Tag Archives: commodore

Retro computer museum in a cabinet

31 May

I finally found some time to get my collection out of the boxes, they still need a clean up or a retro bright treatment to make them a bit whiter again.


I try to collect the early eighties 8-bit microcomputers, still missing some essential hardware of that time:

– Apple II


– Acorn ..

– Oric Atmos

– Dragon

– Jupiter ACE

That last one, recently had the whole brand on sale at ebay for 10000 pound, if I had the money, … euromillions please !!! See http://www.thejupiterace.co.uk/

If I find some place in another cabinet I can display my collection of early 8/16 bit cartrdige based consoles, for the time being they are still in the boxes…

I’m becoming like my wife using closet space for retro stuff and she collects… dresses, shoes…. ­čÖé



Hello again VIC or should I say VC-20 ?

9 Feb

I recently purchased a Commodore VIC-20 again, yes again, my first one I bought one here in Belgium in a local photo shop, must have been 1984 I realise now.


I think it was just a year later after I had bought a Sinclair ZX81, the VIC  was all what the ZX was not, lots of colour, sound chip, more memory (5K) and the price over here was just a little more than the ZX, I must have paid 7500 BEF for it.

Back to the future, luckily I won the bidding over a VIC-20 on a secondhand website. The VIC-20 was in it’s original box and all orginal included accessories were in mint condition. But I remarked some differences with my original VIC which was probably a Japanese model while this one was certainly destined for the German marked. Power supply was marked as VC-20, this is the name that the VIC was marketed in Germany as Volks Computer.

So in mint condition, but does it works, yes, the red power light flashed on and the VIC welcome screen was shown on screen….

For more technical info about the Commodore VIC-20, visit the wikipedia site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vic-20 it has extensive section on the VIC.

And welcome back VIC to my collection.

Bye bye Jack

13 Apr

The popular site engadget brought me the sad news, Jack Tramiel the founder of Commodore Buisiness Machines died on April 9th.

Thanks for the VIC20, C64 …

Original post: http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/09/commodore-founder-jack-tramiel-dies/

Connecting old school joysticks to the Arduino and Gameduino

30 Dec

So you’ve got some old school joystick with a DB9 connector lying around, time to connect it an Arduino board.

The pin out’s for the joystick connector (male connector) I took from the original Atari pin out, as we see later on this pin layout is the most generic one and works with joysticks from Atari, Commodore, Sega, Quickshot, …

Pin’s 1 to 4 are up/down/left/right

Pin 6 is the fire button

Pin 8 is the GND

If you need to support more button’s then there’s some bad news every manufacturer seems to did his own extra button wiring, so for simplicity I took a one button configuration. We simply need to connect these pins to the the Arduino digital pins. I choose pins 3 to 7, you can choose other configurations but for me it was more easier to choose 5 pins next to each other as I reused an old serial switch box to recuperate the DB9 male connector on it, so I simply cut the wires from it.

Next I soldered the wires comming from the male DB9 to the  pins as in the picture. Pins 7 -> 3 Up/Down/Left/Right/Fire

A soldered 1 pin to the GND wire.

Then it was time to test this setup, I used an Arduino Decimilla for the test, with a small sketch.

 Joystick test Sketch

 Reads the digital direction and button state from Atari compatible joystick.
 Some code reused from the Sparkfun joystick shield test sketch.
//Variables for the buttons
char buttonUp=7, buttonDown=6, buttonLeft=5, buttonRight=4, buttonFire=3;
void setup(void)

 pinMode(buttonUp, INPUT);
 digitalWrite(buttonUp, HIGH); //Enable the pull-up resistor
pinMode(buttonDown, INPUT);
 digitalWrite(buttonDown, HIGH); //Enable the pull-up resistor

 pinMode(buttonLeft, INPUT);
 digitalWrite(buttonLeft, HIGH); //Enable the pull-up resistor
pinMode(buttonRight, INPUT);
 digitalWrite(buttonRight, HIGH); //Enable the pull-up resistor

 pinMode(buttonFire, INPUT);
 digitalWrite(buttonFire, HIGH); //Enable the pull-up resistor 

 Serial.begin(9600); //Turn on the Serial Port at 9600 bps
void loop(void)
 Serial.print(digitalRead(buttonUp)); //Read the value of the button up and print it on the serial port.
 Serial.print(digitalRead(buttonDown)); //Read the value of the button down and print it on the serial port.
 Serial.print(digitalRead(buttonLeft)); //Read the value of the button left and print it on the serial port.
 Serial.print(digitalRead(buttonRight)); //Read the value of the button right and print it on the serial port.
 Serial.println(digitalRead(buttonFire)); //Read the value of the button fire and print it on the serial port.

 //Wait for 100 ms, then go back to the beginning of 'loop' and repeat.

Then I did  some testing with joysticks and gamepads I had lying around:

Quickshot standard, original from my C64 works exactly like the Atari.

Atari joystick

Atari gamepad with button 1 & 2 both buttons trigger the same fire button but can be wired different to get both working.

Sega Master System gamepad, only button 1 works.

Sega Mega Drive gamepad, only button B works.

We can conclude that all support the directional buttons and fire button but the extra button’s are a different story maybe for another blog post ?

Finally I hooked the joystick up to my Uno/Gameduino setup, that’s why I didn’t used pin 2 as it’s used by the Gameduino.

I remapped the pins in the Gameduino Asteroids sketch and the whole thing runs perfectly. Although the Asteroids game doesn’t use the fire button.

The Prince Of Persia released for the Commodore 64/128

29 Nov

After all those years finally someone made a port for the C64.

I guy MrSid ported the Apple II ┬ácode not from source but from a rom dump… respect for this.

You can find his development blog here


De nieuwe Commodore 64

25 Dec

Commodore USA is de licentie houder van de Commodore merknaam en maakt onder deze licentie all-in-one pc’s.

Zo is er een pc gepland met het uiterlijk van de originele C64 maar intern bevat deze oa een Intel atom chip en grafische nvidea chipset.


In het opstart scherm zou je de mogelijkheid krijgen om in C64 mode te gaan en al je klassieke C64 games in emulatie te spelen ook andere platformen zoals VIC-20 en C16 zouden worden ondersteund.

Nu nog afwachten of deze pc werkelijk in productie gaat, prijskaartje voorlopig onbekend…

Het zou in ieder geval een leuk kerst geschenk voor onder de kerstboom geweest zijn.

Prettige Kerstfeesten !!!

Vintage Gamer

Commodore Amiga wordt 25 lentes

11 Sep

Ongeloofelijk het lijkt nog maar een paar jaar geleden dat we met deze classic mochten spelen. De Amiga ontstond in 1985 en was de laatste homecomputer die het legendarische Commodore uitbracht. Onlangs vond ik een leuke artikelreeks over de geschiedenis van de Amiga via de Ars Technica site. Helaas moet je op de site nogal wat zoeken om alle afleveringen te vinden, hier vind je een epub boek dat je via Adobe digital edtions of andere digitale reader (ipod, android phone, ..) kan lezen.

(De video waarvan sprake is in het boek vind je op youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRI7hHwiRxk , de Andy Warhol video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oqUd8utr14&feature=related)

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