Monday, January 03, 2011

Starting the New Year Right

Today's a company holiday (odd, but ok), so I figured what better way to start the New Year than to see if my Commodore 64 still works? I bought it in mid-1986, so it's almost 25 years old, and it's been over seven years since I posted My C-64 Rides Again. Since then the monitor I used with my C-64 died, but my dad shipped me his old RBG monitor.

Would everything work? Could I access the Internet with it? The answer: YES. As you can see above, I have a C-64c, with a 1541c disk drive. I even have a 1351 mouse, but I decided not to use it. I found the Contiki OS 5 1/4 floppy that shipped with the NIC I bought for the C-64 in 2003. I was able to LOAD "*",8,1 and get Contiki OS running.

At right you can see a visit to the Bejtlich.net Web site using the Contiki OS Web browser. Remember this is a 25 year old computer running a 7 year old Web browser.

I'd like to try to get a copy of the newest Contiki OS on 5 1/4 floppy to see what improvements have happened in the last 7 years. For example, the Web browser didn't render Google at all. I also couldn't get the Telnet client to run. For all I know that part of the disk could be bad. The Web browser sort of worked, but it was very fragile (unlike the modern Contiki OS version, which is Internet-facing).

This was a fun test of this old gear. I've got my original 1200 baud modem (upgrade from a 300 baud) as well, and it still works. I'm not sure it's going to like the Verizon land line in my lab. I also need terminal software for it. That would be another fun trip down memory lane to get the C-64 working with the old modem.

At left is a screen shot of the Web server in action, but I think even accessing this page killed it.

I consider it ironic that I took these photos with a 2+ year old Blackberry, which has hundreds of times the computing power and capabilities of this setup in probably 1/100th the volume.

Happy New Year!

4 comments:

Sevan said...

What do you mean "odd, but ok", It's bank holiday Monday!! *puts feet up, sips tea* ;)

digiforce said...

Hi Richard,

Can you post about your own lab setup? It would be nice if you put a pictures as well. Thanks. Happy New Year.

George said...

For fun you can port basic programs over to iPad. Search for Hand Basic on the iTunes app store.

Also if you want a nostalgic nod to the C-64 we made this Christmas 2009. http://www.friendsintech.com/agcs

Ken Bradley said...

All I can say is, "This made me smile!"