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Finally: Broadband for the Commodore 64 442

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the answer-to-a-question-that-didn't-need-asking dept.
GP writes "Now even die-hard Commodore 64 users are able to enjoy the benefits of broadband Internet connectivity. A newly announced Ethernet card together with the Contiki operating system lets you surf the web, send e-mail, host web sites with the built-in web server, and soon even play LAN games on your good old Commodore 64! All this with a computer that is old enough to drink."
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Finally: Broadband for the Commodore 64

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  • Wahoo! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 18, 2003 @05:36PM (#6998287)
    Now I can play Tank! With my friends in Iraq!
  • by Brahmastra (685988) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @05:37PM (#6998295)
    It'll be the first ever time the CPU bus is a bottleneck to the Internet connection
  • Uhmm.. (Score:4, Funny)

    by Xerithane (13482) <xerithane@@@nerdfarm...org> on Thursday September 18, 2003 @05:37PM (#6998296) Homepage Journal
    All this with a computer that is old enough to drink

    Am I the only person who has no idea just what in the hell that is supposed to mean?

    And oh yeah, good job on the ethernet stuff for the C64.
    • Re:Uhmm.. (Score:4, Informative)

      by Thomas M Hughes (463951) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @05:40PM (#6998324)
      It means the Commadore was released more then 21 years ago, which is that age at which its legal to drink alcohol in the US. I believe the original release was in 1982.
      • Wait... so you're saying I shouldn't have drank the stagnant rain water that gathered in my C64 box starting 10 years ago?? WTF I thought you meant the rain water aged like a fine wine$!@$
    • Am I the only person who has no idea just what in the hell that is supposed to mean?


      It means the computer is over 21 years old. I don't recommend actually getting it a beer tho...

    • I thought I was the only one that had images of an old melted C64 slushee in a cup... /weird.

      ~Berj
      • I thought I was the only one that had images of an old melted C64 slushee in a cup... /weird.

        I think that is more valid than people dreaming of sitting next to a C64 [penny-arcade.com]
    • Re:Uhmm.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Nos. (179609) <andrew@nospaM.thekerrs.ca> on Thursday September 18, 2003 @05:42PM (#6998347) Homepage
      Well, in some countries there is a minimum age to purchase alcohol. In the US, its 21. According to: http://oldcomputers.net/c64.html [oldcomputers.net] the commodore was released Jan, 1982. Making it 21 years old, or, old enough to drink.
    • Re:Uhmm.. (Score:5, Funny)

      by stretch0611 (603238) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @05:43PM (#6998362) Journal
      All this with a computer that is old enough to drink... Am I the only person who has no idea just what in the hell that is supposed to mean?

      It means I feel old because my first computer was a Commodore Vic-20, which came out a few years before the 64.

      • My first computer was a Timex Sinclair 1000, which came out even before the Vic-20. I guess that means I should feel even older than you. Damn you! Just as I was beginning to feel comfortable with my age, you just had to come along and ruin for me. Thanks a lot! :-)
    • Am I the only person who has no idea just what in the hell that is supposed to mean?

      The Commodore 64 has been around since 1981 [commodore.ca], so it's 22 years old. Hence, if it were to walk into a bar, it would be able to order a Jack Daniels.
    • I and (perhaps) all the rest of the Europeans out there thought: Old enough to drink... For a nice burgandy that probably means '94.

      D.
      • I and (perhaps) all the rest of the Europeans out there thought: Old enough to drink... For a nice burgandy that probably means '94.

        I thought the same thing. I was really curious why they were equating the age for aged alcohol. I figured I was missing something, which I was, and I'm not European.
    • by morcheeba (260908) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @05:57PM (#6998482) Journal
      It means that, in order to run at a decent speed, you have to overclock the C64's 6502 so much that it requires a water cooling setup.
    • I took it as well aged. Then again, I like 20 year old Scotch so i may be biased.

      10 years ain't old enough, 20 years is about right. 6 years old is paint remover.

    • All this with a computer that is old enough to drink.

      Am I the only person who has no idea just what in the hell that is supposed to mean?


      Nobody has quoted Douglas Adams yet on this one?

      Ford Prefect: "It's rather unpleasant -- much like being drunk."

      Arthur: "What's so unpleasant about being drunk?"

      Ford: "You ask a glass of water."

    • Re:Uhmm.. (Score:5, Funny)

      by spektr (466069) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @06:31PM (#6998746)
      All this with a computer that is old enough to drink
      Am I the only person who has no idea just what in the hell that is supposed to mean?

      That means that this computer I loved so much years ago grew old and became a farting old drunkard who is jealous of my athlon workstation. I feel a little embarassed when I see him trying to keep up with the young generation. Now he got broadband. Drills new holes into his case. They are laughing behind his back. At night I hear him crying silently. I really breaks my heart.
  • by SuperBanana (662181) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @05:38PM (#6998306)

    As we all know, the standard is whether or not something can "flood a 10BaseT network". Anyone who has read the networking HOWTOs know that Pentium 100's can "do this easily".

    So...can it? If not, how much traffic do I have to send it to bring it to a crawl? :-)

    • by AKAImBatman (238306) <akaimbatmanNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday September 18, 2003 @05:43PM (#6998368) Homepage Journal
      I think that question depends on whether the C64 had DMA or not. If yes, then it would have a chance in hell of doing burst transmissions that could flood a 10BaseT line. If no, then why the **** are people wasting time on this?

      • by FrostedWheat (172733) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @06:01PM (#6998519)
        I think that question depends on whether the C64 had DMA or not.

        Kinda. All the chips (video, sound, etc.) had direct access to the memory. But they all have to take turns, when the video chip was reading from memory, the CPU couldn't and would pause. Some of the turbo-loaders (heh, load 64k in 15 seconds from floppy .. wheeeee) would blank the screen to make sure nothing interrupted the CPU and upset the timing.
    • As we all know, the standard is whether or not something can "flood a 10BaseT network". Anyone who has read the networking HOWTOs know that Pentium 100's can "do this easily".

      With a 1MHz, 8-bit CPU, I seriuosly doubt the C-64 would even come close.
    • by ewhac (5844) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @06:24PM (#6998697) Homepage Journal

      So...can it [flood a 10BaseT network]?

      No. It can't.

      If not, how much traffic do I have to send it to bring it to a crawl? :-)

      Not much, I would think.

      The C64 has a 1MHz 6510 8-bit CPU. The memory bus is also 1MHz. Moreover, the fastest instruction on the 6510 (which is a 6502 derivative) is two clocks. Thus, at four clocks per byte (two to read, two to write), the fastest data transfer rate you could conceivably get is 0.25 MBytes/second (in reality, it would be rather slower as the LDA and STA instructions take more than two clocks, but I don't have the timing chart in front of me).

      The C64 does have DMA, but it's dedicated to video access and refresh and can't be redirected. Moreover, these DMA cycles completely take over the bus for 40 clocks every eight video lines. So your packet writes will likely hiccup from time to time. (Presumably they have big silos on the NIC.)

      Even if the NIC did DMA itself, it would have to get out of video's way every eight lines, which means you couldn't flood the line indefinitely. Also, the C-64 has a mere -- surprise! -- 64K of RAM. At 1MByte/sec, you'd run out of RAM in 0.065536 seconds.

      Schwab
      C-64 Early Adopter

  • by norsk_hedensk (671990) <joe@farragutmarin e . c om> on Thursday September 18, 2003 @05:39PM (#6998308)
    "...All this with a computer that is old enough to drink." uh....to drink? since when do things get so old that you can drink them?
  • Progression (Score:5, Funny)

    by eyepeepackets (33477) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @05:39PM (#6998311)

    Does this mean that some day, following a screwy bit of logical progression, I'll be able to run WindowMaker on my TI-56?

    I can hardly wait! *hop*

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 18, 2003 @06:09PM (#6998585)
      > I'll be able to run WindowMaker on my TI-56?
      >
      > I can hardly wait! *hop*

      If you have a difficult time with "waiting" then maybe running WindowMaker on a TI-56 isn't for you.
  • by evil-osm (203438) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @05:39PM (#6998313)
    I was beginning to fear that I would have to upgrade at some point!
    • I was beginning to fear that I would have to upgrade at some point!
      Preach it brother. I am so sick of all the "C64 is dying" trolls on Slashdot spreading their FUD. The C64 is alive, its development community is vibrant, and people will be flocking back to it in droves once SCO starts demanding $699 per seat for all modern operating systems.

  • Post please (Score:5, Funny)

    by Libor Vanek (248963) <libor,vanek&gmail,com> on Thursday September 18, 2003 @05:39PM (#6998315) Homepage
    Okay, start posting "C= 64 was the 'my first'/'last real'/'first real'/'best' computer/piece of crap" messages.
    • by bluGill (862) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @05:45PM (#6998375)

      Your junk C=64 machine sucks. My Atari rules. ATASCII is soo much better than that ugly ASCII you have to use.

      I was going to post this in all caps like any kid back then would have, but I decided to save everyone's eyes. (I think the lameness filter would have stoped that)

      • C64's didn't use standard ASCII, they used "PETSCII" which had an ecleptic collection including everything from cursor control codes, colour change codes, function key codes, and a large assortment of graphic symbols.

        Weird but kinda neat... how many computers do you know where you can write an upward-slanting diagonal, multi-coloured string with a single PRINT statement? :)

        This reminds me of the only single-line animation program I've ever seen... It was basically (no pun intended):

        10 A$="{cu}{cd}{cl}{cr

  • by spellcheckur (253528) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @05:39PM (#6998317)
    I finally got networked play going for my Atari 2600.
    I gotta tell you, being able to play "Combat" head-to-head over the Internet is an absolute revolution in gaming!
  • When's the Dragon 32 port of Contiki and ethernet card coming out - I've still got 2 gathering dust in the wardrobe :P
  • The funny thing is (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @05:41PM (#6998334)
    any DSL modem or router is probably at least a hundred times faster than a C64.
  • by Squeezer (132342) <awilliam.mdah@state@ms@us> on Thursday September 18, 2003 @05:41PM (#6998337) Homepage
    You can see the AMD square/arrow logo on the corner of one of the chips. Cool.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 18, 2003 @05:42PM (#6998351)
    (Anonymous non-karma w***e posting.)

    13.09.2003: Retro Replay and RR-Net available
    In time with the announced date, the new production run of the Retro Replay is finished. Compared to the old cartridges, only cosmetic changes have been made: The most significant change is the colour: Blue instead of black. After many requests by users, the jumpers are now mounted straight, not to the side. To ensure proper mounting in our new cases, the mounting hole has been moved and changed in diameter to perfectly fit the transparent cases.

    At the same time, the networking card RR-Net is going on sale. The card is plugged to the expansion port of the Retro Replay, and allows connecting the C64 to an intranet. Although the operating system Contiki is freeware, we have an agreement with the author Adam Dunkels: He gets paid for every RR-Net unit that's sold. Contiki is an operating system that offers many features in very small space: A TCP/IP stack, a web browser, a webserver, a VNC-client and of course a graphical user interface. It is included on a 5,25 inch disk for the C64. To make use of all features of Contiki, an intranet with router should be available.
    As an introductory offer, there's a network-bundle. It contains:

    # Retro Replay
    # RR-Net with Contiki
    # transparent case
    # worldwide shipment

    together for only 100,- EUR!

    Please use the contact form for your order. Unfortunately, our domain ami.ga does not work at the moment, because the republic of Gabon is currently migrating their internet connection from satellite to undersea cable. Even with our server in Germany, both the website and email addresses are affected, but the contact form works reliably!
  • Nothing all that new (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    It's been done before: http://www.dunkels.com/adam/tfe/ [dunkels.com]
    • That was also done by Adam Dunkels, the guy behind Contiki and the RR-Net Ethernet card.
      • by adadun (267785)
        ah, kicked that submit button too fast...

        The RR-Net Ethernet card is a re-design and logical continuation of the TFE Ethernet card, for which Contiki was originally written. The RR-Net and the TFE are built upon the same Ethernet controller chip: the CS8900a, which has an 8-bit mode and is very well suited for interfacing with 8-bit CPUs and microcontrollers.

        I am actually running Contiki together with an RR-Net Ethernet card on my 10 MBit/s broadband connection myself. Of course, it isn't actually possibl
  • I met these guys (and gal :) at CGE 2k3, they are good people with some neat products. He's also made Amiga ethernet adapters as well as what looked like a homebrew Catweasel (or maybe these are the people who made it to begin with?). Also these are the guys who sponsored Jeri to create the C-1 modernized C64 motherboard.
  • watch out (Score:5, Funny)

    by Tumbleweed (3706) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @05:43PM (#6998361)
    Get ready for lots of 40-column width formatted Slashdot postings! :)
  • Neat (Score:5, Funny)

    by pavon (30274) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @05:44PM (#6998372)
    Wow, and the way that the contiki webbrowser is designed you can even view site like slashdot who's html is larger than the amount of RAM in the machine itself!
  • Yipee! Soon they'll have a way to hook up my solar powered scientific calculator. Then I can trade formulas and answers (wait...that would be wrong) with friends from Carnegie Mellong AND MIT. Awww yeah!
  • imagine a whole beowulf cl....ahh forget it.

  • Lords of Conquest (Score:2, Informative)

    by Morglum (662310)
    In a shocking fit of synchronicity, I stumbled upon a java aplet version of Lords of Conquest, and have been playing for the last hour...an hour before this story was posted...

    Ah, the good ol days. Who said you could never go back?
  • Commodore firewall (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lsd4all (526675) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @05:48PM (#6998406)
    What a great idea to limit bandwidth usage. Hookup up a C64 as a firewall and *presto* you are blocking ports and keeping the P2P usage down to 2K/sec. Burn the firewall code to a start-up cartridge ROM, make the C64 run off a 12V battery with a DC-DC converter for the needed +/-5V. Throw the whole thing in a black box with a solar panel on top and sell it as the next big thing in network security.
  • C-64 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pompatus (642396) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @05:49PM (#6998415) Journal
    The important thing to learn from this is that when it comes down to what the average user wants to do with a computer, the new ultra fast Xtreme P4 is not necessary. Surfing the web, email, and word processing can be done with a sub $100 computer system given the correct software.

    This also brings up the sheer amount of unneccessary bloat in alot of software today.
    • Yeah, but I don't think you want to be trying to display graphics-heavy websites, or, worse yet, Flash-only websites, with a 1MHz computer. You'll just have to run everything in textmode and deal. *shrug*

      This whole thing makes me want to go check out the "Commodore One" project...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    *** Commodore 64 for slashcode ***
    *** PerlBasic 0.9, for C64, BY A.C ***
    *** 32095904383 basic bytes free ***

    READY.

    0 REM BSD IS DYING.
    1 EINIT, JBQ0, 127.0.0.1
    2 LPIPL,HTTP,"E"
    10 JLX,E,ROX,40,slashdot,org,80
    20 ROXP, SDPS, goatse.
    30 PJP 20
    40 ?RD, 0

    PL, BB$59!

    THE GOATSE.CX LAWYER SAID WE NEEDED A
    WARNING, SO IF YOU ARE UNDER 18 OR YOU
    ARE USING A COMMODORE 64, PLEASE DON'
    T LOOK AT IT! THANK YOU

    [ stinger ]

    BSD IS DYING!
  • Hmm... (Score:2, Funny)

    There must be somebody out there who's really desperate for a good Slashdotting of their Commodore 64.
  • by Waffle Iron (339739) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @05:56PM (#6998472)
    It's irresponsible to put these machines on the Net! They're running kernels that haven't been patched in 2 decades. The user always runs as root. Hell, the CPU doesn't even have a privileged mode! How many minutes do you think it will be before a C64 with broadband is cracked?

    It's bad enough that people who try putting their C64 on the Internet will probably lose all of their valuable data. What really worries me, though, is a plague of dozens of zombie C64 machines under the control of hackers bringing down valuable services like Google and Yahoo with DDoS attacks.

    • by Tumbleweed (3706) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @06:05PM (#6998551)
      I don't think a mass DDoS attack from all the C64s in the world would overload my wristwatch. :)
    • by poot_rootbeer (188613) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @07:03PM (#6998965)
      What really worries me, though, is a plague of dozens of zombie C64 machines under the control of hackers bringing down valuable services like Google and Yahoo with DDoS attacks.

      I, for one, welcome our new 8-bit overlords...

    • Re:Irresponsible (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Sloppy (14984) *

      They're running kernels that haven't been patched in 2 decades.

      C64 runs a kernal, not a kernel. ;-)

      But anyway... patch them, remotely! All you need to do is find an unchecked buffer. Send some data that is so long that it overwrites the "hidden" RAM that lies in the same address space as the kernal ROM (the 6510 will let you write to that RAM, you just can't normally read what you wrote, because you'll see the ROM instead), and then continue overwriting until the 16-bit pointer wraps around to 0 and t

  • Old enough to drink...BAH!

    How about old enough to run for President? [pdp8.net]

    :-D

  • Great. Cuz this iBook/Jaguar was just waaaaay too fast, man.

    This is like climbing Mount Anthill. Because it's there. Well, it was when I started...
  • Got it! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JoeCommodore (567479) <larry@portcommodore.com> on Thursday September 18, 2003 @06:04PM (#6998539) Homepage
    I've have this (RRnet w/Contiki) since AmiWest (july), very nice! Contiki is still getting some bugs out, but for a no-frills text browser it works great. I connect via ethernet to my dial-up router. Can surf about any site, even do Google searches. So far I have only played with the browsing but even with that I'm impressed, even with it's limits it sure runs slick.

    I would compare the stock 64 speed with it to about a 600 baud terminal connection (not bad for 1mghz displaying in hi-res mode), easy enough to read without stopping the stream (there is no buffer in the web browser, sice contiki uses a lot of the 64's 58k or so of accessible memory.)

    With the C64 20 mghz accellerator, SuperCPU (by CMD - now offered by Commodore Key [cmdrkey.com],) the speed matches a modern PC - albeit a slower one.

    To sum it up, given the tight memory and small amount of hardware needed now - it sure opens up opportunities for some low-end internet projects. (even grander ones when people with RAM expansions start developing for it) I hope one day someone makes a Commodore C/G BBS and C64 Telenet Client using them or maybe a internet variation of the old Commodore Q-Link network (Q-Link was AOL before they became AOL).

    Also with the eventual release of the ultra-cool reconfigurable computer - the C-One [c64upgra.de] (which can use the RR-Net card) and Jeri Ellsworth's (she created the C-One) work on an Apple II interface which I believe also has similar capabilities - you are proably going to hear about a lot more 8-bitters on the internet with their little computers. :-)

    But realistically I am hoping 'The Final Ethernet' card (which is just the Ethernet adapter interfaced to the 64) gets developed though, using the Retro Replay Utility Cartridge as an intemediary ads a buch of $$ to the price (I'm a Commodore fanatic, I had to buy one, not everyone would like those prices though.)

  • You said:
    All this with a computer that is old enough to drink

    so I poured a beer into mine, and now it doesn't work...
  • by Raven42rac (448205) * on Thursday September 18, 2003 @06:06PM (#6998566)
    It's just not the same as the feeling I got when my 300 baud modem finally came in the mail that fateful day, now that was broadband back then. I remember dialing up to Q-Link, which I believe became AOL. I remember picking up a Basic game programming book and not leaving my computer room for 3 days until I had programmed and saved them all. I may have to dig out the old keyboard and try this for myself. I think my monitor is wonky though. And I do have that sweet 128 cartridge that plugs into the back of the keyboard. Blue screen=good, green screen=even better.

  • by Hoi Polloi (522990) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @06:14PM (#6998627) Journal
    In the spirit of an ethernet card for the C64 I'm working on the following:

    1. Climbing with gear from the 1800's
    2. Souping up a Model T
    3. Creating a fully automatic muzzle loader
    4. Compression scemes for 5.25" floppies
    5. Teaching a VERY old dog new tricks
  • I'm gonna be ill. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dagmar d'Surreal (5939) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @06:48PM (#6998828) Journal
    Just let it go, people. _Let it go_ already.

    I had one of these machines when I was a kid. I outgrew BASIC fairly rapidly and started coding in assembly. My blue 6502 Assembly book was so dog eared that it made neighborhood beagles jealous. While I was taking calculus in college, I wrote a crude ray tracer that output 16 colored blocks and attempted to use screen refresh rates to eek more than 16 colors out of each text cell. I'm as big a fan of the machine as anyone, but it's time has passed.

    Now, however, both the CELL PHONE AND PDA IN MY POCKET have more beef than a C=64.

    I mean, if you're going to mod something from that era, at least use a C-128D. There's so much more room in the case.
  • by shoemakc (448730) on Thursday September 18, 2003 @11:24PM (#7000834) Homepage

    LOAD PORN,8,1

    -Chris

Swap read error. You lose your mind.

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