Commodore Free Magazine
Issue 24 October 2008
Free to download magazine Dedicated to Commodore Computers
Available as Text, Html, PDF, SEQ and Commodore 64 D64 disk image


Readers Comments

PRESS PLAY ON TAPE competition winner


LLAMASOFT - The Dromedary Years Part 2
Raymond Computer Store
Hypersid sound module

In the beginning part 9

Interview with Raymond Bryan (Raymond Computer Store)
Hypersid Development team

Commodore Computer club Membership form
Commodore Computer club Membership Club rules
Commodore Computer club Membership Club F.A.Q

I am sure I mentioned this before but as it happened again and I think the comments made prove a point I thought I would repeat myself.

Recently I was watching an old Doctor who series on DVD, well ok the dvd was new but the Doctor who series was from some time ago, for any Doctor who fans it was the pilot episode called an unearthly child nothing unusual there, I know many Commodore fans are also SCI-FI fans. My wife came in the room looked at the Tv and said something like "how can you watch these old programmes", they aren`t even in colour. I gazed up looked back at the Tv and though "your absolutely right its in black and white The point here is a good program is a good program, I was so engrossed I didn`t notice the program was in black and white and this is my point, although long winded in explanation.

I know games manufacturers have deadlines and programmers have time limits etc but I have still to find anything that I get hooked on as much as some of the old 8-bit games. I know some were samey and we can all be accused of not putting in 100% as I am sure many readers notice sometimes, Issues of Commodore Free are rushed, only scanned quickly for errors.

So what is a good game? What makes a good program? What makes a good piece of music? What has all this got to do with Commodore Free magazine? Well the answer is "I don`t know" I presume if I knew all these answers I would be a very rich man. I have had a thought but don`t have the knowledge or contacts` here is the idea and remember its copyrighted to me so if you make vast sums of money, you need to send me commission

Design a game on an 8-bit system and give the game away for free, monitor the downloads and create a blog for comments from users, find the best game ie the game receiving the most downloads and comments, then license or convert the game to every and any other platform and charge the standard fee, so convert to mobile, playstation x-box etc. This will ensure its already a classic and a buzz has been created for the game, as it was an 8-bit game, the format change to mobile phone should not present any problems (although I am not a programmer so its more of a guess) Maybe we could recreate the hey day of programming (to my mind) when people who were just ordionary people decided to write games and even start there own companies, names springing to mind are Tony Crowther and Jeff Minter

Well that`s my thoughts, I think the main element of a game is the "gameplay" graphics sound don`t matter to me, heck how many people have played rolpay games where its just a dice and a piece of notepaper to record scores, yep I am guilty to that, although I cant see it as a crime, imagination can create any image you like any sound and it costs nothing. So where is this leading us. Well in the words of the tv presenter this leads us neatly into the news section of Commodore Free for no real reason other than it`s the next page


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Readers Comments

From: Lorenzo Tonanni (in Italy)
Subject: Commodore Free
To: Commodore Free Magazine


I'm a C64 & Commodore user from the 70-80's. and I've discovered Commodore Free magazine. I found the magazine very interesting! I live in Italy, You know surely that there are a very large number of Commodore fans. I think it would be Wonderful to share your magazine in other languages, like Italian for example...Do You think is a good idea? I can offer my collaboration in this...

Lorenzo Tonanni
Pisa, Italy


Unfortunately I only speak English, so its impossible for me to create another language version of the magazine. Also because I only speak English its impossible for me to check the content; I wouldnt know if the translation was accurate,

However I would however welcome other versions of the magazine in different languages Spanish and German especially. I can trial an issue if you wish, and see what feedback comes from users, what version would you be able to produce a PDF or text issue?

Many thanks for your comments, you realise though it is a large amount of work translating and checking magazines :-)

Best regards

I realise that English may not be everyones preferred language of choice but as this is the only language I can write and speak in (sometimes with grammatical errors and spelling may not be to everyone else`s standard) If I had a choice I would prefer someone to proof read my editing and get Commodore Free in English to a very high standard rather then branching out into multiple languages. I realise that this isn`t possible without other readers help, and that many readers do not have the time to devote to proofreading and its commitments preferring rather just to read the magazine, let me say though that without readers there would be no point creating a magazine, so even readers have a valid input to its creation.

However, as a reader you may like to send the odd link or news item, that maybe I missed during the magazine production, or suggest someone in the Commodore community for an interview with.

Back to the language versions,
I know for example many websites are in existence that translate text sites into other languages (you will need to search for these but websites like bablefish and even Google can translate text to some extent), this was the main motivation In producing a text and later a html version of the magazine, hoping to obtain more reader base from international readers, who dont speak or read English, So If you feel the commitment to translate Commodore free into other languages than feel free to send me an issue and I will (if web space permits) host this version of the magazine, lets try it as a test, although I realise that it takes a large effort and time dedication to translate technical text so I dont expect a great number of people who will write in.

Also talking about writing in what happened to all the readers comments, you guys nothing to say?

Commodore Free

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64JPX - JoyPad eXpander
for Commodore and Atari compatible systems

64JPX is a small interface designed to rejuvenate the way with which you play your favourite games on the Commodore or Atari system.

Whilst joysticks were all the range in the 70s and 80s,the 1990`s saw a move towards joypad style controllers with more buttons and ergonomic feel. 64JPY not only allows you to safely connect Sega Genesis/MegaDrive 3 and 6 button controllers to your retro system, it enhances game play with a number of on-the-fly selectable play modes.

64JPX will give your favourite old games a new lease of life, and may actually make you play better!

Note: an SNES version of 64JPX is also under development.

-Simple to use plug-in smart interface
-Safely connect Sega MegaDrive/Genesis 3 and 6 button joypad, and other controllers
-Enhances game play with a number of on-the-fly selectable gaming enhancement modes
-Works out-of-the-box with Commodore, Atari and other compatible systems

-Provides diode protection to Commodore and Atari systems
-Provides signal conversion from Sega joypads (via adaptors) Provides connection to other controllers such as PC Wheels, flight yokes, 8-button joypads, and more...

-default: A=fire, B=rapid fire1, C=rapid fire2
-racing: A=fire, B=up, C=down
-waddle: A=fire, B=waddle1, C=waddle2
-creep: A=fire, B=creep left, C=creep right

Additional information can be found in the preliminary user manual which can be downloaded here

64jpx Update
The PCB has gone out for manufacture. The final PCB ended up being very similar in size to the prototype shown.
Now I need to finalise orders for the parts; the micro being the most expensive - and so I am hoping to avoid ending up with a huge stockpile of them!

Plans are to support a variety of versions based on feedback. Currently on the list to offer are:

-Sega only
-Sega/PCanalog combo
-Sega/SNES/NES combo
-SNES/NES enhanced combo

I was surprised by the interest in the older NES controller since it doesn't have many extra buttons, but due to the interest I have decided to support the controller.

Note: SNES/NES controllers have a specialised connector. The cheapest hack is to splice a DB9 connector into the original controller cable. Instructions will be supplied for this, but will require some soldering skills. eBay has SNES/NES extension cables for sale. I have a limited number which I can also provide as pre-made pin-adaptors on a first-come-first- served basis.

I will be working on finalising the software whilst I await the components from suppliers. Last chance for some brainstorming if people want extra enhancement functions!

A dual-ported version worked out to be more expensive than two individual interfaces, so has been dropped.

Website has been updated with some extra pictures.

Discount pricing will be given to those that pre-order by 28 Aug 2008. The early pre-order information you supply will help me estimate and budget for the parts that need to be purchased.

The Aztec C Website
The Aztec C Website has been updated and now has its own domain:

The history has been revised and since Harry Suckow (who holds the Copyrights) has given permission for the site the conditions of use have been revised and clarified. More updates and complete revamping and expansion of the site are planned in the near future, but this update and a dedicated domain was long overdue. The site can still be accessed through the previous links as well, since both point to the same server. Also getting theirown domains are:

These sites are related to Aztec C in a big way and will also see major changes and expansion in the near future.
Have Fun! Bill Buckels

PS - any of you "Philadephia Lawyers" who have made uncharitable comments about the Aztec C site's legitimacy and my own as well in this effort can now return to normal programming.

Programming protection manual
I found a book called "Program protection manual for the C-64 Volume I" by TN Simstad. I have two questions:
- The book mentions a floppy disk. Is anyone willing to share the D64 of this with me?
- "Volume I" implies that there is a volume 2. Can anybody confirm this and, even better, share a PDF of it with me?

I wish, but it's unlikely a part 2 was every written. I remember I read about this underground pubblication around 1987 in mags when did my first steps about game cracking and drooled at the idea of getting a copy of this "phantom" book. :D Now I found that contains nothing more than I have learned by myself, just had to spend years to collect all these infos ;) On my turn I'm willing to share the PDF of this book. was already posted here and it's hosted there:

ppm1.pdf 37.9 MB
ppm1_36.pdf 3.63 MB

C64 Coding: IRQ Coding Tutorial
Using the Monitor feature of "Action Replay Version 6" Cartridge

Here is a nice tutorial on how to code an IRQ (Interrupt Request) for the Commodore 64
Here is the code copied from the Program for people without access to YouTube, and has been documented by the creator and checked to ensure my typing was accurate. The Creator has also added some comments about how to use action replay and has turned into a mini tutorial in its own right.

On the you tube video; the tutor loads a file using action replay fast loader this is a music PRG file, action replay reports the memory location of the file, Here is a note from the You tube IRQ coding creator "Conrad" who describes each line of the program

This is a simple tutorial, taking the reader through the creation of a simple IRQ music player. This player will run under interrupt outside of BASIC or of any other assembler programs, leaving your machine free for other tasks.

Level type: Novice
In this example, we will the use ACTION REPLAY cartridge (particularly version 4-6 or you can use the MMC Replay version) to allow programming with a quick and dirty monitor and dissembler.

Make sure that the music file you use is NOT a .SID file, but a standard .PRG file.

1.) From start-up, Go into FASTLOAD mode on the Action Replay menu by pressing (F7).

2.) Load a music file with the start at address of $1000 (4096 decimal) making sure that the init address is $1000 and the play address is $1003. To check this, use a decent SID player on Windows like SidPlay2/w to check the technical information of the .sid file.

3.) When the file is loaded with the Action Replay fast-loader, it will display the end address of the file, you need to keep a note of this address for use later in this tutorial.

4.) Open up the monitor by typing the command "MON" and then press return. On the first line within monitor mode, type "A $0F00" and press return, this will start assembling at the memory location $0F00

5.) Enter the following code (excluding the comments)

  SEI         ; Set the interrupt flag, disabling interrupts 
              ; needs to be done or the cpu will crash during
              ; execution of an IRQ set-up

  LDA#$37     ; For this example tutorial, make sure the     
  STA$01      ; Kernal is enabled by configuring the mem config register.

  LDA#$00     ; Initialise music by loading A with zero (song
  JSR$1000    ; number for most players) and call the address.

  LDA#$01     ; Set raster IRQ compare flags, needed during
  STA$D01A    ; and IRQ execution.
  STA$D019    ;

  LDA#$7F     ; Set CIA register bits to check for IRQ
  STA$DC0D    ; interrupt during each frame.
  LDA$DC0D    ; Latch $DC0D register.

  LDA#$0F     ; Set the IRQ vector addresses with the address
  STA$0315    ; of the interrupt execution program. This example is
  LDA#$30     ; memory location $0F30. $0315 stores the most
  STA$0314    ; significant byte, where $0314 stores the least.

  LDA#$68     ; Set target interrupt raster line. This will     
  STA$D012    ; be the raster position when an interrupt is detected.

  LDA#$1B     ; Set gfx mode to text view and MSB of raster to
  STA$D011    ; zero.

  CLI         ; Clear Interrupts

  RTS         ; Return from Subroutine (back to point of caller)

  LDA$D012    ; Check the raster line is equal or over the     
  CMP$D012    ; target raster line before continuing, BNE$0F33  
              ; branching back if not equal. "$0F33"           
              ; represents the jump address.

  DEC$D020    ; Decrease border colour by 1
  JSR$1003    ; Call music play address to play music each frame.

  INC$D020    ; Increment border colour this will show a change 
              ; in the border colour and show how many         
              ; raster lines are used in the music player

  LDA#$01     ; Reset Raster irq flag to run another raster       
  STA$D019    ; IRQ check at the frame.

  JMP$EA31    ; Jump to Kernal routine that loads registers to       
              ; original states and returns from interrupt.

5.) To get the start address of this program in decimal, type "N $0F00" to take note of the decimal output, which in this case is 3840.

6.) To save this assembler program, type the following:

.S "IRQ MUSIC PLAYER",8,$0F00,$???? (where "$????" equals the end address of the music you loaded previously. The program will then be saved to disk.)

7.) Exit the monitor by typing "X" to return to basic.

8.) Type "SYS 3840" to start the assembly program we have entered. To stop the IRQ from running, hold "RUN/STOP" and press "RESTORE".

Spectrum VIC20 Emulator

- Full 65C02 emulation
- Base memory + 3K RAM expansion
- High resolution graphics mode
- Approximate colour mapping to VIC palette
- 4 channel sound (bass/alto/soprano/noise)
- Mapped keyboard and Kempston joystick input

The emulator runs at 1/10th the speed of a real Vic 20 and is actually a port of the SAM Coupé emulator available from here

SAM Coupé version Vic 20 Emulator
Full 65C02 emulation
Base memory + 3K RAM expansion
High resolution graphics mode
16 colour VIC palette
4 channel sound (bass/alto/soprano/noise)
Full keyboard and joystick input
Running speed is around 1/7the the speed of a real machine

CCS64 V3.6

CCS64 V3.6 has been released and can be downloaded from here
The following bug-fixes/enhancements have been made:
- FIX: To fix an array over-flow error in the re-implemented collision-detection routine, which meant that collisions at the right-hand side of the emulated screen were not being detected properly.
- FIX: To re-implement the DirectX drawing routines, using off-screen graphical buffering, due to some graphics drivers being poorly-implemented, causing low frame rates to be observed.
- FIX: Corrected the C64 character display of the D64 image file title.
- FIX: Corrected some minor T64 image filename display issues.
- ADD: Experimental automatic detection of joystick ports in use. (So the user can use the cursor keys for Joysticks in Port 1 and/or Port 2 and still use the cursor keys normally in BASIC. Joystick inputs are only triggered when the C64 program actively checks for it. Works OK for most games.)
- ADD: To make the Graphics Filter option "Scale" work with higher screen resolutions.

Cloanto Releases Amiga Forever 2008 "RP2"
Announces C64 Forever

Cloanto released this week Amiga Forever 2008 "RP2", the latest version of the award-winning Amiga preservation, emulation and support suite for Windows and other platforms, and a first batch of 10 games in the new RP2 format. Both the RP2 update and the new games are a free download for current users.

Amiga Forever 2008, the most significant release in the Amiga Forever series, already set new references in usability while more than tripling the featured content and providing easy access to a universe of free downloads. The "RP2" update (from RetroPlatform Player, the technology used by Amiga Forever) adds support for the new RP2 file format and content delivery, recognition and configuration framework.

RP2 is a simple and standards-compliant wrapper format, essentially a ZIP archive containing one or more disk image files and an XML manifest. Full information is being shared with download sites and other partners. Does the emulation world really need a new format? Well, RP2 does not aim to replace the existing disk image files: there will always be ADFs, etc. Cloanto's project involving automatic identification of disk images and automatic configuration of the emulation system also remains ongoing, and will soon flow into RP2. The new format aims to solve another aspect, i.e. how to easily download, organize and play sets of multiple disks, and treat each game as a single file, just as users do with MP3s. Today, ZIP archives can be downloaded from games sites, but they still won't play automatically. ADFs might do that (with Amiga Forever they already do), but this wouldn't work with games that need more than one disk image. That's where RP2 aims to deliver, making playback of an .rp2 Amiga game file as simple as playing an .mp3 music file: one file, one game, nothing else to remember or configure. And users will be free to rename or reorganize the files, while existing investment in Amiga disk images will be preserved by means of automated conversion options.

Amiga Forever is still far from perfect, and we know that. Thanks to the precious support of our customers, we keep working on other fronts, which include:

- Merge the current heuristic configuration logic with the autoconfiguration library
- Make it possible to create, edit and share configurations
- Make it easier to add or remove content from the player lists (Games, Demos, etc.)
- Improve online search
- New partnerships

The RetroPlatform player and content framework were designed from the beginning to be modular and platform-neutral. The Amiga alone, while full of memories and passion, remains a risky "niche" for a software house. In order to achieve better stability and growth potential for the project as a whole, we decided to support a second platform which we all love and know well from our past. This means that Amiga Forever will soon get a little 8-bit brother (or sister), to be named C64 Forever. More information will be released soon at

Your Amiga Forever Team


Amiga Forever Home Page


Premium Edition Box Shots

New Features

Quick Tips for Upgraders

RP2 Format Information and First 10 Sample Games

Adding or Removing Content

Amiga Forever Cataloging Effort Reaches 10K Milestone

8 Bit Weapon`s Commodore 64 Remix album "Confidential 2.0"
5 years in the making, 8 Bit Weapon`s Commodore 64 Remix album "Confidential 2.0" is now available with 5 bonus songs and all tracks completely Remastered! The album is available as a digital album in FLAC and MP3 (note the "whole album" download), but 64 limited edition signed and numbered copies in a 5.25" disk sleeve are available too.

Track Listing:
Times of Lore Intro (Remix)
Neuromancer Ending (Warhol Edit)
M.U.L.E. (Bitblaster Mix)
Inspector Gadget (GOGO Mix)*
Crazy Comets (Orbital Decay Mix)
Chimera (Miles Mix)
Spy vs Spy II (Drunk n` Basement Mix)
Bards Tale II - Sanctuary Score (Ybarras Mystic Mix)
Defender of the Crown (Royalty Remix)
Movie Monsters Game (Disco Terror Mix)
Commodore C64 (Bit Blitz Mix)
Boulder Dash (Dubby Dirt Mix)*
Acidgroove (Orchestral Mix)
Arkanoid (Bonham Beat Mix)*
Mars Saga (MrJetlands Slow Jam Mix)
Defender of the Crown (On the Romance Tip) *
Times of Lore Title (Epic Hendrix Mix)

* Previously Unreleased
Get your copy here:

IDE64 Information
On Sat, Aug 30, 2008 at 4:33 AM, Ferenc Veres wrote: on the IDE mailing list

Although it has not been announced on this list yet!
Josef Soucek attended the Hungarian 8bit meeting (Arok Party) last weekend, he and Soci presented the new IDE64 V4.1 card and sold a small amount on the party. The IDE64 has a Clock Port, where you can connect an MP3 player and an Ethernet card from the Retro Replay cartridge, which has the same clock port.

The IDE64 has a USB connector and ideserv already supports pclink transfer over this Usb connection. the Ide64 has 128kb Flash memory. Soci said, he will start using this feature when he has more time for developing the IDE DOS. I am not sure what will happen to 64KB Flash owners, I hope there will be some support. (I asked after the presentation, but the answer was uncertain.) It's Version 4.1 anyway, not V4. That version number was skipped.:-)

We need to ask Josef about who will sell the device and when, But I did see the card in action and it worked at the officially presentation of the Arok. party:-)


IDE64 V4.1
Four years after the IDE64 V3.4 was release, the IDE64 Project staff comes up with a new IDE64 device.
IDE64 V4.1 is the long awaited successor to the IDE64 V3.4 built using present-day technology.

The new IDE64 can be used with the variety of up-to-date or archaic devices, this makes the IDE64 V4.1 the most versatile peripheral device for Commodore 64. The device supports Hard Disks, CDROMs, DVDs, ZiP drive, LS-120, CompactFlash (CF) and more. Contrary to the successor that supported only 2 devices, the IDE64 can serve three devices in the same time. When used with CF, IDE64 doesn't need any additional power supply, CF has a low power consumption (including IDE64 approx. 140mA). And Of course the IDE64 can be used with standard ATA hard disk drives or CD/DVD ROMs together with a CF or without CF option.

Short information about IDE64 history and presen
First IDE64 controller V1.1 this was publicly available in December 1997, but development process goes back to 1994 when the first experiments began. Until now there have been four major updates. Together with the hardware, operating system and utilities contained in the cards the 'firmware' has been continually developed. Firmware updates are released freely and users are able to update the card and take the benefits of new features and bug fixes. Beside the IDE64 native and DOS file system support the IDE64 contains a freezer function and a Machine Code Monitor and the stunning File Manager application.

The current IDE64-DOS V.90 is very mature, completely reworked from scratch and offers many new features including support of partitions, relative files, large capacity media and together with the redesigned IDE64 architecture offers incredible speed, as an a example this enables users to stream hi-resolution video at the 25 fps! See 'Rush'
created by Singular Crew for Console/Real Wild compo at Breakpoint 2008.

The IDE64 is compatible with alternative operating systems, GEOS and WiNGS the same as hardware SuperCPU and RAMLink. For real-time data interchanging between C64 (IDE64) and PC, IDE64 offers built-in USB 1.1 / USB 2.0 PC-Link system. Additional peripherals can be connected to IDE64 using the IDE64 proprietary ShortBUS or 'Amiga Clock Port'. DUART - industrial designed dual port RS-232 card and 10Mbit Ethernet card ETH64 (Contiki drivers are available) and much more.

More info on the IDE64 page soon.

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Raymond Computer Store

The Store
Raymond Computer began in the mid 1980s as Jack's Computer Shack in Spring Lake Park, MN. After several years of operation there the store was moved to a location on Johnson St. in N.E. Minneapolis, MN. In the early 1990s the store was moved to its first location at 898 Raymond Ave. in St. Paul, MN. Not long after the move Jack Turner, the original owner, sold the store to Ray Bryan, the current owner. In 1995 the opportunity arose to move to the store's current location at 795 Raymond Avenue.

During its entire existence the store has supported Commodore and Amiga computers and continues to do so today. In the process of doing business today we have expanded into service of both DOS based PCs and the Macintosh computers. We also will do training in computer skills in both a one-on-one and group settings.

Our Staff

Ray Bryan, Owner
Ray collected most of his electronics training from the U.S. Navy, but admits to periods of destructive experimentation on various old electronic items that came his way during his early youth. Guess you could call it the hands-on part of his training. Ray has been a long time Commodore user from the mid 1980s on. Ray gained a huge part of his practical Commodore experience through creating several computer installation art pieces culminating in one interactive, inter-media installation art piece he created _The_Dao_and_Zen_of_Metal_Art_and_Computer_Music_ shown at Wilensky Arts in 1991. Ray is a past Vice President of the Minnesota Commodore Users Association (MCUA) and is currently a member of the Twin Cities A.M.I.G.A. User Group.

Jack Sheldon, Service
Jack has been involved in electronics for almost 50 years. Jack worked for over twenty years at Control Data as a test tech and in manufacturing. In his early years he worked in both commercial television and broadcast radio, helping build KNXR FM Stereo in Rochester, MN. Currently Jack works for the St.Paul Public Schools as a computer technician as well as the Service Department at Raymond Computer. Jack is a past co-chair of the Twin Cities Osborne Computer Group (TCOG). First licensed in the mid 1950s as K0PSI, Jack now holds the call KB0QIK and enjoys poking around on both 2 meters and 70cm. You can often find him on the 3M 2 meter repeater.

Others, Who Support Us
We Must take a minute to thank both of our families who have made it possible for us to keep Raymond Computer moving forward. They also have served when drafted for that special project when we have needed them. We also need to thank the many members of our Raymond Computer extended family who have given of their time and experience when we have needed them. Without you all we would not be here!

Raymond Commodore Amiga
795 Raymond Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55114
(651) 642 9890 voice
(651) 642 9891 fax

Raymond Computer is a full service computer store specializing in sales and service of both the Commodore and Amiga computers. Raymond Computer store also provide software that is new, used, and consignment for the Commodore and Amiga computers. We can also special order items that might not have in stock. Special orders generally take 5-8 days provided our supplier has the item(s) you want in there stock.

How To Find Us...
The Easiest Way -
If you know where the original KEY's Restaurant on Raymond Ave. is located we are 8 or 9 doors north of them. If not, then read on below to find your way to the store.

If You're Coming From The North -
Take I35W South to where it joins with Hwy 36 and Hwy 280. Take Hwy 280 South looking for the exit for Territorial Road and University Ave. Take this exit; when you reach the top of the ramp you will be at Territorial Road at the West end of the bridge over Hwy 280. Take a left on to Territorial Road and drive East 2 blocks to the stoplight. This is Raymond Ave. crossing at right angles to you. Turn right. We are the third door from the corner at 795 Raymond Ave.. There is parking behind our building reached by a driveway along the South side of our building. Park along the fence.
If You're Coming From The East -
Take I94 West as though you were heading for Minneapolis. After you pass under Snelling Ave. start watching for the Cretin-Vandalia exit. Take the Cretin-Vandalia exit and at the stop at the top of the ramp turn right and go North to University Ave. Turn left on University and drive West to Raymond Ave. There is a First Bank on the corner of Raymond. Turn right on Raymond Ave. and drive North toward the first stoplight. We are 3 doors South of the light on your left at 795 Raymond. There is parking behind our building reached by a driveway along the South side of our building. Park along the fence.

If You Are Coming From The South -
There are two ways to reach us from the South. If you are coming from the South up I35E come North to I94 and get on I94 headed West then follow the directions for coming from the East.

If you are coming from the South up I35W come North to I94 and get on I94 headed West then follow the directions for coming from the West.

If You Are Coming From The West -
Get to I94 and head East. You'll come past the U of M exits and cross the Mississippi River and the next exit is for HWY 280 and you want to take it. BTW - It exits from the left lane so you want to be sure to move over. So, take the Hwy 280 exit and watch for the exit for University Ave. and Territorial Rd. Take this exit. You'll come to the first stoplight which is Franklin Ave. Straight ahead one block North is a second light which is University Ave. Go straight North through both lights and you will come to a stop sign. This is Territorial Road. Turn right and go to the first stoplight. This is Raymond Ave. Turn right, we are 3 doors South of the light at 795 Raymond Ave. There is parking behind our building reached by a driveway along the South side of our building. Park along the fence.

We accept payment by Visa, Master Card, Discover, BidPay or PayPAL. If you see something on this site that you want to buy please contact us before you go to PayPal (phone, fax or email

Store Hours:
Sun. - Closed
Mon. - Closed
Tue. - 12 Noon to 6:00pm
Wed. - 12 Noon to 8:00pm
Thu. - 12 Noon to 6:00pm
Fri. - 12 Noon to 8:00pm
Sat. - 12 Noon to 6:00pm

NOTE: All times are CST or CDT

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Interview with Raymond Bryan
Owner of Raymond computer store

Commodore free
Please introduce yourself to our Readers

Ray Bryan
Ray Bryan of Raymond Commodore Amiga formerly 795 Raymond Ave now at (as of 1 September 2008) 2402 University Avenue, Suite #405; Saint Paul, MN 55114

CF. Can you explain some of the services you sell for Commodore users?

RB. I have Commodore (and Amiga) software and hardware for sale (some of it hard to find items - a lot of the common items as well); I have been servicing old Commodore (and Amiga) hardware for 15 years since buying the store from Jack Turner of Jack's Computer Shack.

CF. What machines do you support and do you support machines other than Commodore?

RB. I have a number of PET machines but I do not do much fixing of these. I have and can service Vic 20s, C64s, SX64s, C64c, Plus/4 and C128/C128D. I also have a few C16s and a stash of chips for the C16 & Plus/4. I still have many of the chips for the C64 (no SIDs and no PAL chips that I know of) and chips some for the C128.

CF. This is a store our reader could walk into and purchase items as well as over the internet?

RB. .It has been a store-front store up to now but economic down times have necessitated moving into a warehouse space where I am trying to decide if it is viable to still maintain support for walk-ins. I guess responses from Commodore users will be the deciding factor. I have listings of many (not all) of the items in store inventory on the web page

CF. Are the items new second-hand or a mixture of the two?

RB. . There are still some new items of software and a few of hardware but naturally many more items are second-hand.

CF. Do you make a living out of this company or do you run the service as a part time job?

RB. The store is my only source of income but the profit centre for the past several years is in service work especially out-call services on site and for the evil-machines; sometimes I get to fix Unix or Macs in the site-calls however much of the work is printers (laser, thermal, transfer, colour, all-in-one, faxes and inkjet only in plotters) and I am as a last resort call for a number of businesses with older impact/line printers - a speciality picked up from the Commodore and compatible 3rd party impact printers.

CF. Can you give our reader a brief history of the store, how you started what motivated you etc?

RB. Mr. Jack Turner started the store (part-time) in a part of the Commodore repair business of Frank Gerard in Spring Lake Park, MN in about 1986. I met Mr. Turner shortly after that while trying to use my Commodore 128 in computer controlled installation art sculptures. In March 1993, Mr. Turner was ready to leave the business and I was ready for a new challenge. So we came to terms agreeable to both parties and Jack's Computer Shack then at 898 Raymond became Raymond Commodore Amiga. In 1995, I moved the store to 795 Raymond Ave a larger space that gave more room to work on computers, but a lot more space to display Commodore/Amiga software and hardware.

CF. Where are you located, and could users from other counties contact you about repairs or purchases of hardware and software?

RB. The store is in St. Paul, Minnesota about 2 miles south of half way from the equator to the North Pole and about a mile north of the river that divides the continent of North America into East and West. The bit of Minneapolis that is north of the Mississippi River is only a half mile to the west of the shop. I am often in contact with Commodore users from other parts of the world. I cannot do much to help that one guy who keeps trying to do things to his Commodores/Pets at the South Pole (winter there lasts 'til nearly January and he is cut off all winter). But I do what I can to meet the needs of the Commodore users in OZ, Canada and Europe. I have not heard from any one needing Commodore help in Africa, Central or South America for some years now.

CF. If a reader had items for sale would you be interested in purchasing them for resale?

RB. I don't know what to say to that at this economic moment.

CF. How has the market changed over the years?

RB. When I first got my shop the Commodore market was lively and sales were the largest share of the business with Commodore repairs coming next. It seemed millions of people were getting their first experience with computers by using Commodores. Now, there are dedicated Commodore users who have stuck with (and pushed the envelope of) these machines and joining those are collectors and people who grew up with a Commodore but now make their living in the evil-machines-land, yet want to relax by returning to the first love for playing games or writing 8 bit code just for fun.

CF. So Is there still a big demand for Commodore items?

RB. If there were a big demand for Commodore items my shop would not be the only one between Michigan and Salt Lake City.

CF. Has Auction sites like EBay taken business from you, or do you feel these have added to your business survival?

RB. I do not know. I did a lot of eBay as a survival technique from the late '90s to early '00s but eBay just plain smurfs and hardly anyone has yet picked up on Amibay since it started last fall.

CF. Do you have an EBay or similar auction site account?

RB. I have an eBay account but have not held any auctions for about 4 years now. As I said I have things on my own web site and am moving toward offering items on Amibay.

CF. What items you can repair, could you provide some common examples for our readers to get an idea of price

RB. Let me say it this way, I cannot repair switch mode power supplies (C128d, Amiga) and there have been some other hardware problems from time to time that have defeated my efforts to fix (some C128d and Amiga 4000 motherboard/accelerator troubles). I am not adept at or knowledgeable about PET or KIM repairs but have fixed almost every other US Commodore hardware that has come along after the Vic20 excluding the MS-DOS ones. I do give my best effort on every repair. A lot of times now, I have to give the Commodores a lower priority because the evil-machine types are so demanding and those machines are so _totally_ fouled-up. As an aside, I did fix an electric violin yesterday with no schematic to guide the trouble shooting or repair, analogue repairs like that hark back to my days fixing radar and radios in the navy '65-'69.

CF. Were you a Commodore credited repair centre?

RB. Yes, until the 1994 bankruptcy (and I learned a lot from the repair centre guru Mr. Frank Gerard). I have accumulated many of the repair manuals and related technology from some other authorized repair facilities around this area as they shifted their focus of or dissolved their businesses.

CF. I have seen some pictures of the store on the internet I guess doing an inventory of stock would be a long process, how do you keep a record of all the items?

RB. I do not have time to try to keep an inventory. When one was done (and that was not even complete) it was largely by willing teenagers who just wanted to be a part of the whole Commodore milieu. Mr. Turner keeps threatening to come back as a volunteer to take inventory of all the hardware and software I have in the storage areas but I think he is not really thinking about this realistically since there is so much more inventory than he knows about.

CF. Do you sell the Amiga One, and if so how big a demand are you seeing?

RB. I did when I could get them. Bill McEwen said last fall that he was trying to make some more. But, I did not have a big demand for them here, I sold a half dozen but have had only a small number of requests since those sold out.

CF. Do you see a big uptake of Amiga OS 4

RB. No, not here.

CF. Would you like to Comment on the current state of "the Amiga"

RB. I think "quiet" is the national motto for the State of Amiga.

CF. Do you think "Jeri Ellsworth" promoted the Commodore brand and was this promotion short lived

RB. Well, there was quite a buzz over the C1 but I do not think the sales of those machines was very large, however the Commodore DTV took off for short time.

CF. Did you see a big uptake of the Commodore 64 DTV hardware then?

RB. I only had about 20 to sell but soon sold out.

CF. How long do you think the store can survive?

RB. Only so long as demand for the products and services continue.

CF. Do you have any other comments you would like to add or to further promote your services?

RB. I would like to train some others how to repair these devices before the knowledge becomes lost. I mean real "hands on" not just theoretical knowledge that gets posted to some /pub/commodore site on the 'net. De-soldering takes practice and really well done soldering technique is an art-craft but troubleshooting is a state of consciousness, a mental practice acquired/achieved like following the lama.

--Ray Bryan
|Raymond C. Bryan 651-642-9890 vox   |The battle is sometimes|
|Raymond Computer 651-642-9891 fax   |to the small for       |
|2402 Univsity Ave  -email: raycomp  |the bigger they are    |
|St Paul MN 55114  _at_visi_dot_com  |the harder they fall.  |
|USA Amiga - Commodore               |James Thurber          |

Jump Back to CONTENTS

In the Beginning 9
Lord Ronin from Q-Link

Back again and into those pesky pokes and peeks. We did do some of that already, when we typed poke53280,x where x is a number between 0-15, this command Changed the colour of the screen border. That is a poke, and one of the first ones you learn. Now I know that it looks like there are at the least 53,280 poke places when you look at the number. Besides what does each one of them do exactly? Well those are two questions that I as a beginner have asked, and not yet found the book(s) to answer them.

Keeping that in mind, let`s not let the lack of information dampen our spirits. Take it as there is a lot one can learn about the C=. Our next programme may bum you out when you run it, I know it did that to me the first few times I entered it. I will explain the what and why afterwards just type in this program as shown.


10 forba=0to15
20 forbo=0to15
30 poke53280,ba
40 poke53281,bo
50 forx=1to2000:nextx
60 nextbo:nextba

Run this and you will have the screen and border change colour, you may think you entered the programme listing incorrectly, the screen changes colour. But what about the border colour as it Seems to stay the same. That is what many of the members of the user group thought over the years. To tell the truth so did I for a time, that is until I tried to tear apart the programme and find out what was happening. To save you the frustration it is in line 60, you need to read that line a few times remembering how the next command works in a for next loop. Have you seen it yet?

Well I didn't for a time. What happens here is that the for that comes first that is the one for the BA variable, will do its thing starting at line 10. OK got that part. Now see line 60 here BA is going to do its thing until the set amount, then go back in 10 with the 0 to15 part. Right the screen changes 16 times before the border will change or the other way round, depending what you put in first. I did it both ways. In line 10 and in line 60. Mess with the placement of the BA and BO variable and you will see what I mean.

I think We have played enough with the FOR NEXT loop to catch most of the lines in some form. Line 50 is the delay. Right I know your question now. "2000 what?" for the delay. Can't tell you for rock certain, but I have been told by most people that it is a "jiffy"; No that isn't a silly term. Actually it is a unit of measurement for time, here a jiffy is 1/60th of a second. PAL users have a different one or so I have been told. Simple electronics here. Current/Voltage what ever term works best for you. Changes from a + to a - (seen on an oscciloscope) 60 times a second. This is called the line frequency and is used a lot in crystals in circuits, for timing and other things I have long forgotten. OK that is more than enough on that part. Just want you to see the relationship there with the jiffy being 1/60th of a second. Unless what I was told was wrong.

With a little experimenting you can shorten those lines down and make the programme run faster. You can also fix it to have the border and the screen flash at about the same time. Probably you can guess that to make it run faster, all you need to do is change that delay in line 50. Now how to make both border and screen flash at the same time? Not gonna tell ya (EG) But I'll give you some hints. Make just one FOR variable for the value 0 to 15. Put the two poke codes on the same line with the : symbol between them and use the same variable. I'll let you play around with this and see what you can make.

All Right! Been bugged enough to drop back a session and tell you how to find those 8 other colours for that colour bar. Simply use the command PRINTASC("X"). X here will be you typing in the C= key and one of the number keys. Press return and it will tell you the code number. That is what you use for the rest of the lines in that colour bar programme. User Group members and Girl Friends can be such a pain in the Tucus. (g)

Back to that programme. Add the following line.

25 ?chr$(147);"border =";peek(53280)and15, "background = ";peek(53281)and15

Fits on about 1.8 lines of your screen, shorter if you use more shortcut codes. What happens here is the screen clears and at the top will be the words "border and background". Then after the = symbol, you will see the colour number from 0 to 15 for each one (border or screen). Tip, if you play with this programme and have short end it up a bit. Make certain to have this programme line happen after the poke codes. If not you stand a chance of being one number off, this happened to the students and to me in the process of our learning.

Now we enter a new bit and this one is more complicated. Personally I think its made to have you ask more questions than it gives, while trying to make you more interested in programming. This trick may have worked in the 80s. These days, the lack of in depth information, has turned some people off. Being frustrated with no more information. You may see what I mean at this point.

Screen Graphics, doesn't mean what you may expect it to mean, at least at this level. Remember this is from the users book that came with the C=64, short and allegedly simple, only three short paragrapHS. The book talks about how we have placed characters on the screen using the PRINT command, all printing has been sequential. The book speaks about moving to a specific spot on the screen using print and cursor commands. We haven't done that much. Oh we did do that one to make the bouncing ball go down a certain number of lines. Most people at the beginning level of programming, like me, use cursor commands to move to a specific point on the screen. I have copied type in books that do the same thing.

What that would look like in a type in book would be something on the lines of PRINT"(cursor down 10)"; "(cursor right 5)". Taking the starting point of what you are doing down 10 rows and over 5 columns. What you type in the computer would be 10 times pressing the cursor down key. Getting the symbol on the screen each time. Then 5 presses of the right cursor key, also getting the right symbol on screen. Right there we have 15 key strokes on a programming line. There has got to be a better way? I mean this is long and takes up programming space. The book says just about the same thing.

All is not lost; there are locations in the computer memory to control locations where to place text on screen. Just as there is for colour work.

There are 1000 areas on the screen, A screen is 40 columns across by 25 rows down. I can't make the little grid map here for you in text but suffice to say that it is 40 wide and 25 tall; making 1000 squares in total on the grid. Graph paper and lining this out may be of a help to you as a visual aid. OK here is something that you may be shocked about. Each one of these 1000 locations can hold a number, a number between the value of 0 and 255. Yeah that means you have a choice of 256 numbers for each of the 1000 grid areas on the screen, it all becomes a bit mind boggling at this point. (g)

The way to place things on screen at this at this stage is with the good old POKE command. Putting the number for what ever you decided upon, onto a specific area of the screen.

However we have to now deal with some new numbers. These numbers are the Screen Memory Map. Being the locations on the screen to poke things into and therefore onto the screen. Top left corner. Being row 0 and column 0 is location 1024, the bottom row last column, Or the bottom right end of the screen is location 2023. Now you can use the grid map and mark out the rows. Ah row 0 is 1024 row 24 (the last row, or 25 if you counted starting with 1 instead of 0) Starts out at 1984. Column 0 is the top left. Top right is column 39. For those that want to make their own grid chart. I did this because the one in the book is too small for my ancient eyes. (g)

Well of course you can count the grid squares and find the right screen memory location, or you could be lazy and use a simple formula. I'm lazy these days.

POINT =1024 + X + 40*Y

Freaky right? OK it was for me the first several times that I went through this part of the book. Didn't have anyone to talk me through the entire book.

Tearing this apart from the beginning. POINT simply means the location on the screen for what you are putting there, (gotta work on the grammar). End result is going to be a number between the 1024 start and the 2023 end, block of numbers. Being the place to insert, what ever it is you are inserting. Yeah that was worded better. (g)

1024 is the start number, being the one that is at the top left of the grid. Makes that the base number to add the rest of the stuff to for the location.

X is the column, lets use the one from the book, they give 20 for the column.

Y is the row, and from the book that is 12.

Formula would then read...

POINT = 1024 + 20 + 40*12

OK the book doesn't do that stage and that did throw off several of my members over the years. Putting it in here to keep things linear. This would then read...

POINT = 1024 +20 + 480

Finally POINT = 1524, that is the point on the screen at the junction of column 20 and row 12. As listed for the Screen Memory Map.

Catch your breath after that bit, we have some more to do, and it isn't in my opinion giving enough time to go trough the above.

Next thing the book wants you to do is type in ...

poke 1524,81
poke 55796,1

Got the idea that poke is putting something into the computer memory location. From that previous formula You can see that the 1524 is the answer to that formula above with the column of 20 and the row of 12. Guess you have seen enough of the previous sections to see that the 81 thing is what is going into that 1524 area.

55796 is a new thing that is sprung on you. Sure you know that the 1 thing is what is going in that area. What is 55796? Out of the range of the Screen Memory Map so can't be a location, in that range.

Saying that you haven't typed that stuff in as of yet. So you aren't aware of what the screen does, when this is completed. I want to point out that from the colour work we have done for the screen and the background poke codes. That you might see the number above as being close to the poke codes for the colour location of the border and screen.

That isn't correct, but it is close. The next section of the book is on the COLOUR MEMORY MAP. They just have you type the above in to place a ball. Which is the 81 code and is also the shifted Q. Why they have you type the stuff in, will have the ball show up in close to the centre of the screen. The next poke will turn that to a white ball. If that didn't happen check your type work, see if you are in the upper case, if the symbol isn't right. If the colour didn't change, first thing is to check is if you typed everything right. Yeah I say that a lot and am guilty of that in my typing in of programmes, and more times than I want to admit. But if it is correct and the ball didn't change to white, don't fret, where you in white text colour in the first place? I mean was that the last colour that you were using on the screen? Sounds silly, but it has happened in the group.

Change that 1 to a 2 in the poke that did the colour. Right the 55796,1 becomes a 55796,2. now the ball changes to red. Play around a bit with the colours and with the symbols. Try different numbers. Changing that ,81 to what ever you like from 0-255. Some will work as one of the symbols. 32 and 96 are the space command. Right the one for the spacebar. Oh yeah feel free, all you sci-fi fansto make the jokes about the space BAR. [VBG]

Tip for you here, you will see that after 127. Things start showing up in reverse video. If you know the code for a symbol, just add 128 to that code number and it will be in reverse video.

Two areas are used in the computer memory. For creating the symbol and the colour on the screen. Meaning that a block of memory from 1024 to 2023 is for the screen. Colour is from 55296 to 56295. Yuppers another block of memory for the colour that appears on the screen.

In the above poke stuff to place the ball on the screen and to change the balls colour. Two poke codes where used. One to place the ball and the other to place the colour for the ball in the right place.

Saying that in a couple of ways. You can guess that there is probably another 1000 square grid map. Right, there is and the top left part starts at 55296, and at the bottom right ends at 56295. Before I go farther, it should be stated that these areas, the blocks of numbers can be called memory locations. There are books that have what is called the memory maps in them, where you can see more about the locations, including some ideas of what is in there and what can be done with those areas. This is something that I am not skilled in, or understand. I know that it is important in Basic and it is important in the Machine Language Machine Language form of programming. We aren't going there in this series. Just wanted to give you a heads up on this, as you may be interested in going farther in programming than Basic and this little personal look at the users manual.

Feel free to make a grid for the Colour Memory Map. Same as what we talked about for the Screen one. Numbers on the left hand side of the map. Going down the rows, starts at row 0 and ending at row 24. Goes like this, start is 55296 for row 0 column 0. Row 24 column 0 is 56256. Row 0 column 39 is 55335. Spending some time with these coordinates. You can make the grid map. Naturally there is the lazy way to figure out where you want to put the colour on the screen. Yeah I am still lazy.

COLOUR POINT = 55296 + X +40*Y

Sure looks familiar doesn't it? (g) the only change is that of the starting point number. Matching the top left corner of the colour memory map grid. So yeah if you retro fit that above poke thing to put the colour into column 20 and row 12 it would look like...

COLOUR POINT = 55296 + 20 + 40*12
COLOUR POINT = 55296 + 20 + 480

Poke that in and add the colour of 0-15 spectrum and you have coloured the character you put at that memory location. Might seem that this is a bit of work. At this point it is for us. Gets better with time and other things. OK I doubt that with some tools you can use for making programmes. Well you may not be doing this form of math out all the time if at all. Just see how much hands on control of things you have with your ideas for your programmes!

So then let us clear the screen and prepare for typing in another programme. I'm modifying this one for us. Just a little colour change from what the book says. Personal taste here and you should feel free to alter the colours to it what looks the best to you. We will be putting in a symbol here as well, for screen display, again feel free to alter that to something else.


10 ?"(shift clear/home)"
20 pO53280,0:pO53281,0
30 x=1:y=1
40 dx=1:dy=1
50 pO1024+x+40*y,81
60 fort=1to10:next
70 pO1024+x+40*y,32
80 x=x+dx
90 ifx<=0orx>=39thendx=-dx
100 y=y+dy
110 ify<=0ory>=24thendy=-dy
120 goto50

Done most of this already in different forms, still let us go over the lines. If you haven't run this programme yet, this is another bouncing ball programme. This one though is different; this version bounces the ball all over the screen, being redirected as the ball hits the border. Sort of like a pool ball. Which causes me to remember that there are pool games and pinball games for the C=. This little thing you typed in is a far cry from that level of programming. Still though it is the same sort of principal and shows you some animation.

Line 10 is easy to understand. In fact the book wants you to type it in that way. I didn't alter that line from the chr$(147). They didn't use that command in this one.

Line 20 is also easy to understand after what we have done. Changes the screen and border colour. OK I did the short hand code for the poke command. Also I changed the colours to make the screen and the border black. Book colours are 7 for the border and 13 for the screen. Light green screen and a yellow border.

Line 30 is a variable set up. Set here to keep track of the row and column position of the ball.

Line 40. DX & DY are variables; they are also the horizontal and vertical directions of the balls movements. Hey don't worry if that doesn't sink into your mind at this time, it doesn`t for me either. Exactly how that works, point for point is magic to me.

Line 50 is recently familiar. Note that it is the poke code and formula to put the ball character onto the screen. A few things to see here. See that ,81 part at the far end of the line. Remembering that previous thing about putting the ball on the screen? That was the ,81 remember? Note though that the formula is the same frelling thing as this programme line, meaning that you don't have to figure out the numbers for the screen placement, this line does that for you. Using the existing variables for X and Y. But see that the 1024 is at the start as its in the formula. Well when you run this programme. You will see that the ball starts out at the top left of the screen. Goes to the bottom right and bounces around the screen.

At line 60 there is the for next loop, producing a short time delay. Here is something to notice. Remember that 2000 we had in the screen and border change? Here it is a delay of 10. Obviously a much shorter delay. Here is a lesson not discussed in the book. Setting the delay for your programme. Can't really help you on this part. I can Only say that you may need to adjust the time delay to fit yourself and other people. If you find this 1 to10 one a bit too flickery of the image of the ball. Try adding to the number or shortening it to a smaller value.

Looking at Line 70 we see the same smegging screen point formula. Again it is doing all the work for you in the placement of the ball on the screen. Except you see that ,32 at the end. Above I stated in the part where you where playing with the numbers for different symbols. Said there that this 32 was one of the two numbers for the space. So then what is happening here is that the formula isn't putting the ball on the screen. In fact it is doing the opposite. Erasing the ball from the screen. REM this line and see what the programme does (VBG).

Next is Line 80 and this line is adding a direction factor to the X (vertical). Taking us to line 90. You can see that this is an IF THEN statement. By a simple look the numbers are 0 and 39 in this line. Hmm that happens to be the designation numbers of the 40 columns or the X factor in this programme. As you see if X is less than or equal to 0, the left hand side of the screen. Or it is greater than or equal to 39, the right hand side of the screen. That value of DX suddenly becomes negative with the value of -DX. Or better said, that makes the ball bounce off of the sides of the screen.

Next line is line100 and that looks a bit like line 80. Hey line 110 looks a bit like line 90. Save for the fact that this is the Y part. Or the top and bottom of the screen. Making the ball bounce. You can bugger this up a bit by altering the DX and the DY. Tell you that one member made a mistype and that made the ball just go back and forth on the 0 row.

Well that looks real nice, and it is an amazing thing to do when you type it in the first time. Remember that you did this yourself. This is your creation. Alter it a bit with a symbol of your choice. Personally I used the "\" symbol for the ball.

Not finished with this one yet. Here are some lines to add to the programme.

21 forL=1to10
25 pO1024+int(rnd(1)*1000),166
27 nextL
85 ifpeek(1024+x+40*y)=166thendx=-dx

This does a what? Some of it looks familiar; some of it looks real familiar.

First new is a stock for part of a for next loop. Here I intentionally used the upper case L as one of the problems in typing things in from a book is the confusion of a 1 and a l. Ok and 0 vs. O as well. Type face or more commonly they are called fonts. Are confusing in the books. As it just don't look like what is on the screen in the C= font.

Saying that we see that there is only 10 things. We see also that the NEXT part of this loop is in line 27. So then what ever happens in that line 25 is done 10 times. As we know it is going to loop between these lines till all 10 things are done.

Line 25 sort of looks like the thing that puts the symbol on the screen. At least it starts out that way. But we are then tossed into a different form of a random number generator and there are 1000 things? This is what is happening on this line. Each time it is run, and that is 10 times from the for-next loop. One location out of the 1000 possible locations is going to be generated and is going to be added to the base number of 1024. Meaning that this is a line to create something on the screen at purely random locations. At the end of the line is that ,166 code. That is the symbol. Ok this means that the programme will go 10 times through this for next loop. Generating a screen location and putting in that location the symbol for 166. IIRC that is the reverse video & symbol. I change it each time I play with the programme. Looks better if it is the reverse video. Remember about adding 128 to the code number to get the reverse video of the character.

On the screen will be these 10 symbols. OK so that is nice and what will that mean? Take a look at line 85 and then at line 105. Look a bit familiar from a couple of lines in this programme already? Right, the difference is the 166 code number. If this line works like the ones for the four sides of the screen, then this must look for that code numbered symbol on the screen as well, and it will do the same thing. As you see by the fact the variable becomes a negative number. Run it and you have 10 obstacles on the screen, that will make the ball bounce off of the sides of the screen and off of these symbols. Play around with the symbols and the number of obstacles to see what you can create. Don't worry about the colour at this time. If you think you can figure out how to make the colour of the ball different from the obstacles then feel free to give it a shot. Not really needed at this time. Good experimentation though.

Next we move into sprites and a lot of difficulty in trying to paint a word picture of what is going on.

The reason for that statement is simply that there are some graph charts in the book. These charts are drawn in a way that I am not at the least bit certain I can recreate them in my word writing programme. I'll give it my best shot. Hopefully I can illustrate with words, what I can't illustrate with the graphics.

Good news for you is that there isn't enough space in this instalment to go into the details of sprites. We will pick it up in the next session.

Jump Back to CONTENTS

LLAMASOFT - The Dromedary Years
(Part Two) Article By Michael Bevan

In 1980 the then 18 year old Jeff Minter was still in unknown quantity in the fledgling world of home computer gaming. Within ten years Minter had founded his own company 'Llamasoft', unleashed a catalogue of over twenty classic 8-bit games and the term 'Minter-esque' had entered gaming lexicon to describe his highly individual, uniquely psychedelic and indeed exceptionally hairy style of game design.
We take up our story a short while after Jeff has submitted a small computer program called Gridrunner to American software publisher HES. What happened next could never have occurred to him in his wildest imagination...

'A week or so later the phone rings at 4AM and I shamble out of bed to answer the call. I was a little upset, as I'm the kind of beast who likes to leap out of bed at the crack of noon. On the other end, a little blurred by satellite delay, an American voice ranted about some game that they've been playing for eight hours solid. The voice informed me that I should expect significant monetary input. Bemused, I made a few notes on the pad by the phone and returned to bed. Waking later, at a time closer to my usual emergence, I made myself a really strong cup of tea and remembered some weird dream, something about a game... went to the phone, found the note, and was intrigued'.

Grid Runner peaked at number one in the US software charts, much to Minter's surprise, earning Llamasoft not only its first US bona-fide smash hit but a significant financial boost. Exhausted by two years of constant coding, Minter decided to take a well-earned holiday to Peru to be with the llamas. On returning to the UK Minter would release several more Vic 20 games including Traxx (a Painter clone) and Metagalactic Llamas Battle At The Edge of Time (an attempt to release a game with the silliest title he could think of and the first to feature his company's namesake creature). He followed up Grid Runner with a new sequel, Matrix, which was also well received in the US, before moving on to code for Commodore's new flagship machine the C64, his own machine a gift from HES prior to Grid Runner's huge success. After converting Attack of the Mutant Camels and Matrix to the C64, and creating the Tempest-esque Laser Zone, Minter started work on what would become one of his most famous games, if only in Europe.

'I was feeling well guilty about the fact that the camels got shot up in AMC, as camels are in fact lovely beasties, so I wanted to make a game where they rose up against their evil ZZyaxxian masters and fought back. At the time, people were freaking out about the fact that Manic Miner had 20 levels, which seemed like a huge amount back then - so I decided to one up Manic Miner and put 42 levels into this game. I could have put more but 42 seemed like a decent number of levels, especially as 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything.'

Revenge of the Mutant Camels was one of Llamasoft's weirdest, most psychedelic games to date, and the first to really make use of the C64's advanced capabilities such as raster-interrupt techniques to produce ultra-smooth scrolling backgrounds and full multi-channel sound emulation through SID. It was a hugely well received game in its native UK, receiving rave reviews from many computing magazines, including a prestigious Game of the Month accolade from Personal Computer Games magazine. RMC also marked the point when Minter's games finally fully developed the distinctive and surreal Llamasoft iconography, containing a whole bestiary of sheep, goats, llamas and camels, along with the likes of flying CND symbols, telephone boxes, Rizla packets and Battlestar Galactica reject base-stars.

However HES, whose partnership with Llamasoft had proved so fruitful with Grid Runner and Matrix, did not like the game, and refused to distribute it in the US, forcing Minter to develop solely for the UK and European markets, the only one where his games were still attracting positive press attention and where he was gradually starting to accumulate a cult following. Llamasoft's next title, the highly entertaining comedy 'mow'-emup Hovver Bovver was co-designed by one of Minter's biggest fans.. his father. Inspired by the 'Painter' concept he'd already explored in Traxx, it was an unexpected but very welcome addition to the Llamasoft canon. Minter then returned spectacularly to the shoot'em up genre with a release that was arguably his best piece of game design to date.

Sheep In Space was a horizontally-scrolling shooter following in the Defender tradition that featured as its unlikely hero an Interstellar Space Sheep. The player piloted their extremely agile ovine between two opposing planet surfaces, aiming to prevent enemies from building up charge on a Planet Buster gun, which would if activated destroy the planet and expunge the fleecy flier into the depths of space. As well as having to contend with this potentially catastrophic outcome the gamer needed to keep their sheep well fed in order that it did not explode due to hunger. The game mechanics and control system of Sheep in Space were beautifully contrived, with excellent gravitational and inertial effects as the player raced frantically against the clock and their own hunger to destroy enemy 'charge-carriers' aiming to prime the planet for destruction.

Minter's next game, Ancipital (known to fans as simply Cippy - a character first appearing in Sheep in Space) was yet another highly ambitious and original design. Similar in concept to Ultimate's Attic Attac the player battled through a grid of one hundred levels (or rooms) in order to reach the final chamber. Cippy retained its predecessor's gravitational anomalies with players only being able to walk on floors, ceilings and walls through use of a totally unprecedented control system, and once mastered was a wonderfully surreal and enjoyable gaming experience. Ancipital deservedly earned Llamasoft their second and final PCG Game of the Month Award and is seen by many as a spiritual 8-bit predecessor to the classic Llamatron. Unfortunately sales figures for the game were not as good as expected due to distribution issues which meant the game was far harder to find in high-street stores than RMC had been.

Llamasoft's final four C64 releases mark a period of wild experimentation as Minter pursued increasingly offbeat design directions, a move that was to baffle certain members of the gaming community who had begun having difficulty grasping the sometimes over-ambitious concepts in his games. Infamously, one of the most well documented cases of a Llamasoft game causing such all-round bewilderment was with the release of Mama Llama. A sort of semi-sequel to Revenge, this game had an unusual control mode where the player did not actually control the onscreen Llama character and her family, merely attempting to defend them by shooting enemies with an on-screen floating drone. It introduced a non-sequential level structure where players could choose their own path through the game. A difficult game to master, it's low level of immediate playability compared to other Llamasoft titles and it's subsequent poor review score (59%) in the debut issue of Zzap! 64 led to a very public and long-running stand-off between the famous C64 magazine and Minter himself, during which he allegedly visited the offices and ceremoniously burnt a copy of the Zzap! review with staff writer Gary Penn's own cigarette lighter.

Batalyx, a strange but enjoyable collection of mini-games, and Iridis Alpha, an odd and extremely experimental scrolling shooter played across two screens simultaneously scrolling in opposite directions, restored the rift somewhat, receiving 'Sizzler' awards in subsequent issues of ZZap! 64, but the games market and public tastes were changing, and for the remainder of the 8-bit era Llamasoft never really recaptured the popularity that they had around the release of Revenge of the Mutant Camels.

'The videogame business was changing around this time away from something I could actively participate in' says Minter regretfully. Although continuing to experiment with projects such as the 'Lightsynth' Psychedelia, and releasing the compilation Yak's Progress, featuring the best of his more popular Commodore 64 work, Llamasoft was finding it increasingly hard to find distributors and by the time Ariolasoft, who had marketed Iridis and Batalyx but had received limited financial success with them pulled the plug on releasing Revenge of the Mutant Camels 2, Minter made the decision to give the title away free on a Zzap! cover tape such was his desire that fans might get actually get to play it.

Minter would dabble with the 16 bit Amiga and Atari ST over the next few years but, unable to find a publisher for any new titles, was forced to look for employment elsewhere. This would include a seven month stint at Konix developing Attack of the Mutant Camels '89 for the company's later discontinued console, and a two month game design role for Atari for another console which failed to get off the ground, the Atari Panther. Disillusioned, Minter returned to what he did best, namely making games he wanted to play himself. The resulting ST title, Llamatron, a brilliant Robotron clone, was released as shareware, an at the time untested method of sale for Llamasoft. Unsure what to expect, Minter was extremely touched to find himself inundated with payments from loyal games fans who enjoyed the game and wanted to pay him for it. Encouraged by this response Minter continued releasing shareware titles on the Llamasoft label while producing what is his post 8-bit master-work, Tempest 2000 for Atari's Jaguar console. In following Tempest with Defender 2000, again for Atari, it had all come full circle for the hairy one after writing the Vic20 program that would become Andes Attack, and which had led to Llamasoft's first, albeit small success back in 1982.

Jeff Minter has recently completed work on the phenomenal Space Giraffe for the XBox 360's Arcade Live which he has released like all his titles since Llamatron, on the Llamasoft label for a small 'shareware' style fee. I wish him the very best of luck.

Sources: 'The History of LLamasoft' Google Tech Talk - 19.03.07

thanks to Michael Bevan and RGCD for permitting the reprint of this article

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Product Overview :
HyperSID is a subtractive synthesizer with all the C64 SID chip hardware capabilities besides many new software based features So you can take advantage of various Controlling features of a VSTi and also real analogue sound with SID character .

Real time integration between software and hardware makes HyperSID act like the other VST instruments in your host application.

HyperSID is Donationware ! For supporting future developments:

Features :
- 3 OSC per key (Monophonic)
- 1 OSC per key (3 Voice polyphonic)
- 4 Waveforms per OSC Tri , Saw ,Noise, Pulse (combinatorial)
- OSC transpose range +36 to -36 Semitone
- OSC cent range -50 to +50 Cent
- OSC ring modulation
- 3 Amp Envelope ADSR
- Multimode analogue filter 12dB/Octave HP , LP , BP and (combinatorial)
- 1 LFO Part with sync , retrig and invert capability
- 1 Step LFO Part with sync , retrig and invert capability
- 2 General purpose envelope generator with invert capability
- Individual routing for each modulation source
- 88 Parameter for controlling overall synthesizer (automation recordable)
- Flexible preset manager with save and load function
- Built in 64 categorized Factory preset .
- Clean sound without any Self oscillating in most of the Presets
- Automatic real time synchronization between software and hardware
- Independent MIDI out path from host
- Very low CPU usage

Hardware Unit :
HyperSID HW unit is a custom build synthesizer with internal processor and a real SID Chip! There is no emulation here, All the sounds are generated with a real SID chip. HyperSID VSTi acts like a software MIDI controller for this hardware sound engine.

SID can not mute itself! It`s a kind of bug in the envelope part which can not force Oscillators to be muted completely after you release a key. This bug has been a part of SID character but many people still hate it and after 26 years it is fixed in HyperSID HW Unit!

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Interview with Hypersynth Team

Please introduce yourselves to our readers

My name is Iman Jalayerian the founder of Hypersynth. I`m an electronic engineer and also a musician. C64 was my first computer and actually I learned programming with this machine many years ago. It`s been about 7 years ago that I started to design microprocessor based circuits and professional audio gear.

CF. Why the Commodore SID chip, what makes the chip so special, they all sound different are all susceptible to changes in temperature and give out lots of noise so why re-create these features?

HS. SID accent is characterized by the special analogue design of its filter part. Generally all analogue circuits drift in high temperature and produce instability, which is in reasonable amounts not considered as a malfunction, but in music application, it would add a special character to the sound, which cannot be produced or emulated with digital algorithms. However, if this phenomenon (drift) affects the VCO part greatly causing the sound pitch to detune too much, we can speak of a negative and undesirable effect. Since SID VCOs are operating digitally, these are not affected by this analogue drift effect. Although there is a noticeable amount of noise at the SID output stage, these can be easily gated out by most soft or hardware based noise gates and equalizers.

CF. Can you tell our readers a little history about Hypersynth

HS. I started the company when I designed a MIDI controller (MD-8) for my home studio and decided to make it commercial, but due to the saturation of the market of MIDI controllers, we didn`t release MD-8. We wanted to come up with something unique and useful. At this point the Idea of HyperSID was born and Hypersynth became more official along its development line. Gradually we scaled up our members and gathered a well qualified team to maintain HyperSID and also to design new products.

CF. How long did the whole thing take to design, build and test?

HS. It took about 8 months to design and debug the whole HyperSID project. To achieve the maximum flexibility we had to design hardware, firmware and software (VSTi) all at the same time!

CF. So there is a VST frontend called HyperSID and a hardware implementation is controlled by the VST instrument, the software does nothing on its own just control the Hardware unit?

HS. Yes, the Software itself does not generate any sound because our goal was not an emulation of SID chip.

CF. So the Hardware must be used in combination with the software?

HS. Yes, both are required; maybe in the future versions the hardware itself will be able to store the presets, but in the current version the hardware and software must be used together.

CF. what hardware / software requirements are needed to run the software, and does the software run on any other system?

Minimum system requirements:
Processor: Pentium III/AMD with SSE support
Processor speed: 1.2 GHz
RAM (Cache): 256 MB RAM
Sound Card: Standard with MIDI port or any other MIDI interface.
Operating system: Windows 2000, XP or Vista
Host application: Cubase VST 3.7 or higher or other VST 2.0 compatible host software (FL-Studio,Sonar).

CF. Have you seen the prophet64 hardware device, and did you purchase one?

HS. Yeah, I`ve heard about it but sadly I didn`t get the chance to purchase one.

CF. But you have given away the schematics to design the hardware and the VST instrument is free, hey guys you won`t make much money doing this!

HS. Our intension was not to sell this project; it was meant to be a "DIY" project for the electronic hobbyists. But amazingly we received a lot of requests from musicians who were desperate to get their hands on HyperSID without going through the difficulty of constructing one, so we decided to design a limited numbers of ready to use HyperSID synths, these units can be purchased from the website.

CF. How many SID chips can be installed in the hardware unit?

HS. Only one SID can be installed. As the SID production line is now discontinued we must save our stock for future so it is a great risk to increase the polyphony. Although Mini-Moog and Arp2600 (some of the most powerful analogue synthesizers) are monophonic!

CF. Can more than one Hardware unit be controlled at any one time?

HS. Yes, you can open more than one instance of Software and there is an option to select the MIDI output device on the GUI, so every instance of VSTi can control a specific HyperSID HW unit but you need to have a MIDI interface with multiple MIDI output ports.

CF. Why not just create an interface to directly connect a C64 to a PC and control it directly so our readers doesn`t have to remove the SID from his or her machine?

HS. Our objective with HyperSID was to have the maximum stability using the SID chip and to minimize the latency as much as possible. This would require direct control over the hardware hence creating the circuit. By the way, HyperSID product is shipped with a SID chip, so users won`t have to look for one or own a C64!

CF. Has anyone from the Commodore community contacted you and what were there comments?

HS. Unfortunately, we were not lucky at this point in time, but the project it relatively new so we are hoping for some positive comments .

CF. What further plans do you have for the Hypersynth?

HS. Beside HyperSID, Several new products are being developed. Indeed I can see a brilliant future for our company. The most significant product currently being developed is a synthesizer which is inspired from the SID chips internal architecture and perhaps it could become an improved version of SID with more polyphony and many new capabilities. So we have a lot of hard work at our hands.

CF. Do you know of any professional musicians use the HyperSID?

HS. Commonly professional musicians use lot of vintage synthesizers, this also applies to most of our customers. I would like to mention Mr. Frank Neumann, a musician with outstanding activities in C64 scene for several years. It was Frank who influenced us to build the rack mounted version of HyperSID HW unit and giving us hope and courage to develop this project. On the other side we have received offers from well-known sound designers for building preset bank for HyperSID with their signature. We hope to release these preset banks in the near future.

CF. How was the VST software interface created?

HS. HyperSID VSTi was created by Synthmaker, which is a powerful platform for the modular development of software synthesizers. Several people were involved in the software interface, MIDI engine programming and GUI design, the project programming leader was Mr. Aram Azhari who is our most vital and respectable company member. Every parameter on the SID chip was implemented in VST interface and a custom built protocol was designed in order to communicate between VSTi and a dedicated hardware (HyperSID HW unit) via MIDI port.

CF. Why use both hardware and software why not just create a VST instrument modelling the SID chip so no hardware is needed?

HS. The point is there are many differences between analogue synthesizers and the emulated ones. There are several software based SID synthesizers but only your ears can judge between the two. The best thing about digitally emulated synthesizers is accuracy and at the same time their weakest point. The fact that digital is accurate makes it all look the same and sound the same. But the analogue synths sound more unique because of their special analogue chips characteristics.

CF. If our user wanted to order the HyperSID what is the current price with shipping, and these can be ordered directly from the website?

HS. Current price for HW unit is 349$ (shipping included) and it can be ordered from our website at

CF. Has the HyperSID been reviewed in any professionally produced music or computer magazines?

HS. Yes, you can read some lines in Sound & Recording magazine. Issue 7/2008, Article "Love The Machines".

CF. Do you still use Commodore machines, and do you still follow the Commodore scene?

HS. Unfortunately not, Focusing on the current projects at our company keeps us very busy, but if we get a chance we would love to do that.

CF. Do you think any other Computer hardware could be utilized this way?

HS. I don`t think so, because without doubt SID is the most powerful synthesizer chip which was used as a sound interface for home computers. The main advantage is the mixed-mode architecture (Analogue-Digital) of the SID chip core which is mostly Digital in other chips.

CF. Finally would you like to add any of your own comments?

HS. It is a great honour for us to become a part of SID history in Commodore free magazine, at the end we just want to thank Bob Yannes and his team the original designer of SID chip who never thought his invention would become so popular in the world of electronic music production.

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Commodore Free
Finally I had 3 entries to the competition so the CD`s were mailed out, I have confirmation that the Cd`s have been received by these readers so well done. I picked the best entry and have reprinted it for your reading delights, the other two winners would rather not be named but James has agreed to the printing of his name and the article. Thanks two the 3 entrants for there efforts.

Why I like SID music,
by James Bray.

This may be just a personal thing, but to me SID music is better in many ways than some commercial music being produced today, or even back in the day! Commodore Free has already mentioned about hooking up your Commodore to an amplifier and recording SID tunes directly, and I know various people have created MP3s of SIDs, which is brilliant.

Recording SID to tape is something I have done since the heady 1980s. I would Record my favourite sounds from games and demos onto audio cassettes and listen to them in my dad's car or on my Sony walkman (do you remember tapes? we used to use them to save applications on, how times have changed). Now in a digital age the music is saved electronically in MP3 format or similar and then copied onto my music player of choice and carried around with me wherever I roam.

The SID sound is, and I'm sure that you would agree with me when I say, unmistakable and completely unique. Okay, sometimes it has a little interference and not all units seemed to produce the same quality of tone, probably due to Commodore's various production methods over the years. I do however think that is what makes the sound unique and personal to you. For example, you and you alone will remember how a game sounded, and if it was good to your ear, then hey who cares if there was interference or even sounds slightly different on your friends machine, eh?!?

SID music was special because of the limitations imposed on the composer, the amount of processor time or Raster time the composer took could cause real problems with the other game developers involved. So, the musician had to put careful thought into every note every slide every arpeggio had t be clinically tested and checked to see if it took too much away from the programmer. Then there is a limitation about the number of sounds that could be played together the SID has 3 voices and 1 digital replay device so 3 voices could be used to produce a full orchestra or group, not an easy task but with careful manipulation of the sounds filters and ring modulation some composers made 3 voices sound like 6 or more. Furthermore today remixes have looked at the old SID tunes and recreated them using modern computers and synthesisers even on real instruments drums, keyboards, bass guitar and so on. The superb Press Play On Tape are special because they have added words to the music in some cases. This music stands on its own because there is a definite tune, there is a melody that can and in my case is hummed and running round my head, weaving through the brain connections, sending love to every brain cortex.

Rather than pick out a handful of composers or tunes I would rather tip my hat off to all composers and every tune, even the truly awful still have a special meaning to me, a bleeping one-voice happy Christmas is still a crafted tune and one just hopes the composer went on to produce better works. Hey, I remember when even commercial games were written in BASIC!

One thing composers quickly learnt was that a tune is everything. Without it, there was little else left for the overall song, so this is why you lie in bed humming thing on a spring or the theme to some shoot-em-up game. Some composers work was so good the game sold because they wrote the music, remember crazy comets awful game but playable because you wanted to listen to the tune, I have purchased many games as other did in the time just to listen to the stunning music, then record it 20 times to a C120 tape and carry it around on my Sony walkman

May be its age or just lack of talent but how many can remember a tune in the charts, this is where SID tunes win because of the melody and harmonies the composers used, SID is indeed very memorable for people of my generation. True classics in every way, and should be recognised as such by the wider musical world.


James Bray.

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Membership forms for the Commodore Computer Club (UK) (CCC(UK))

Please sign me up for a membership to the CCC (UK) - I wish to be a member for:
[ ] 6 months* at 3GBP
[ ] 1 year* at 5GBP
[ ] life member at 30GBP

My personal details:



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[FOR INTERNAL USE: Date membership fee received: ]

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Please tick the box below once you have read and understood the club's rules and regulations:

**[ ] I declare that I, the named applicant above, have read and understood the CCC (UK) rules and regulations, and agree to abide by them fully and co-operatively. I understand that I am joining this club on a personal level, and not as a representative of any group, developer or vendor that I belong to.

Please tick which computers you own:
[ ] CBM/PET 40 columns
[ ] CBM/PET 80 columns
[ ] VIC/VC 20
[ ] C64/64c
[ ] C64GS
[ ] SX-64
[ ] C16/116
[ ] Plus/4
[ ] C128/128D
[ ] C64DTV
[ ] Other Commodore 8-bit
[ ] Other Commodore 16-bit

If you have ticked 'Other Commodore 8-bit' or 'Other Commodore 16-bit', please list these machines below:

Please tick from the list below your interests from the following:
[ ] Gaming
[ ] BASIC programming
[ ] Machine language coding
[ ] GEOS
[ ] JOS/WiNGs
[ ] Tech/scene demos
[ ] Collecting
[ ] Archiving/preservation
[ ] Other applications

If you have ticked 'Other applications', please give details below:

Please tick if you use any of the following peripherals below:
[ ] Datasette
[ ] 1541 compatible disk drive
[ ] 1581 compatible disk drive
[ ] FD2000/4000
[ ] CMD HD or RAMLink
[ ] 1351 mouse or compatible
[ ] Commodore REU
[ ] Other RAM expansion
[ ] SuperCPU 64/128
[ ] Other accelerator
[ ] MMC/Retro Replay
[ ] SwiftLINK/Turbo232
[ ] RR-Net or FB-Net
[ ] Other networking device
[ ] 1541Ultimate/+
[ ] Action Replay
[ ] Trilogic Expert Cartridge
[ ] Other cartridge upgrade
[ ] Other speed loader
[ ] Commodore VDU
[ ] Other hardware

Please list any items not mentioned above which you have (especially for other Commodore 8-bit machines):

Thank-you for taking the time to fill in this membership form. Your membership will be processed on receipt of the relevant membership fee as stated.

* Membership fees for 6 months or 1 year will be back-dated to the beginning of the month that the membership application has been made and relevant fee has been cleared into our account. This can be paid either by personal cheque, postal order or PayPal. Membership fees are currently 3GBP for six months, 5GBP per year or 30GBP for life membership.

** It is essential that you fill these details, otherwise your membership will not be processed

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Commodore Computer Club (UK) (CCC(UK))

Club rules:
(1) Membership subscriptions, raising funds and re-selling items.
(a) All members will pay a membership fee as follows: £3 for six months, 5GBP per year and life membership at £30. This fee will entitle the holder to free entry to the meetings, and special limited areas of the website, such as private forums and exclusive downloads, should we get anything exclusive to download. Membership will always be back-dated to the start of the month in which the member took out the subscription, so that everyone joining in the month of April for one year will see their membership expire on the 31st of March the following year.

(b) We should have a 'Commodore Computer Club Shop', which will stock all of the latest hardware mods and sods for Commodore computers. To stop the 'Maurice Randall' effect, in which the club will have to repay people for not receiving their goods because they haven't been delivered but have been paid for, items will only be on sale if they are in stock.

(c) There will be two prices, one for members (cost of item + postage and packing + 10%), and one for none members (cost + postage and packing + 20%).

(d) Any members that do work for the club, organising events, donating items for auction, coding, or are otherwise active, with exception to posting on forums and turning up to meetings, will be considered for free membership and/or lifetime membership on merit based only on work they have done for the club. In certain instances, will include what they have contributed overall to Commodore computing or gaming during their life-time, should any 'Commodore legends' show sufficient interest to join the club.

(2) Events, software and other developments.
(a) Any money that is raised by the club should be used primarily for setting up events, or bolting onto other events as appropriate. This is to go towards, or cover costs with van hire, hotels, food and drink, so the person or people who are willing to travelling to these events, man stalls and generally promote the club and its work are not be out of pocket as far as possible.

(b) Profits made from items sold at events should contribute to cover the costs of attending, or hosting, and/or expenses accrued during the event. This will not include monies raised from membership subscriptions paid for during the event.

(c) The club should seek to raise money for the purpose of developing hardware and/or software that will benefit Commodore users in the UK and world-wide, and that could therefore be sold through the club Shop.

(d) Payments to developers who are commissioned to work on behalf of the club should not be made in advanced or up front unless otherwise agreed by the treasurer and chair-person, and any other two members. This should be openly discussed with all members either in private members areas of the site, or at an organised meeting as appropriate.

(e) Hardware that is commissioned on behalf of the club which reaches production should be sold at a small profit, and monies raised to put back into the clubs funds.

(f) If it is agreed that the club should commission entertainment software, the productions should be available to download for free from the site for members only. Real-media versions should also be sold through the shop with non-members able to buy copies, though at a higher price than members.

(g) Any software commissioned by the club will either be purchased outright, paying the programmer an agreed fee on completion, or paying a lesser fee and splitting the profits at an agreed rate. This should be discussed on a case-by-case basis. The chair-person and treasurer, and two other members, must agree which method should be implemented.

(3) Meetings and monies
(a) The club should hold an annual general meeting in which members have a say in its running, and are able to make suggestions and table official club business for the year ahead. Membership subscriptions should be reviewed at the annual general meeting, and any price increases must be agreed by the chair-person, treasurer and at least two other members.

(b) There should be an annual audit of the clubs finances, with a news-letter at least every three months. The audit should be published before the annual general meeting, and this and the news-letter should be available to current members online in the private member areas. Former members may request this information, which will be granted on a case-by-case basis.

(c) Members will be able to attend any events that organised and run by the club for free when ever possible, whilst non-members will pay a small signing in fee of at least £2.50. With agreement with other event organisers, and at events that the club is attending in an official capacity, we will work towards getting members a discounted entry fee.

(d) All monies raised will go back into club funds.

(4) End of line
(a) If it is apparent that the club is not running within its means to the extent that it is likely to fold, or that legal action against it will lead to the club being dissolved, all club assets should be sold or auctioned off, and members will be refunded their current subscriptions based on the length of time they have been members. The longest-serving paying members will be refunded first as appropriate, either patricianly or fully depending on the financial circumstances at the time. The newer members, who will be dealt with last.

(b) Personal donations to the club's funds can never be fully refunded.

Club complaints procedure:
Phase 1: Where a complaint is made against the club, or one of the club members, there should initially be a private apology between the club or individual and the plaintiff. This apology should be for 'any undue harm or upset caused', and will not amount to an admission of guilt or a retraction in any way. The club will not be able to force any of its members to make this initial apology except in the instance that the individual has clearly and admittedly worked on the clubs behalf in the matter specifically relating to the complaint that has been lodged.

Phase 2: The matter should then be investigated to establish the facts. If it is deemed that an individual club member has not been acting on the clubs behalf with regards to the specifics of the complaint, then this becomes a personal matter between the two parties. The club should therefore stop any further investigations or involvement in the matter.

Phase 3: If the complaint lacks any real evidence, or it is felt that the findings are not conclusive, then the matter should be closed. Neither the club, nor any of its members, should therefore discuss the matter publically. All findings should be reported to the plaintiff, and the matter should be considered closed from the club's point of view.

Phase 4: Where a complaint is upheld, a public apology and/or retraction should be published through the official website, and in the newsletter. The club should also give the plaintiff the opportunity to give his or her point of view through the website and/or newsletter as appropriate. In this instance, the case will be considered closed from the club's point of view unless the plaintiff wants to take the matter further through due legal process.

Emergency phase: If at any point during this process the plaintiff feels aggrieved to the extent that he or she instructs a solicitor to take the matter up against the club or club members who have clearly being acting on behalf of the club in this instance, the club should then consider its legal position on the matter, and a meeting should be set up with the principle members of the club within two weeks of receiving legal notice to discuss the matter, and what to do next. Obviously, one would hope that any complaint would ever get to this stage.

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Commodore Computer club FAQ

So what is the Commodore Computer Club (UK) then?
It's a UK-based user group supporting all classic 8-bit Commodore computers, and the C64DTV, excluding the rare Commodore machines which are more collectible, such as the P500.

As a user group, our primary interest is in keeping these aging machines useful for as long as possible, by supporting hardware and software developments across all machines.

Does it cost to join?
Yes. subscription fees start from 3GBP for six months membership, 5GBP for a year and 30GBP for life membership.

What will I get for my money?
The club is run by its members. An annual audit of club funds will take place, as well as an AGM at which all members will be able to have their say about the running of the club, and make suggestions for its direction, or future projects that the club should take an interest in. On the whole, it is one member, one vote, except if stipulated in the club rules.

What will my money be used for?
The club will use its funds to set up shows and meets across the UK, and commission hardware and software as appropriate to its membership. For instance, we are currently looking at creating a good quality VGA adapter that will adequately handle the various video signals created by Commodore 8-bit machines: composite, Luma/Chroma and RGBI. Once found, these units will be made up and sold through our club shop. Whilst anyone may purchase these, these is a surcharge added to the price for non-members.

So, non-members will get all the benefits of membership by only paying a small surcharge?
Not always. We're setting up a private members area to the club website, and certain items will not be available to non-members, as agreed by the club: the newsletter, for instance, will be members only. All club-organised events will be free to members, and non-members will have to pay a signing in fee of £2.50. In the instances in which the club is bolting onto another event organised by someone else, we will work with the event manager so that our members will get a discount on the ticket price for the day or weekend as appropiate.

What's the difference between a CCC (UK) event, and me organising to meet some Commodore users in my local pub?
If you think that you can arrange to meet other enthusiasts locally to you without the club, then that's great! But generally speaking, it's difficult to organise even the most informal meetings and even with the lure of beer. Our club events will have the benefit from being organised with a purpose. Not only will you get the chance to meet other enthusiasts, but also you can thrash out hardware problems by bringing along your misbehaving piece of kit, or learn new skills through our workshops. Also, we have many spares in our arsenal, so if you have a flaky SID chip that needs replacing, or you need your drive head realligning, then bring it along and we'll see if we can help you! And whilst non-members will have to pay a signing in fee, they'll also have to pay for any fixes. As a member, you'll usually receive any easy fixes for free.

Do you support Amiga?
At the moment, we are only able to support Commodore 8-bits because we don't have members who have enough knowledge about Amiga range to adequately support that platform.

So, how long have you been going?
Not long. We started talking about a user group at the end of June 2008, held our first meeting on the 26th and 27th of July 2008, and started taking formal membership on the 1st August 2008. There are still some things that are under construction, but we're getting there.

What sort of users are you attracting?
At the time of writing, we have a rough 50/50 split between the so-called "Power users" and the average Commodore user. The word user is an important one: whilst we can offer help and advice for emulator fans, that's not the principle aim of the club.

What work have you been doing behind the scenes then?
We have agreement in principle with Cronosoft and Psytronik Software to resell their Commodore games on disk (3.5" and 5.25") as Cronosoft aren't very good at advertising that you can buy their games on disk, and Psytronik software don't currently do disks.

We have also spoken to several individuals about manufacturing a SuperCPU-like accelerator for the C64/128 (one is looking likely to take on this challenge), and there is a distant possibility of a game released for the Commodore +4 and C64/GS on cartridge.

Why aren't you just supporting the existing projects out there that are free?
Whilst the club will always support any projects or publishers who largely work for free, there are still some gaps that need filling, and because of real life or other commitments, these projects have a tendancy to stall every-so-often.

You said that you have a shop?
Yes. If you remember Commodore Scene's importing service, this will work in pretty much the same way. And whilst CMD hardware might no longer be available, there are other hardware projects that are.

We have several benefits too: becuase we'll have some resources to play with, we could buy in several items at a time, meaning that we could save on shipping costs and pass that saving on to our members.
There is also the issue of documentation, certainly with hardware projects out there. The manuals are often extremely lacking, or the English translation isn't clear enough. As a club, we can provide further documentation to hardware items sold through our shop, and hold workshops for people who are still having trouble.

Are you trying to be another website like Lemon64?
Absolutely not. There are lots of good websites for gamers, but if you're a GEOS user, for instance, where do you go for advice? Whilst we will happily report on and review any new software, we're not necessarily all about nostalgia, and have the added dimension of good programming and technical advice too. Plus, we're happy to support all Commodore 8-bits, rather than going to Sleeping Elephant for the VIC, EmuCamp for C16/+4, Lemon64 for the 64 and other sites for the 128 and PET, we want everything in one place if we can!

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