodworker. He takes us step-by-step through the use of a scroll saw, table saw, and router tabled to turn out this one-of-a-kind. You may not own these tools but someone you know does. Follow his example and turn out your own wooden wonders.
[svofski] has a friend who is a pixel artist. They really wanted to try out their skills on a c64, but were missing a mouse. The original mouse for the c64 was not only serial, but used a different method of communication than more modern mice. [svofski] built this adapter to translate the ps/2 data to something the c64 can use. The writeup describes the build in detail and even has the PCB and source code available for download.
After making it to the top 20 in most regions, Apple has removed the c64 emulator for the iPhone from the App Store. Apparently the thorough app review process didn’t discover that the BASIC system had not been removed from the app, but was instead merely hidden.
Another revision of the emulator has been submitted for review but how long will that take? What is the review process for if they’re not looking deep enough to find specific functions they don’t want an app to have? Approving apps and pulling them a few days later is another Hot Coffee waiting to happen.
[POCKET GAMER via Slashdot]
After a lengthy process that had previously met with rejection, Manomio’s Commodore 64 emulator for the iPhone and iPod touch has finally been accepted by Apple. This marks the first time a multi-purpose emulation title has been approved by the App Store. The $4.99 C64 app comes bundled with five fully-licensed classic games, and additional titles can be purchased and downloaded directly within the application.
App Store policies prohibit software that could run downloadable code, which barred most emulation attempts in the past. A couple of Sega titles worked around this by nature of being single-purpose emulators. The condition by which the C64 title was finally approved was the removal of the BASIC programming language (though ironically it’s still shown in screen shots, even on the App Store). Since only sanctioned programs can be installed and run from within the application, no user-alterable code is present.
The C64 emulator is neat enough in itself, but the really encouraging news here is that a precedent has been set; the business model may open the floodgates for developers to bring more classic gaming titles to the iPhone platform. So download that SDK and get hacking!
Update: The iPhone Blog has a simple work-around for accessing BASIC!
Update 2: App pulled, no surprise. If you jumped on the opportunity while it was available, [George’s] comment might be of interest.