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Programming Education

Programming the Commodore 64: the Definitive Guide 245

Mirk writes "Back in 1985 it was possible to understand the whole computer, from the hardware up through device drivers and the kernel through to the high-level language that came burned into the ROMs (even if it was only Microsoft BASIC). The Reinvigorated Programmer revisits R. C. West's classic and exhaustive book Programming the Commodore 64 and laments the decline of that sort of comprehensive Deep Knowing."
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Programming the Commodore 64: the Definitive Guide

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  • Frist psot! (Score:4, Funny)

    by heffel ( 83440 ) <`dheffelfinger' `at' `ensode.net'> on Saturday March 13, 2010 @07:47PM (#31467912) Homepage Journal

    Atari 800 rules!

  • Sweet! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Junior J. Junior III ( 192702 ) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @07:49PM (#31467922) Homepage

    Now, I can finally stop waiting and get to programming my Commodore 64!

  • by ProfM ( 91314 ) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @07:59PM (#31468028)

    Atari 800 rules!

    Here we go again ... "which platform is better" flamewar. Everybody KNOWS that the Sinclair ZX80 was best.

  • Relax (Score:4, Funny)

    by sakdoctor ( 1087155 ) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @07:59PM (#31468032) Homepage

    Relax. You've obviously read too many kdawson stories recently, and have been trolled into a heightened state of paranoia. Don't worry, it happens to the best of us.

    Also, why have you switched off your iphone citizen 533448?

  • by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @08:13PM (#31468136)
    This guide is *GREAT!*

    I've got 6 web sites and 25 mission critical apps running on a cluster of 10 Commodore 64s. It started out with just one, but as our business expanded, we just kept adding them on. It would be a bear to migrate to MS-DOS or Windows 1.0, but maybe it's time. The acoustic coupler modem is a bit slow, but it's been working for us since 1990, it's hard to justify the upgrage.
  • Re:Sweet! (Score:5, Funny)

    by ae1294 ( 1547521 ) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @08:16PM (#31468148) Journal

    Now, I can finally stop waiting and get to programming my Commodore 64!

    I know right! I finally got my Beowulf Cluster of c128's running GNU/linux doing seti@home work!!! Sure it's drawing about 200amps but damn it's a sweet setup and only takes about 24 days per unit!

  • by PDG ( 100516 ) <pdg@webcrush.com> on Saturday March 13, 2010 @08:37PM (#31468326) Homepage
    So much for my English background that I can't even proofread my post properly. Should have said "one of the few in my school that could actually afford one"
  • by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @09:23PM (#31468650)
    Dude, back when I was a kid and had a C-64, I wrote a JVM for it. Unfortunately I had trouble, because while the JVM standard defines long as not being threadsafe (as a sop to 32-bit architectures), it defines operations on int, short, char, and Object references as being atomic. So I had to write single-threaded code to simulate multiple threads just to get the garbage collection to work. And my char mappings didn't support Arabic and Chinese- you had to stick with PETSCII.

    I was so embarrassed in front of my friends when my games paused intermittently to clear out kilobytes of garbage from the little heap. They were like, WTF, what is it doing, and I said, give me a break, it's Java. The only program I ever really got to work right was my C-64 emulator.
  • by geekprime ( 969454 ) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @10:30PM (#31469088)

    Th C=64 was the first computer I owned that I diden't build from scratch AND it had a disk operating system such as it was... Those were good times.

    I still have the hesware 46 forth cartridge for the 64.
    (I came across it recently in a box full of old junk, manual too.)

    I used to love forth but write only languages are such a pain even for the original developer.
    I cant imagine trying to maintain someone elses forth code.
    Machine code was so much easier.

    Anyway, I salute you Tom Zimmer, wherever you are.
    Wow that was easy, http://tomzimmer.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

  • by Chris Tucker ( 302549 ) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @10:33PM (#31469098) Homepage

    A fellow in the local C64 users group was a tester for Maverick (copy protection removal utility).

    We had Maverick files to deprotect software that were never released to the public.

    "Oh, man! This disk is driving me crazy, I can't copy it!" Was a frequent lament on QuantumLink.

    And we would smile quietly to ourselves. "Maybe for YOU."

    The SuperSnapShot cartridge ruled. Load an app or a game, go through ALL the dumbass copy protection nonsense, like "what's word 6 in sentence 9 on page 12?" and then configure the app/game, push the button on the cartridge, drop into a menu, and save a bootable RAM image to a floppy.

    NO copy protection and everything is just as you liked. It was also a way to quit a game that had no SAVE level option or when you were about to do something that could be very dangerous (gameplay wise.) Just save to disk and take on the level boss. If you died, no big deal. Run the saved image and try again.

    And if that didn't work, cheat! Drop into the ML monitor, change a few characters, return to the game and not only did you have unlimited arrows, you had, essentially, a bow and arrow machine gun. (Autofire when holding down the Big Red Shiny CANDY LIKE button on the joystick was always useful when leveling up.)

    Although, making the Pac-Man unkillable was considered poor form, all things considered.

  • by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @11:39PM (#31469486)
    Yeah but I was running a ribbon cable to my brother's VIC-20 for the garbage collection and extra 5K heap memory because I couldn't get my dad to buy me three more C-64 machines for a quad-core 32-bit CPU. He kept saying, there's nowhere to plug them in; just wait for the C-128 to come out. I was like "but Daaaad, it only has 8 bits!"

    Cloud computing was really difficult too. There were a bunch of kids in my highschool running BBS systems but you couldn't really store your documents there because you always got busy signals, the 300 baud VIC modem was a POS, and the cloud had nothing but stupid foul-mouthed kids in it anyway.

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990