New hardware for C64, part 1

March 27, 2009

My C64 hobby has lately been more active than in ages. I have even ordered some new hardware for the good old machine! And I really mean new; additional hardware that has been produced in the 2000s! This is not the first time for me though, I got myself the Retro Replay many years ago. This time I ordered 4 Player Interface and the RR-Net ethernet module from Protovision-Online.

rrnet-4pinterface

RR-Net and 4 Player Interface

This was the first time I order anything from Protovison-Online. Everything was simple and my order was posted in few days. The items were packed very well, but still there was a minor drawback. RR-Net comes with a 5,25″ floppy disk with Contiki operating system. Somehow the disk was bent against something and damaged. I simply emailed Protovision about this and they sent me a new disk! Excellent customer service, and my overall impression of Protovision-Online is nothing but positive.

And now a brief overview of the hardware I got. Read the rest of this entry »

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HardSID 4U – that’s for me!

March 20, 2009

For many years I thought that it would be cool to have a HardSID or some other SID sound card, such as Catweasel. But it wasn’t until last June that I actually decided to get one. I spotted a news item on one C64 news portal that was reminding that pre-ordering for the brand new HardSID model lasted for the end of that month. This new model HardSID 4U is external USB-device instead of PCI or ISA card as the previous versions. Additionally, there was 50€ discount to the 299€ price when pre-ordering. I was sold.

If you don’t know, the HardSID is a sound card that basically gives a genuine SID sound for a modern PC. It can also be used as low-cost multichannel analog synthesizer, but I’ll leave that only as a side note here. The genuine sound is achieved by installing actual SID chips on the sound card. And the SID chip is the sound chip of Commodore 64 – a home computer of the 80’s. This whole concept may seem a little weird if you are not familiar with the music made with Commodore 64, especially the modern music. There is still a very active scene producing music for the machine thanks to the C64’s unique sound. And trust me, the emulated sound just doesn’t compare to the real thing if you are an enthusiastic.

HardSID on my desk
HardSID 4U sitting on my desk and hooked up to my laptop and stereo system

Read the rest of this entry »


Learning to blog!

March 2, 2009

First entry ever.

So I decided to try and maintain a blog as my personal web page has been unupdated for so many years. Contributing to the Internet should be quite a lot easier and faster this way until I have the time and motivation to build up a completely new website – if ever…

So blog it is for now! This is not going to be a blog about my personal life. Instead I’m planning to share my thoughts and findings related to my hobbies and intrests – mainly retrocomputing and -gaming, chipmusic and such. Could be that I’ll be covering some other topics aswell.

I chose to write in English despite my love for my mother tongue Finnish in hopes to get a little wider audience. I’m glad if you have found my blog and find it worth reading!

Until the first actual post,
ilesj


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