Open Doors Extension
We received a lot of feedback to re-open doors after the MEGA65 launch event and open doors day – so here is an extension! And yes, you will still be able to play one of the most famous extensions in the history of video games: the Nintendo 64 DD, pictured in the flyer. We are looking forward to meeting many of you and having great conversations.
Most if not all C64 fans will remember the british cult computer magazine Zzap!64 which recently was reborn through a Patreon campain, not only as a digital download with great fresh titles for the Commodore 64 on the so-called cover disks, but even as a real paperback magazine if you add just a few more bucks.
We are more than proud that issue number eleven not only contains a hardware review by Christian Simpson aka Perifractic – it even introduces the new MEGA65 CORNER! This means there will be frequent reports and news around the MEGA65 and especially games to be enjoyed on the platform. What an honor!
MEGA65 batch two
Despite the worldwide situation we are shipping the 2nd batch of MEGA65 computers in this a busy yet successful year – making it a total of 920 MEGA65 out in the wild! The PCBs are currently being tested at Trenz Electronic as can be seen in the photos.
Everybody owning a MEGA65 from batch 1 or a DevKit can freely upgrade their machines to the current stable state. As usual all necessary files and information are available at the FileHost.
Just in time the famous C64 core has been published as Release 4 boosting original C64 compatibility to an impressive level. We wish everyone a nerdy Christmas!
First timers: Dan’s MEGA65 Welcome Guide is a good place to get up and running. Additionally join the Discord server and head to the channel #welcome-new-owners. To keep you updated Dan’s MEGA65 Digest gives insights into the development and specific topics such as the “Sounds of the SID” in the latest entry from November.
10th anniversary & MEGA65 release
The event on Saturday, August 27th 2022 delighted many hearts and the MEGA65 release was a complete success. IT specialists, experts for hardware and software, MEGA65 users, involved developers and their kids as well as other interested parties did participate. We welcomed Prof. Dr. Bernd Ulmann, who demonstrated his new development The Analog Thing, as a guest speaker. Playable stations in the exhibition were an Atari Video Music, a Deamcast loaded with Soul Calibur, which was occupied by elementary school students for hours, an Atari VCS with H.E.R.O, an NES with Zelda, a Sharp X68000 with Chourensha and Doshin the Giant on a Nintendo 64DD, which activated the bigger ones and the nostalgic, and finally T42 – Tennis for Two, which with CODE RED/Adventure Vision and SHizZLE/Pokemon Mini complemented previous MEGA activities in the context of reconstruction, development and digital art & craft. It will certainly not have been the last event – if you want to learn more about the MEG65 community or even take part, you should stop by here.
10th anniversary preparations
Update 23rd of August: The exhibition is fully set up! We do not want to show too much upfront but expect great stuff to be seen and played on! This might the only chance in your life to play Doshin the Giant on a 64DD for example. And we have food and drinks! So please do not hesitate to participate in our fabulous event this Saturday.
Preparations for the 10th anniversary and the MEGA65 release party have started! We are realizing the exhibition concept – and look forward to your visit! You can register here: registration page
BASIC 65 – from dead horse to stallion
Once the team had official permission to use the C65 ROM for the MEGA65 project, Bit Shifter decided to take on the task and look at the ROMs source files. The first step was to reestablish the tool chain that Commodore used to create their ROM, there is a post in the MEGA65 blog that describes this process very well.
Bit Shifter started the same way the MEGA65 team did with the project: Picking up what Commodore had to leave behind (BASIC 10) and continue from there. He has now been working on the MEGA65 ROM for over a year and turned it into something Commodore fans only could have dreamed of in the 1980s and 90s: BASIC 65. To get an impression of what he achieved please look at the ROM history page. To summarize just some parts of his impressive work:
- Planned commands – now implemented:
GCOPY, CUT, PASTE
- Commands extended:
PEEK, POKE, SYS, SCREEN, DMA, BLOAD, BVERIFY, SPRSAV, DIRECTORY, COPY, PLAY, HIGHLIGHT, INSTR, FOR, NEXT
- New operator:
- New commands:
LOCK, UNLOCK, INFO, RPLAY, FREEZER, MOUNT, CHDIR, FGOTO, FGOSUB, FREAD, FWRITE, FONT, SPEED, EDMA, RSPEED, DOT
- New variable type:
- New constants: Hex constants 32 bits in size
- Speed optimizations: BASIC65 is average 5 times faster than BASIC10 at the same CPU setting
- Many bug fixes, some of them in Commodore / MS BASIC since the first PETs and C64: garbage collection bug,
PRINT ""+-0crash bug,
BENDbug, inexact PI and therefore errors in
COS, SIN, TAN
- Bug fixes in CBDOS:
@Save and Replace bug, collection bug, splat file deletion bug, subdir deletion bug
First physical MEGA65 release
One of the most captivating science fiction stories surfaced in 2018 for classic 8-bit and 16-bit systems when Berlin based author Stefan Vogt released his game Hibernated with great impact and praise. Being a well-known member of the retro-scene, he is now widely cited for reviving the genre of text adventures with his new releases for the still relevant home computers of the 1980s.
Being an avid fan of the works from the legendary Infocom, Stefan now completely rewrote his classic to a full-featured interactive fiction piece using Infocom’s Z-machine standard. As an early supporter and adopter of the MEGA65, Stefan owns one of the 100 DevKits; it was a no-brainer for him to bring his newest effort as a native MEGA65 version. With Hibernated 1 – Director’s Cut we are more than proud to have the first physical release in the roster, more to follow. The original 3,5″ DD Disk will auto-boot when put in your MEGA65 disk drive.
You can order the game from Stefan’s publisher Poly.Play. The box itself is a 1:1 interpretation of Infocom’s stunning physical releases, and it goes well next to any Infocom collection. Look how wonderful that box is!