Retro computing with a touch of modern and the home for all things, retroCombs (aka Steven Combs).

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23 February 2022

Part I: Playing the C64 demos from the MEGA65 on boarding SD Card

by Steven B. Combs, Ph.D.

This is the companion blog post for my 2022-02-23 live stream edit; Part I: Playing the C64 demos from the MEGA65 on boarding SD Card. The 25 minute video is an edit of a longer one hour and fifteen minute live stream where I look at the “b-side” of the MEGA65 onboarding SD card that includes a C64 disk image full of games and demos to run on the MEGA65 in Commodore 64 mode. Before the demos, I discuss new books that adorn my retro-library, including one “the Lovely Accountant” gave me as a birthday gift.

Table of Contents

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Companion YouTube Video

Title: Playing the C64 demos from the MEGA65 on boarding SD Card

In the video below, I work through half of the C64 disk image included with the MEGA65 onboarding SD card.

Watch the Entire Live Stream

If this edit isn’t enough and you want to watch the entire livestream, including additional content and another unboxing, you get it here. For less than a buck, you can support the channel and watch eat entire one hour version. It’s fun to see what I have chopped out!

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Video Errata

None as of 2022-02-23.

Below are the links I mention in this blog post and companion video. All Amazon links are affiliate links. I’d like to thank everyone for your support of the blog and the YouTube channel by starting your purchases here!

  1. MEGA65
  2. Mastering the Commodore 64
  3. Back Into the Storm
  4. USB C Tester, 3 in 1 Type C DC5.5 USB Tester USB Load Color Screen IPS Digital Multimeter,Voltage,Current,Power,Resistance,Capacity Detector,with Clip Cable Support
  5. Hyperkin Joystick

retroCombs Library Updates

The first new book to the library is Mastering the Commodore 64 by Mark Greenshields. Published in 2020, this book is a reprint of the 1983 version. Printed on cheap paper, but packed with great information, I recommend this as a Kindle purchase. Huge thanks to “The Lovely Accountant” for taking the time to figure out I don’t have this one in my library and giving as a gift on my birthday. She listens to me!

The next book was not brand new, but one I finally finished the past couple of weeks; Back Into the Storm by Bil Herd. As I mention in the video, this is a recommended read that captures Bil’s stream of thoughts as he remembers his days at Commodore in the early 1980s. Fun, informative, and insightful for those interested in Commodore during the days of the C128 and Plus/4.

Device Unboxing

Not shown in the edit of the live stream, during the full version I unbox a USB C Tester, 3 in 1 Type C DC5.5 USB Tester USB Load Color Screen IPS Digital Multimeter,Voltage,Current,Power,Resistance,Capacity Detector,with Clip Cable Support. After the unboxing, I plug it in and try it on a few USB ports. The challenge for me is always, “will this USB connection power my retro or electronics devices properly?” I’m hopeful this device will answer those questions.

B-Side Commodore C64 Demos and Games

In the full version of the livestream, while loading the demos and games, I share tips and tricks to make the MEGA65 experience better. You can view that video here. Below is a list of the demos and games I share along with thoughts and links.

Trap Demo - As we learned during the live stream, the Trap demo recreates music from the 1970s Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of: The War of the Worlds. Scroll to 3:30 on the soundtrack to hear the original music. Sci Fi fans who have not heard this music should take a listen. I found it interesting and oh so cool. It’s a true rock opera for the Sci Fi fan!

Sonar Demo - A walk-on demo not included on the disk image, this is my attempt to convert a C128 program to the MEGA65. I’ll share more about my conversion in a future video and blog post.

Pikku G force Demo - Pikku G Force is a demo by the Dekadence64 team. One of many demos (check out their comprehensive page), this one is a trippy scrolling mess of pixels and, like many of the demos, includes exceptional 8-bit SID music. You need to watch this one for a few minutes to get to the good parts; although the entire demo is an impressive feast for the eyes, the ears, you make that call.

Natura Morta Demo - A 2013 C64 demo by TriStar and Red Sector, Natura Morta begins with a fun scroll, adding to the expectation of a grand SID demonstration. It does not disappoint as it plays a tune and describes the demo’s creation process.

C64 Fourier Demo - C64 Fourier presents a fun visual equalizer that actively complements the impressive SID tune.

Triace40 Demo - I couldn’t find anything online about this demo other than a YouTube video showcasing this demo. With a focus on bouncing text and SID goodness, this one doesn’t have much depth as other demos, but impressive.

Nothing “PETSCII” Demo - First, apologies for the bad “nothing” jokes. I couldn’t help myself; however, the pet skiing demo (or PETSCII…get it?) was priceless. I didn’t have sound, but hold on to that thought.

Subtelevision Demo - A 2019 demo by Orange that challenges the notion that “you have seen it all” in the Commodore 64 demo scene. Trippy music and computer physics highlight this demo.

Nothing “PETSCII” Demo with Sound - The title speaks for itself.

Shadow Switcher Game Demo - Developer Deft shared that on the onboarding SD C64 disk image, all the titles above the line were games and below were demos. I shared a few of the games in the Christmas Eve Live Stream and two titles in this live stream. The first being Shadow Switcher, a good-looking platform game that includes a demo mode. I let the program share itself but plan to come back and try this one. Looks like fun!

Spikes Game Demo - If you need a flappy birds demo that contains itself to a single screen and has the threat of injury for the main character, Spike is the game for you. Hard at the beginning, but as you understand the gameplay and physics, you’ll become addicted.

Final Thoughts

The C64 disk image is a nice addition to the MEGA65. It is my understanding that the SD Cards are prepared for the spring release of the MEGA65. It is unlikely any of the titles will change, but what’s included is a nice way to highlight C64 mode. There are many more demos that I didn’t have time to view and I am considering a part II. If you have interest, leave your comments below or under the video.

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