I saw this “C64 LCD Cassette Slideshow” whilst browsing through my twitter feed one night a few weeks ago. The moment it caught my eye I knew I had to have one for my man cave. Today it finally arrived and I’m over the moon with it so thought I’d share some photos and info about it.
Slideshow in action – note the timings are greatly sped up in this GIF.
It’s made from a real cassette tape box and has a 4″ LCD panel mounted inside, framed by a Commodore styled inlay. I’m not entirely sure what is driving the screen (and I’m not going to risk breaking it by opening it up) but I suspect it’s probably a Raspberry Pi. The slideshow comes ready to go with ‘over 2500 images of nostalgic games’ according to its’ creator. Each image is on display for around 5 seconds before moving onto the next automatically (my animated GIF has sped up the timings greatly).
It’s mounted on a stylish Commodore themed perspex base that features the iconic Commodore blue and white stripes and the words ‘Commodore 64 1982-1994’. Around the back there is a decent length USB cable which provides power for the device. The cable is permanently attached and incorporates an inline power switch so it can be turned on and off without unplugging the cable which is a useful feature.
Rear view – note the inline power switch on the USB cable
The C64 LCD Cassette Slideshow is completely hand crafted to order but has been completed to a high standard. It would have been nice to have access to some sort of timer facility to have it automatically turn on and off at preset times but that probably would have added to the complexity and cost. At £80 for the 4″ version including postage it’s not a cheap item but I think it’s a very fair price for what I received. There is a 3.5″ version that is £5 cheaper but don’t know why anyone would choose that over the larger screen for the sake of saving a measly £5.
A closer look at the back of the device
The seller makes these for other systems too, not just the Commodore 64. If you are curious and would like to know where to get hold of your own slideshow then you can visit the PlayRetroDesigns Etsy shop here.
Finally here’s a few more photos of some cassette covers…
In this post I’m taking a look at Eight Bit magazine, another new (to me at least) retro computer magazine. I actually ordered these 6 issues 4 months ago as part of a Kickstarter campaign but they took a fair bit longer to arrive than expected. I’ve only had time to read through the first issue so far but things are looking promising. The magazines are well written and interesting to read and feature multiple contributors rather than being written by just one person.
Issue one weighs in at almost 70 pages so there’s plenty to keep you occupied. As the title suggests, the content is spread across all 8-Bit formats. There’s a very interesting and in-depth look at the ‘Genesis’ of gaming. Here they delve into the history of the first arcade machines and home consoles that appeared in the 1970’s and early 80’s. This is a very long (14 pages) and text heavy article, but thankfully the font and colours used in the printing make it easy to read. Having lived through the entire period the article covers I found it to be a great trip down memory lane. I particularly enjoyed reading about long forgotten software companies such as Imagine (which was based in my home city) – as a child I used to dream of getting a job with them and razzing around in a flash car!
Commodore 64 Collectors Guide
Elsewhere in the magazine the article ‘Collectors Guide: The Commodore 64’ caught my eye. This is a brief introduction to the machine, what it can do and some of the most popular peripherals available for it. I hope to see more in depth articles about the 64 in future issues as this one didn’t really tell me anything new. However I think the point of these features is to give non-owners of such systems an idea of what the machine is capable of and what is available for it. The article did hint that they would be looking at GEOS in a future issue so I’m really looking forward to that!
Commodore 64 Collectors Guide
Also in issue one there is a brief (and I do mean brief) look at BASIC programming and machine code. I really hope they expand on this in future issues as I’ve got a strong hankering to get back into programming on the C64 and would love to see some proper tutorials. There’s also an extensive look at the early Apple 8-Bit computers, a quirky computer from Yugoslavia and even a couple of short game reviews. All in all I’m very pleased with this magazine and look forward to getting stuck into the other five issues. I’ll definitely be subscribing to future issues too.
If you would like to find out more information about the magazines or order your own copies then you can visit their webpage here: Eight Bit Magazine.
The latest Freeze64 Issue 23 dropped through my letterbox yesterday. This one features a photo of the late Ben Daglish on the cover rather than the pixel game art that I’ve become so accustomed to. In case you are not aware he was a legend in the C64 music scene and composed some amazing music for many great games including The Last Ninja.
As always there’s plenty to read inside including my personal favourite, a ‘Talkies’ article looking at games that featured speech. I always used to love games with speech – it was just so cool to hear your 64 talk, no matter how scratchy or poor quality it may have been. The fact that they were able to do this with just a few kilobytes of memory still amazes me to this day!
Most of the regular features make a welcome return including Zzapback and a look at new and upcoming games in the Commodore 64 scene.
This fanzine/magazine continues to go from strength to strength and really deserves your support. If you would like to get hold of your very own copy of Freeze64 Issue 23 then take a look here.
This has just arrived in the post – the very first issue of ‘Fusion’ a new gaming magazine that covers everything from old school 8-bit classics right up to the current 4K consoles.
Fusion Magazine – Contents Page
I spotted this on Kickstarter and pre – ordered it – it’s only £3.99 plus postage per issue. It’s A5 in size, really well produced in full glossy colour and contains 52 pages.
Fusion Magazine – Atari VCS Article
There’s a good mix of content and although I’ve not read the whole thing yet the quality of writing of the stuff I’ve actually perused has been great. The Atari VCS article (a project I’ve been following for a long time) particularly rang true. There’s a great review of Hyper Sentinel and even Far Cry 5!
Fusion Magazine – Hyper Sentinel Review
I must confess – at first glance I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t more coverage of retro games. However that was before I’d actually read through everything on offer. There’s a really nice mix of old retro games, brand new ones and a lot of stuff in between. I really liked the spotlight on new games that have a strong retro feel to them. Hyper Sentinel, Horizon Chase Turbo and Celeste for example. Those last two games I’d never heard of before but after reading about them in Fusion I couldn’t wait to add them both to my collection!
I’ve already placed my order for issue 2 and can’t wait for it to arrive. If you’d like to find out more about the magazine or order yourself a copy head on over to their website here.
How cool is this? It’s like being back in the 80’s! Planet X2 is a brand new Commodore 64 game that has just been released by “The 8-Bit Guy” (of YouTube fame) – on 5.25″ Floppy Disk no less! Also included is a cassette tape featuring additional music for the game.
Think this might actually be the first (and therefore only) RTS for the Commodore 64! If you are in Europe you can get hold of a copy here.
Planet X2 Front Cover
Planet X2 Back Cover
Planet X2 Contents