HOPE X: Commodore 64’s Are Back, Baby


Maybe they weren’t really ever gone but even so Commodore enthusiast [ALWYZ] is here at HOPE X spreading re-awareness of the Commodore 64 and that there is still a community of Commodore fans out there who have been up to some pretty cool projects.

One of those projects is a Quantum Link-esque service called Q-Link Reloaded. Quantum Link was an online service available for Commodore 64 and 128 users that offered electronic mail, online chat, file sharing, online news, and instant messaging. It lasted from the mid-80s to the mid-90’s and later evolved into America Online. In 2005, a group of folks reversed-engineered the original server code and the resultant Q-Link Reloaded lets the Commodore folks once again communicate with each other.

Also on display is a Raspberry Pi running a C64 emulator complete with a controller to GPIO adapter. Hackaday has covered this emulator just a few months ago and it is great to see it working in person.

C64 emulator on raspberry pi


15 thoughts on “HOPE X: Commodore 64’s Are Back, Baby

  1. some info on how to actually connect on QLinkReloaded would be nice.. because it seems to be on again, off again. The forum is dominated by threads from 2005. As a service running out of someone’s house, its not at all stable. I tried the VICE setup and it seems not to work.. I might be missing something in the modem commands stage.. instructions not so clear.

    1. I have been trying for about 3 or so years to get connected with the QLink. I think there needs to be a stable location for the server to run. As you have said…out of someone’s house, — it is not stable!

      I think if there was a stable virtual private machine out there running, maybe we could get it online and be stable and then the people who do work on the code could do something productive with it. Also, if it had about 1TB of space for the database, files (to download), and games (to play online) would probably be optimal.

    1. My experience with C64 is that the serial port has no hardware buffering, so it is very easy for the C64 to drop incoming characters at higher serial speeds, even with adequate CPU to process the incoming characters. The PC clones with their buffered 16450 UARTs had a much better situation.

    2. The user ports on C64 couldn’t reliably handle anything faster than 1200 modems. There are cartridge based solution that can go much faster and even have ethernet network but at the time many people used cart port for fast load carts and the modem were often limited to user port.

  2. I still gota nice Commodore Plus/4 sitting around somewhere, together with a working printer for it.
    I had it do graphics by peeking and poking at it enough. (via a “custom character” feature of the printer)

  3. Hey guys thanks for the spotlight on the table and the q-link project. I’m personally not involved with q-link reloaded in any way, other than a supporter of it. But they are looking for help with the development. The entire system was written from packets that were logged back in the day and information from client disks, as long as a small number of logs. Everything was reverse engineered from there, but they do need help with modernizing it, figuring out how a number of areas work, and fixing a large number of bugs. There are also a number of people working on reverse engineering the club caribe server. http://www.lyonlabs.org/commodore/qlink/ for more info

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