Category Archives: Uncategorized

Using a LumaFix64 with a RetroTINK 2X-Pro

A couple of years ago I put a LumaFix64 into my PAL C64 and I was quite happy with the results, using a Sony PVM CRT monitor. You can read about that here. It does a good job of virtually eliminating those “jailbars” from the VIC-II output.

But lately, I am not using CRT displays any more, mainly because I just don’t want to devote the real estate to keeping them out. Instead, I’ve been using a RetroTINK 2X-Pro to scale the s-video (via Commodore4Ever AV Breakout) output from my C64s to HDMI.

I decided to add a LumaFIX to one of my NTSC units and do some actual comparisons. I already knew I was happy with what it does for the picture quality on a CRT monitor, but is it worthwhile when using an HD display through a RetroTINK? Here’s the video:

Note: it may be hard to see the jailbar effect clearly if you’re not viewing the 1080p stream.

Continue reading

JiffyDOS and SD2IEC Command Quick Reference Card

Here’s a cheat sheet I printed up because I tend to forget less often used commands for the JiffyDOS DOS wedge. It also has some commands for the SD2IEC for changing and saving the default drive number.

4×6″ Formatted PDF: JiffyDOS_Quick_Reference_Card.pdf

Text file: JiffyDOS Commands.txt Also, the text is wrapped so that the first list of function keys displays nicely on my 1541 Ultimate (and Ultimate 64) file viewer, so this text file can be dropped in the root of the SD card for quick access in the menu.

I printed this out and laminated it. Here are some pics.

 

Continue reading

A PAL C64C, manhandled in transit.

My Quest for a PAL C64 (and a perfect CRT display for it)

Well, “quest” is a little bit of an exaggeration. In reality, I had decided to stop thinking “I wish I had a PAL C64” as I had been for many years, and just get one.

Some background.

For those who may not know, there are significant differences between the video standards of North America (NTSC) and Europe (PAL). These differences translate into incompatibilities between NTSC and PAL Commodore 64s with respect to what software they can correctly run, as each region had its own hardware designed with timings specific to the required video standards. Sometimes the difference is not important, but often it is. When developing my demo last year, I was keenly aware of this, and it can be a real challenge to write timing-sensitive code that works properly on both systems. You can read here for some technical details. But the bottom line is this: If you are using NTSC hardware, like I always have, you have limited support for modern software.

This isn’t a big deal at all if you are running C64 software in an emulator like VICE, but if you are like me, and have a penchant for CRT displays with old hardware, it really is a limiting factor.  Why?

Most of the activity in “the scene” is going on in Europe, where they take advantage of the slower frame-rate and extra CPU cycles PAL-timing gives them.

And frankly, when it comes to retro computer and gaming hardware, there really is no substitute for a genuine cathode ray tube display. Which means: if you want to be able to run a variety of software, especially new software, you need to get a Commodore 64 that was sold in Europe.

So.

I found a seller in Italy who was willing to part with a nice-condition C64C. He took the time to properly pack the unit in an amply over-sized box. I paid for express shipping, and he sent it promptly. About a week later, this arrived at my door.

The box had obviously been set in water and soaked up a lot of it. The USPS claimed it arrived to them in that condition. I was surprised it even made it to me — the shipping label practically fell off when I took the paper masche, I mean box.

Continue reading