Sunday, August 17, 2003

Bring New Life to Your Commodore 64

My dad recently shipped my old Commodore 64 to me and I'm trying to figure out how best to use it. It would be fun to run a BBS accessible via telnet, like these. My Commodore 64, 1541 disk drive, Capetronic 1200 baud modem, and RS-232 serial interface all work, but I need software for the C-64. There are plenty of games that run on emulators, but how do I get software from the archives onto the C-64?


Assuming the C-64 has no terminal software available, my best bet appears to be to use Star Commander on a PC running MS-DOS. I'll connect the PC to the 1541 disk drive using a special cable (probably the XA1541). I'll use Star Commander to write Commodore software like EBBS to a floppy in the 1541. Once the software is available to the C-64, I can try setting up a BBS like that run by Leif Bloomquist. Using these instructions, I could even access telnet services from the C-64! Here's another option called BBSLink that forwards incoming telnet connections to a Windows box to the COM port, where the C-64 listens. Maybe I'll connect the C-64 to my packet radio TNC, and really go retro.


I also found these how-to's to be helpful in figuring out this process, and an incredible amount of original documentation is online. Because Star Commander works only in a true MS-DOS environment, I started looking at what could be done in DOS. Would you believe people are running DOS-based web servers?

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