TheC64 Maxi - Full sized C64 review and disassembly

The 8-bit Guy reviews and disassembles TheC64Maxi. He also runs a program to measure the delay in screen and audio update upon a key press and both look equally minimal and similar (better than the original MiniC64 or a Mac emulator), which probably makes for a better video game playing experience.

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There’s a classic article on the latency of retrocomputers:
Computer latency: 1977-2017

Of course the latency of emulated retrocomputers will depend a lot on the hosting platform, and on the emulation technique. Links: keyboard, terminal, negative latency.

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There’s another review by “8-Bit Show and Tell”, showing some of the advanced features, like saving configurations (e.g. cartridges, preloaded software, and attached hardware). This is actually pretty neat and may be even interesting to those who already own the real thing.

And the follow-up Q&A regarding some of the aforementioned features (this may be the more interesting one of the two videos, as there is some detailed information found):


Personally I want one at some point. I have a Breadbin and a Model-C. This model seems like the first sort of “Real” Commodore64 replacement to the old Model-C.

What I can find out about TheC64 machine, is that it is possible to enter and use the menu, through the use of the keyboard. Then it will accept old 9-Pin joysticks, if you use a USB converter. If that is not enough, you can use two of them. It is also possible to make it boot up, straight into the Basic screen, and not into the carosel mode.

Basically. Wonderfull video signal, smooth 50hz, no stripes, can use old joysticks of choice and then it is a VIC-20 at the same time.

I want one…

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Frankly the only thing for me that’s missing is the lack of C128 mode and if they add that in? It’ll be perfect. Oh i mean there probably will stil lbe problems, but at some point you have t ogo 'it’s good enough for the general audience that doesn’t want to get an old tube set, buy or restore their own, and source software.

Now I want a “TheC128D”… :slight_smile:

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That would require a different keyboard, and not that much software is written for native C128 anyway.

Does anyone know if TheC64 Maxi supports USB mice emulating two mice in the joystick ports? I’m getting back into 6502 coding and I’m making a two player game using mouse control (mouse for movement, two buttons for rotating aim left/right).

However, C64 mice are pretty rare out in the wild, and very few people would have two C64 mice. I found a $20 adapter for PS/2 mice, so about $40 for a pair of them. But you still need a couple PS/2 mice, and not everyone has those lying around.

But if the TheC64 Maxi supports USB mice? Well then … now we’re cooking! Practically every TheC64 Maxi owner would have a couple USB mice lying around.

Oh - I’m assuming TheC64 Maxi does NTSC mode also. Is that right? I’m designing my game primarily around NTSC because that’s what I personally have and also 60Hz will be a bit faster. And also, I think the S-Video output of NTSC C64s is really classy due to the way it uses field alternating phase on the chroma signal. It’s really fine looking on a classic NTSC CRT.

(And sure, I’ll default to boring joystick controls, but they’re a bit clunky since there’s only one button. My control scheme is that when you press the button, movement continues while you can now use the stick to aim. When you release the button, aim continues locked in the last direction. Unlike the more common “button lock” method, this lets you run in one direction while aiming behind you.)

I recieved one of these TheC64-FullSize machine as a present the other day. And I have been playing around with it for a couple of days. It is a fun machine.

20 posts were split to a new topic: Joysticks and other controllers

Cool, I look forward to your mouse test results!

My interest in NTSC is because 60Hz produces smoother faster updates than 50Hz, and I am developing primarily for 60Hz NTSC because that’s what I personally have.

More annoyingly, 60Hz matches HDTV refresh rates here in the USA, which means that a 60Hz alternating field transparency effect will look smooth while a 50Hz transparency effect will not. It also affects the use of sub-pixel scrolling for quasi-interlacing effects, although that is not an effect that has been used in commercial software AFAIK. It is something I intend to take advantage of in my own software, though.

I am actually not very interested in playing many C64 games other than the ones I’m developing myself. In recent years, I find it more enjoyable to watch other play games on YouTube longplay videos. The ones I’m developing myself are an exception because they’re designed for gameplay which I’d personally like to play but there aren’t already games like it yet.

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I messed a bit more with my TheC64 Full Size. I have these cheap HDMI to VGA adaptors that I normally use for RaspberryPI and OrangePI. They do show a picture on a flatscreen VGA monitor. However, the image only takes up half of the screen and is moved to the left, plus it have the wrong aspect ratio.

However I have bought a 9-Pin to USB joystick adaptor, that was reported to work with TheC64-mini. Even in the manual, it states that it is Mini compatible. And yay, it is working on the Full Size machine as well.

I have made an entry on my blog.
9-Pin to USB Adaptor on TheC64

Edit: as there was a diversion which went somewhat off-topic and became somewhat fractious, several posts have been moved into another topic. Unfortunately, but unavoidably, that does also chop up some parts of the conversation which were not themselves problematic. That’s the price of disquiet.

Moderator commentary on the topic of keeping calm

I’m going to ask for a bit of calm in this discussion. Please, everyone, accept and assume that everyone’s statements reflects their own perspective, even if they appear to make absolute statements. I believe it helps not to make absolute statements. Be generous in your reading, and gentle in your writing.

If someone persists in a view which you can’t accept, allow them to persist. People will be wrong on the internet. It happens. It happens a lot more than people changing their minds.

Please remember why we’re here: to share our joy in retro computing, in all aspects of it, wherever we happen to come from, geographically and metaphorically. Every post here leaves a trace: be kind, and you’ll be seen to be kind.

Moderator supporting the call for calm

I really want to support this. Personally, I find it fascinating to learn of other experiences. Scenes differed widely. As do preferences. Even reviews are wrote (still) by (real) people, so their perceptions and preferences will vary, they may be even wrong, since everyone tends to generalize. Even more likely so, if the speaker claims authority.

Further moderator thoughts on keeping calm

In my experience, it helps enormously to get into the habit of saying “I think…” or “I believe…” or “I remember…” instead of saying “This is so, and that was so.” It can help to bring about a constructive discussion if one’s opinions and recollections are presented as such, in a way that’s open to other people adding their opinions and recollections.

But because we speak different dialects of English, because we come from different cultures and have different habits of expression, it also helps enormously to be a generous reader: if someone does present bald statements, just take them as opinions, or recollections. There’s no need to be affronted, or to correct.

And around again: if someone does respond defensively, or as if affronted or offended, just let it go.

Always be de-escalating. You’ll enjoy your online life more, I’m sure of it.

Edit: and while we’re in this meta-discussion… yes, I may seem to be very sensitive to apparent conflict. It may be that one, or both, participants, come from a culture where strong assertions are expected and where lively debate might be the norm, where something is read by me as argumentative or combative but is not intended that way. I see that. And I note, that because there will be others, like me, from cultures who express themselves more gently, more circumspectly, we will see conflict, and the danger is that we will react. In order not to have a firestorm, we all need to put our matches away.