A physical C65 in action

c65

There are some preserved footage of actual Commodore 65 machines out there. This first clip demonstrates some graphics capabilities. Note that you don’t have to specify the unit number when loading from disk.

This clip shows how to use the Commodore 65 in C64 “fast mode”.

Editing code on the Commodore 65

The Commodore 64 and the Commodore 128 uses the same method for editing code. You press enter over a line, and that line is stored the with the index of the entered line number, overwriting any existing code on that with that index. The Commodore 65 has the same machine code monitor as the Commodore 128 (it runs more smoothly because the C65 is much faster than the C128). Also, adding and overwriting Basic code is done in the same way. Editing is probably not, but I am not sure.

On the C128, you just had to make sure you saw the line of code on screen, move the text cursor to it, write something else on top of what is there, and save it by pressing Enter. The C65 does not allow you to fly around with the text cursor over the screen. I loved the fact that you could move the cursor to any position, but it was tricky to collect user input if the user suddenly felt the urge to move away and type something unexpected at an arbitrary location. Perhaps they were to implement some command to do this, or perhaps they planned to allow the cursor to move freely. I don’t know.

I have found some great improvements. Here, I have added 4 lines of code. It displays three lines of text and makes a sound. I use the LIST command to display the whole Commodore Basic 10 program.

Already on the C128 you could use arguments to list parts of the program, and change the line numbers throughout the program using the RENUMBER command. But on the C65, you can find out the line number of certain line of code using the FIND command.

The above image shows the C65 telling me where the word HEJ can be found in my program. Also, I can use the CHANGE command to search and replace text. Let’s say I want to change the notes I want the C65 to play, I can use CHANGE to do this. The C65 asks for each search hit before changing.

Hope to get back to the lovely world of Commodore in the future.

The Commodore 65

This is truly one of those machines you really want to own. The Commodore 65 (or C64DX) never made it to the market, probably because of the huge success of the Commodore Amiga. But what a machine it is.

Better graphics than the Amiga, 128 Kb of RAM (could be expanded 8 Mb) and a Basic interpretator for Commodore Basic 10. Commodore Basic 10 is sort of the same that the Commodore 128 has (Commodore Basic 7) but well improved with added support for mouse programming and genlocking (that is adding graphics to video).

The most amazing feature of the C65 must be that it had two SID chips for sound. This gave the machine 6 channels of fat analogue stereo sound. Like the C64, but more.

There are (illegal) ROM dumps circulating the Internet, and I sometimes get it to run without crashing my PC. I hope to get back to this soon enough.