Lyonsden Blog

Tag - Retro

Network your Commodore 64

I’ve had my 1541 Ultimate II+ cart for around a year now. It’s a fantastic modern addition to my Commodore 64 and one that I certainly wouldn’t ever want to be without. However in all that time I’ve never bothered to explore using its built-in Ethernet port. Well the other day I finally got around to setting it up and am really glad I did too. I thought I’d share my experience in case it can help someone else get more out of their device. Basically this post will explain how to network your Commodore 64   (with a 1541 Ultimate II) to copy your games, music, demos, documents or anything else straight to your 1541 Ultimate II without ever needing to swap USB drives around.

 

Connecting to your network

You may have noticed the red ‘Link Down’ status that appears on screen when you press the menu button on your Ultimate cart. The is basically the built-in network card of the device telling you that it’s not connected to anything. The ‘MAC’ with the 12 Hexadecimal codes along side is the ‘MAC Address’ of your cart in case you need to find it on your network router.

 

Network your Commodore 64

‘Link Down’ Status shown in red

 

All you need to do to network your Commodore 64 is connect it to your router with an [amazon_textlink asin=’B00J3UYNII’ text=’Ethernet cable’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’lyonsden-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’885964d9-fae3-11e8-9619-05a5a6b29c97′]. Providing your router is configured to use DHCP (and by default, pretty much all of them are) your cart should pick up an IP address on your network straight away.

 

Network your Commodore 64

Ethernet cable plugged in. Note the Green link/activity light. This should blink on and off.

 

After you have plugged the cable in you should see a green activity light appear on the device itself. You should also see an IP address appear on the menu screen and the red ‘Link Down’ status should change to a green ‘Link Up’.

 

Network your Commodore 64

‘Link Up’ Confirmation Status and IP address shown

 

FTP Software

So far so good, but it’s still not much use at the moment. To be useful you’re going to need some FTP software on your PC. I’ll use Filezilla as an example as it’s free and easy to use. The principal will be the same regardless of what software you choose to use. (As a side note I normally use Directory Opus which is still going strong – only just for PC’s these days rather than the Amiga). Note, if you are going to download and install Filezilla it’s just the client you want, not the server version. Also make sure you un-tick any boxes during the install to avoid any unwanted ‘bundled extras’ being installed (one of my pet peeves these days). The FTP software is going to allow you to connect to the USB storage device that is plugged in to the 1541 Ultimate II and transfer files across.

 

Network your Commodore 64

Configuring the FTP software to connect to your C64

 

Adding your C64 as a ‘site’

Once you’ve got your FTP software up and running you need to add a new ‘site’ to it (basically your 1541 Ultimate II). Simply got to the ‘File’ menu and select ‘Site Manager’ and then click on ‘New Site’. Give the site a suitable name so you’ll be able to recognise it easily in future. I simply called mine ‘C64’. Now make sure all the various settings below are entered. These have already been entered in the screenshot above.

 

  • Protocol: FTP
  • Host: (this will be the IP address displayed on YOUR C64 screen)
  • Port: (you can leave this blank)
  • Encryption: Only use plain FTP (insecure). (You are only transferring stuff within your own home network so this is not an issue)
  • Logon Type: Anonymous

 

Once you’ve checked that all the above settings are correct, click on ‘connect’. The new site you’ve just created will be saved and it should connect to your Ultimate cart and display something similar to the screenshot below.

 

Network your Commodore 64

FTP software – PC on the left, C64 on the right

 

The top window is basically a scrolling log of the actions performed by the FTP software and is just for info purposes. The two areas highlighted in blue and red above are where you can get stuff done. The left hand side is your PC and the right hand side your C64, or rather the USB drive plugged into your 1541 Ultimate II. The upper window on each side is where you can browse through the directories / folders whilst the lower section shows you the contents of them.

 

How to actually transfer games onto your C64!

To transfer games across to your C64 all you need to do is click through to where they are stored on your PC in the left window, where you want them to go in the right window, and then simply drag and drop them over, it’s that simple.

 

Network your Commodore 64

Files being transfer over FTP

 

In the above screenshot I’ve dragged a bunch of Rob Hubbard SID tunes across from my PC to my 1541 Ultimate II’s USB drive. You can see a log of what is happening in the top window and view the individual files’ transfer progress in the bottom window.

 

Network your Commodore 64

The files on my C64 after being transferred across

 

The file transfers are really fast, taking just a few seconds so I find this a really quick and convenient way of getting new software onto my C64 without constantly faffing about with a flash drive. I definitely won’t be unplugging that USB drive from my 1541 Ultimate anytime soon now!

 

Reservations

One other thing you should probably do is to ‘reserve’ your C64’s IP address on your router. Most routers offer the facility to do this. This will ensure that every time you turn your C64 on it will pick up the same IP. If you don’t, it will likely get a different one each time and you will need to change the connection info in the FTP software.

 

Apparently you can also connect to the 1541 Ultimate using Telnet and use it for stuff life swapping disk images on the fly for multi-disk games. I might explore this in the future but I doubt it would be something I’d use much, unlike transferring files across which I do on a regular basis. Anyway I hope this has helped you to network your Commodore 64. If you have any questions or comments please do get in touch.

Fusion Issue 3

Fusion Issue 3

The latest issue of the relatively new retro/modern gaming mag, Fusion Issue 3 arrived this morning. Had a quick flick through and there’s lots of suitably ‘christmassy’ themed stuff in it to enjoy. The ‘Guide to gifts of Christmas past ‘ looked especially interesting. A great trip down memory lane for any kid that grew up during the 70’s and 80’s. Plenty of other stuff too including a review of the new NeoGeo Mini, a look at some of the best games you can get for the PS Vita and loads more. Definitely looking forward to reading it over the weekend in front of the fire!

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Farming Simulator C64 Edition

Farming Simulator C64 Edition

So here’s my look at Farming Simulator C64 Edition and the various options available if you want to get hold of a copy. Apparently this started life as an April fools joke but took on a life of its’ own as one of the programmers had friends active in the C64 scene.

 

Farming Simulator C64 Edition

Title Screen (on a 1084S monitor)

 

Digital Version

At the moment there are only two ways to get hold of the game in the here and now. The cheapest and by far the quickest is to head on over to the Farming Simulator website and pick up a digital copy of the game for €4.99. Although it states ‘PC Version’ you will actually get C64 software cartridge/disk images that you can run on the included emulator, C64 Mini or on a real C64 via an SD2IEC type device.

 

Farming Simulator C64 Edition

Gameplay screen (1084S monitor)

 

Collector’s Edition

The next method, which will bag you a physical copy of the game, is to purchase the physical ‘Collector’s Edition’ (available now) which includes the C64 Edition on a CD, housed in a 5.25″ Floppy Disk ‘look-alike’ wallet. You can pick this up from [amazon_textlink asin=’B07FV14S8V’ text=’Amazon’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’lyonsden-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’96d22f2c-f719-11e8-9bcc-13e16fc3c1ac’] for £39.99.

Inside you will find the C64 version of the game as shown below

 

Farming Simulator C64 Edition

The 5.25″ Floppy Styled Cardboard CD Wallet

 

At first glance it appears to be a 5.25″ Floppy Disk, but in reality it’s actually a carefully designed cardboard CD wallet. Inside you will get a nicely designed ‘C64 Edition’ CD with a digital version of the game on it along with the necessary emulators to run it on a PC should you wish to do so. There is also a copy of the manual in PDF format, presented in multiple languages.

 

Farming Simulator C64 Edition

Rear of the CD wallet

 

Farming Simulator C64 Edition

The CD sliding out of the “Floppy Disc” wallet

 

Now this might seem like an expensive way to get hold of ‘Farming Simulator C64 Edition’ but you do get a really nice big collectors edition box, 10 stickers, a beanie hat, a DVD containing a ton of tutorial videos, 5 concept art cards, exclusive DLC content, a miniature John Deere tractor, 2 A2 posters and of course the full PC game on DVD for the PC.

 

Farming Simulator C64 Edition

Farming Simulator 19 Collectors Edition Box

 

Farming Simulator C64 Edition

Contents of the Farming Simulator 19 Collectors Edition (Official Image)

 

If you are only interested in the C64 version this might not be the choice for you. However if you’ve got even a passing interest in playing the PC version then this option begins to make a lot of sense.

 

Farming Simulator C64 Edition

Here’s the control setup for the C64 version of the game

 

The C64 Cartridge Version

Finally, if you want Farming Simulator C64 Edition in a physical C64 themed box complete with the game on a proper C64 Cartridge then you can place a pre-order for the game from Protovision. This will also ship with an instruction book and the aforementioned CD version of the game for use with emulators or the C64 Mini.  The cost for this version is €50 plus postage. Granted it’s a lot more and you don’t get the PC version but for collectors this will be a tempting choice. At the time of writing this post they currently have no stock available.

*UPDATE 1 – 9th December – As of this morning they have 12 copies of the game left in stock!

*UPDATE 2 – 18th December – After snagging one of those 12 copies it has now arrived safely so here’s a few pictures of what you get inside. Unlike the PC Collectors Edition this one has been made especially for the C64 and in very limited quantities it would seem!

Inside the box is the same copy of the game on CD as found in the PC collectors edition. There is also a nice little instruction booklet and of course the main event… a proper physical cartridge containing the Farming Simulator C64 Edition game itself.  Needless to say I’m really happy I managed to get my hands on a copy of this!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

*UPDATE 3 – 21st December – Looks like the cartridge version is no longer available to purchase. The listing for it on Protovision’s website has vanished. Not sure exactly when it disappeared.

Happy farming, whichever version you go for!

 

 

 

Eight Bit Magazine

Eight Bit Magazine

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.

 

Eight Bit Magazine

Genesis article

 

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!

 

Eight Bit Magazine

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!

 

Eight Bit Magazine

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.

Freeze 64 Issue 23

Freeze64 Issue 23

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.

 

Amiga Future Issue 135

Amiga Future 135

Plenty of reading material this week as in addition to K&A Plus 11, Amiga Future 135 is also out now. This edition is packed with all the latest news from the entire Amiga scene…

 

Amiga Future 135

Amiga Future 135 News pages

 

…including an in depth look at Gamescom 2018 that took place in Cologne back in August this year.

 

Amiga Future 135

Gamescom 2018 Feature

 

There are also plenty of reviews of both old and new Amiga games including the newly released ‘Extended Collector’s Edition’ of Rocket Ranger.

 

Amiga Future 135

Rocket Ranger Extended Collector’s Edition Review

 

A little late for me personally (having installed this about 6 months ago) but still of great interest, is a detailed review of MorphOS 3.11, the latest iteration of the long running replacement Amiga OS.

 

Amiga Future 135

MorphOS 3.11 Review

 

There’s plenty more to read about besides the few things I’ve highlighted already so if you are interested in finding out more about this long running Amiga magazine take a look here.

K&A Plus Issue 11

K&A Plus Issue 11

This magazine is only published a couple of times a year but is always packed with great content and K&A Plus Issue 11 is no exception. This is probably the biggest magazine both in terms of thickness and content there is for the Commodore range of machines in 2018, packing in a whopping 81 pages and none of them are filled by adverts!

 

K&A Plus Issue 11

Single Button Games & Exploding Fish Reviews

 

This issue has a fairly even split of content between the Commodore 64 and Amiga computers which is fantastic for me as I actively support both formats. There’s news, reviews, tutorials and retrospective articles covering both machines and even some stuff for the Vic 20 and the post Amiga MorphOS and AROS systems.

 

K&A Plus Issue 11

Mini reviews of C64 Racing Games.

 

The star of the whole issue for me is the included (if you pay a little extra for it) 5.25″ Coverdisk featuring a brand new game for the Commodore 64 – ‘Tower of Rubble’. This is the first 5.25″ Coverdisk I have seen since Commodore Disk User ceased publication back in 1991.

 

K&A Plus Issue 11

Tower of Rubble Coverdisk

 

There’s loads of content, far too much to list but some of the highlights for me are: A look into the Spy vs Spy franchise, H. R. Giger’s Dark Seed, reviews of ‘Retro Radio Stations’, an article about the pro’s and cons of modifying/upgrading retro machines and an ‘Amiga in your pocket’ tutorial showing you step by step how to convert a windows tablet into a portable Amiga!!!

 

K&A Plus Issue 11

A look at Dark Seed on the Amiga

 

If you want to find out more, or order yourself a copy, head on over to the Komoda & Amiga Plus website. The magazine is produced in Poland and shipping to the UK only takes a few days.

 

Worthy

Worthy Amiga game

It certainly took quite a while for Worthy to arrive, at least in physical form, but it was well worth the wait. This is the first new (physical) Amiga game I’ve bought in about 25 years! It includes both a CD and Floppy Disk copy of the game plus a digital version too so all bases are covered! It’s an OCS game so will work on the original A500 no problem.

 

Worthy Amiga game

Back of the box

 

I have to say I was really impressed with the physical presentation. The packaging is very faithful to the type used back in the Amiga’s heyday with a large cardboard box and glossy outer sleeve. Inside is the more modern and mundane DVD case that houses the floppy and CD.

 

Worthy Amiga game

The DVD style case inside the big box

 

I won’t bother reviewing the game as there’s plenty of info here but I will say I’m thoroughly enjoying it and it’s great to see new games making an appearance in 2018!

 

Worthy Amiga game

Contents of the DVD case with instruction manual, floppy and CD versions of the game

 

Anyway, here’s one final photo showing the game on a shelf alongside a few of my other Amiga games. It certainly doesn’t look out of place next to its much older forebears!

 

Worthy Amiga game

Worthy next to popular games from the Amiga’s heyday

Zzap 64 Annual 2019

Zzap! 64 Annual 2019

How cool is this, just received the brand new Zzap! 64 Annual 2019 through the post! This really takes me back to my childhood when every Christmas I would get at least one annual in my stocking. I used to love receiving these as they were always crammed with content that I could while away the hours reading in my bedroom. This is no exception, in fact it may be the most jam-packed annual I’ve ever had with nearly 130 pages bursting at the seams with fascinating 64 related articles, reviews and information.

 

Zzap! 64 Annual 2019

Oliver Frey artwork on the cover

 

I backed this project on Kickstarter earlier this year and am so very glad I did. It’s probably one of the quickest (to finish) campaigns I’ve ever backed with the whole thing taking around 6 months from backing to receiving the goods. The cover had been kept under wraps so that it would be a surprise and features original artwork by Oliver Frey. Oliver’s work seems to be popping up all over the 64 scene of late, but needless to say it’s another quality illustration. There’s also a 2019 calendar included that’s packed with more of Oliver’s handywork and I can’t wait to display that on my wall come January.

 

Zzap! 64 Annual 2019

Contents page looks like it’s been lifted straight from an 1980’s copy of Zzap! 64

 

The art style and layout is instantly familiar. I’m delighted to see they’ve revived the little caricatures of the reviewers although they have ‘aged’ them to reflect the fact that these guys are now some 30 odd years older! But then aren’t we all…?

 

Zzap! 64 Annual 2019

Example of some the content

 

It doesn’t just cover stuff from the past though. There are plenty of articles and reviews about the current the Commodore 64 scene including an in depth look at The C64 Mini that released earlier this year. All in all it’s a fantastic read and one of the best projects I’ve backed on Kickstarter so far. If they decide to make another annual next year (which they are already talking about) then I’m all in.

 

Zzap! 64 Annual 2019

The C64 Mini gets an in-depth looking at!

 

Now that the  Kickstarter is over it looks like you can buy the annual directly from the Fusion Retro Books website for £15 although how many extra copies they made over and above the Kickstarter ones I don’t know.

Fusion Issue 2

Fusion Magazine Issue 2

Just received Fusion Magazine Issue 2 in the post. If you’ve not heard of this yet it’s a great little UK produced A5 magazine that covers a mix of retro and current generation gaming.

 

Fusion Magazine Issue 2

Aliens Arcade Game

 

It contains almost 60 pages packed with articles and reviews about games old and new and hardware too. I particularly enjoyed the review of retro joysticks and was glad to see that my favourite joystick of all time (the Zipstick) got a much deserved 9/10 here!

 

Fusion Magazine Issue 2

Retro Joysticks Review

 

There are a great many interesting articles and features in the magazine but I especially enjoyed ‘A Sensible Tale’. This describes how the Amiga Format coverdisk ‘Cannon Soccer’ came to be made. This really took me back to Christmastime living with my parents in the early 90’s. It also brought back very fond memories of getting coverdisks in the age before everything became instantly available over the Internet.

 

Fusion Magazine Issue 2

A Sensible Tale

 

Another great article covering a more recent game was the ‘Last of Us Revisited’. I remember this really pushing my fat PS3 to the limit – the fans used to run at full pelt while playing this game and made my PS3 sound like a vacuum cleaner!

 

Fusion Magazine Issue 2

The Last of Us Revisited

 

This really is a great little magazine and I’ll definitely make a point of subscribing now that they offer this as an option. Anyway if you haven’t yet got your own copy and would like to know more then head on over to the Fusion website.

Freeze64 September Issue out now!

Freeze64

Looking forward to reading this during my lunch break – it’s the September 2018 edition of Freeze64 and as always it’s packed with diverse and interesting C64 content.

All the regular features make a welcome return including the Mouldy Cupboard, Secret Squirrel and Pokes & Codes. In the now pretty regular “We Don’t do Reviews” section there’s a cracking review of the recently released game ‘Yoomp! 64’.

There’s plenty more inside to while away your time including Zzapback with Julian Rignall, a big interview with Karl Hornell, latest news snippets, cheats and a whole lot more.

This fanzine is simply a must buy for anyone with even a passing interest in the Commodore 64 and is well worth £3.99 of anyone’s money. If you’d like to get your very own physical copy (and this fanzine doesn’t do digital copies) then head on over to Freeze64 now!

Hunter’s Moon Remastered

Hunter's Moon Remastered

Nearly a year after backing it, Hunter’s Moon Remastered finally arrived through my letterbox today! This is not a game review, just a quick look at the physical game and what is included.

 

Hunter's Moon Remastered

Hunter’s Moon Remastered – Sleeve Front

 

The game comes on a brilliant white cartridge housed in a clamshell case. The cover features gorgeous artwork by Oliver Frey (the guy that used to do the covers for Zzap!64). There is also a high quality cardboard slipcase for it featuring the same artwork but set against an alternative black background.

 

Hunter's Moon Remastered

Hunter’s Moon Remastered Sleeve Back

 

Packaged with the game are the following extras:

  • A very high quality instruction booklet
  • Snazzy Thalamus bookmark
  • Postcard featuring that Oliver Frey artwork again
  • 2 Thalamus stickers.

 

Hunter's Moon Remastered

The full Hunter’s Moon Remastered package

 

Sadly my C64 is off limits at the moment whilst I redecorate the study so I can’t even load it up and have a go! Needless to say, once my 64 is back in action this will be one of the first things I get stuck into!

 

Hunter's Moon Remastered

Close-up of the Hunter’s Moon Remastered cartridge

 

I believe Protovision will be stocking the cartridge version of the game at some point in the future, whilst a digital version is available now from itch.io.