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Retro Gaming Hacks by Chris Kohler

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Run a Commodore 64

Learn what you’ll need to get a real live C64 computer up and running again.

When I was in high school in the 1980s, the Commodore 64 was one of the computers to have. One friend of mine had a Commodore 64 decked out with an amazing array of music software and hardware. I’m sure my memory is exaggerating, but I swear, it looked like a huge rack of professional music equipment, and I was blown away by the sounds he was getting out of the whole package.

I was one of those Atari kids myself. I had an Atari 400 that I had upgraded to 48k (one of my few soldering projects that didn’t end with me passing out from the smell of burning plastic), but I envied my C64-owning friends. Not that I wanted to give up my Atari in exchange for what they had, rather I’d have been happy with both. I finally came into a Commodore 64 a few years ago, when my stepson went off to college (he got it from his uncle) and left his behind. It still works, and many of the floppies are still in perfect shape.

There are a few ways to run a Commodore 64, and only one of them requires a real Commodore 64. I’ll get to the real thing last.

Emulators and Things Suspected of Being Emulators

Of course, it’s no secret that you can run a Commodore 64 emulator on all sorts of devices [Hack #58] , but there are a couple of hardware options available to you, and both of them were invented by the same person. Jeri Ellsworth invented the C-One, a single board computer that is not an emulator, but a reimplementation ...

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