Pimp my breadbin

This time last week my Beloved and I were thinking about the journey home from my parents’ place in Kent and, along with the kit I’d dragged down there to get some work done, we came back with some C64s because I want to “pimp” one a bit and needed a working or repairable board as a starting point. Here’s the one I’ve pretty much settled on with Blok Copy in the back to test it and act as a power LED…

…which was working perfectly when it arrived but someone (well okay, probably me) had already removed the SID so the Nano SwinSID that I was given and had been saving for this project was installed. It was then given a quick clean and the thermal paste removed from the VIC-II before being left on test for a day. Here’s an “after” picture taken just now (I’ve just had a quick game of Co-Axis RX to test the joystick port… honest!) with a keyboard, joystick, SD2IEC and Action Replay 6 connected for more thorough testing.

And yes, that’s a C16 keyboard connected to it, but the underlay is from a C64 keyboard so it works correctly – whilst I modified one like this back in the 1980s for my main work C64, this must have been given to me as is during the 1990s because the shift lock is connected and I wasn’t able to do that!

At some point a degree of bravery is going to be required on my part because, when the appropriate parts and time show up, a soldering iron will be taken to this fully working board. The plan is to add recently-created replacement parts like the SwinSID and a replacement PLA – as well as socketing the relevant parts of the board) to produce a machine to demo these toys at events. The SD devices tend to get as much attention from people as the games being run from them do so having a machine I can just open and point to the shiny new components would be good.

I’m currently in two minds about the case though, because I have a couple spare but there is also a deceased C16 here so the case from that could be used with a few modifications to it and the board. I really like the idea of the black case with a neon blue power light, but part of me thinks the stock breadbin with all of the new toys “under the hood” would be cool as well… so more thought is required it seems.

Run-up to Replay – part 2

As I noted previously, Replay is getting inexorably closer and, of course, I’m not entirely ready for it… as in Callisto (the Atari 8-bit game i’m writing for release at the event) only contains two and a bit levels so far, lacks a title logo and still has a couple of minor hiccups in the code that need ironing out! But I might as well post a quick screenshot grabbed at the start of the second level anyway:

There can be up to six enemies in play at once with three allowed on the same scanline (along with the player’s ship) and all seven hardware-generated sprite objects are 10 by 18 pixels in size with colour splits every other line. Getting this lot going has been… different!

On the hardware front, everything is almost ready to go, although the Oldschool Gaming Atari 800XL with its SIO2SD connected (and what appears to be a Zipstik farm, there are five in total although one needs a quick service) are currently set up for testing the game’s code and the C64GS is sat there patiently waiting for one of the final pieces of hardware to arrive. And if it’s okay with everybody else, I plan to start seriously panicking around Wednesday, give or take…