* CPU: 6510 0.985 MHz (PAL) / 1.023 MHz (NTSC)
* Co-Processor: VIC II (Video), SID (Sound)
* RAM: 64 KB
* ROM: 20 KB
* Text Modes: 40 columns x 25 lines
* Graphic Modes: Several, most used : 320 x 200
* Colors: 16 + 16 border colours
* Sound: 3 voices / 9 octaves, 4 waveforms (sound output through TV)
* I/O Ports: RGB (composite, chroma/luma and sound in/out), 2 x Joystick plugs, Cartridge slot, Tape interfarce (300 bps), Serial,
* User Port, TV RF output
* Keyboard: Full-stroke 66 keys with 4 function keys
* Built In Media: Cassette unit. Provision for 170 KB 5.25" floppy disc unit (1541)
* Built In Language: Basic
MESS emulates the following computers
* c64 [Commodore 64 (NTSC)]
* c64pal [Commodore 64 / VC64 / VIC64 (PAL)]
* cbm4064 [CBM4064 / PET64 / Educator64 (NTSC)]
* vic64s [Commodore 64 / VC64 / VIC64 (PAL, Swedish)]
For each system, MESS supports
- a datasette, using "cassette" (cass) device, for tapes in .tap and .wav format
- two cart slots, "cartridge1" (cart1) and "cartridge2" (cart2), for cart dumps in .crt and .80 format
- one floppy drives (1541), using "floppydisk" (flop) device, for disk images in .d64 and .g64 format.
Also notice that a "quickload" (quik) feature is available for .t64, .p00 and .prg files. Cassettes
Cassette images can have the .wav or .tap extensions (formally .t64 images are tapes as well, but we currently load them through -quickload). To run a .tap or a .wav image you have to launch
mess c64 -cass "C:\pathtogame\gamename.tap"
Once you're at the BASIC prompt you have various options:
* to load a BASIC program from the cassette
* to load the first program from the cassette
The message "Press play on tape" will appear, and you will have to enter the MESS internal UI to start the tape (press Tab
and choose "Tape Control", then press "Play"). Once the program is loaded, a "READY" message will be prompted and you can run your program by simply typing
or the appropriate SYS call.
Also, MESS supports saving to tape. Therefore, you can write your own BASIC programs and save them using the command
The message "Press play & record on tape" will appear, and you will have to enter the MESS internal UI to start recording the tape (press Tab
and choose "Tape Control", then press "Record"). Floppy Disks
MESS currently emulate a single 1541 floppy drive (which correspond to drive 8) in the C64 emulation. This drive corresponds to the device "floppydisk" (flop) emulated by MESS. To run a .d64 or a .g64 image you have to launch
mess c64 -flop1 "C:\pathtogame\gamename.d64"
Once you're at the BASIC prompt you have various options:
* to list the content of the floppy
* to load a BASIC program from the disk
* to load a machine language program at its address
* to load the first program from the disk (useful if you're not sure of which is the correct one to load)
Once the program is loaded, a "READY" message will be prompted and you can run your program by simply typing
or the appropriate SYS call.
Note that as of MESS 0.137, floppy emulation fully emulates the floppy drive CPU, allowing for a great compatibility with software relying on combined use of the processors (c64 and c1541), or using copy protection schemes, or containing tracks with DOS errors. Support for writing to a floppy image is not currently present. Cartridges
Cartridges may have extension .crt and .80. Files with boot-sign in it are recognized as ROMs. Some cartridges may require more than one image: if you have any of these, please contact us because we would like to fix support for them.
* .80 files are loaded to 0x8000.
* .crt ROMs are loaded to the addresses specified in crt file.
To use "cartridge1" (cart1) or "cartridge2" (cart2) slots in MESS, simply launch
mess c64 -cart1 "C:\pathtogame\gamename.crt"
and the game will start (we support two cartridge slot for images which require multiple files to be loaded at different locations, but the support is only partial because we don't have access to any of these images).
Currently, most common types of .crt files are supported (e.g. Ocean carts).
Note that .prg files are often cartridge images as well, but in MESS they are assigned to the quickloader (see below). Quickloader
A quickloader is available via command line and it supports program image files with extensions .prg, .p00 and .t64 (the latter are tape images, but most of them are loaded to a fixed address). The quickloader loads the program into memory and sets the program end pointer. It shall work with most programs. To use the "quickload" (quik) device in MESS: launch
mess c64 -quik "C:\pathtogame\gamename.prg"
and simply type the command
to start the program. Miscellaneous
Gameport A supports paddles 1 & 2, joystick 1, mouse (both the 1350 and 1351), lightpen (implementation not finished). Gameport B supports paddles 3 & 4, joystick 2, mouse (both the 1350 and 1351).
Many games require the user to plug the Joystick controller in the second Joystick port. In MESS this can be done, either remapping the P2 Joystick inputs, or simply pressing F1
(in partial emulation mode) to swap the Joystick ports and use your P1 Joystick as if it was connected to the second port. Keyboard
These systems require full keyboard emulation to work correctly. At startup, full keyboard emulation mode is enabled by default. Whilst in full keyboard emulation mode, some key associated functionality may be disabled (like the Esc
key for EXIT). The keyboard emulation mode is toggled using the Scrl Lock
key (by default).
Original Keyboard: QWERTY Full-stroke 66 keys with 4 function keys
<- 1! 2" 3# 4$ 5% 6& 7' 8( 9) 0 + - £ HOME DEL f 1
CTRL Q W E R T Y U I O P @ * UP RESTORE f 3
STOP LOCK A S D F G H J K L :[ ;] = RETURN f 5
C= SHIFT Z X C V B N M ,< .> /? SHIFT U/D L/R f 7
is a key with the Commodore logo, "UP" is an arrow pointing up, the "CRSR" keys at the bottom-right corner are used to move the cursor on screen (Up/Down and Left/Right resp.). Color Codes
with number keys, you can change the font color. Below you find the complete list of available colors
^ ^ 1 ^ 2 ^ 3 ^ 4 ^ 5 ^ 6 ^ 7 ^ 8 ^
| orange | brown | light red | gray 1 | gray 2 | light green | light blue | gray 3 |
| black | white | red | cyan | purple | green | blue | yellow |
* Some .crt files still does not work
* The video emulation has still some problems
* Lightpen support is not finished.
* The restore key is not currently working.
* No printer or other devices support in the serial bus (apart from simple disk drives).
* No userport support and no rs232/v.24 interface.
History and Trivia
Designed similar to the Vic-20, the Commodore 64 featured a better video chip supporting sprites, as well as the famous sid6581 sound chip, two "Atari-compatible" joystick ports, and 64 kilobytes of RAM.
The Commodore 64 is, along with the Apple II and the Atari 8-Bit computers, one of the most famous home computers of its era. During its production from 1982 to 1993 (!) 17 to 22 million (!) of these computer would sell, to put in perspective, that's more than all the Macintoshes in the world. It was one of the first to offer a high quality sound chip and graphic resolution with many colors and sprites. A great range of peripherals was developed for this computer and can use several of the Vic 20 peripherals.
Several versions of the Commodore 64 were launched : The first one (C64-1) uses the VIC 20 case, it will be quickly replaced with the C64-2 which uses the famous brown case and by the C64-3 with small cosmetic changes in the keyboard. A special version called Educator 64 or PET64 or CBM 4064 was proposed for schools and uses the PET case.
Commodore produced the first generation of C64s until May 1986, then it was discontinued and they introduced the C64C. According to the 64'er magazine, this version has been planned since the Hannover Fair in 1985, but as the old version sold so well during Christmas '85, its release date was pushed back.
The new model does not differ much from its predecessor, the only innovation is the flatter case, which makes the keyboard (which has off-white keys now) more ergonomic (it looks like the C128 case), as it is less higher than the old one. But the new case did not only have advantages: due to its low profile and additional metal screening, some of the numerous hardware expansions did not fit anymore. This was changed with the C64G. The 64'er staff noticed that VIC-II as well as the two CIAs have new version numbers; they didn't write which, though (these are probably just bugfixed chips).
The official name for this model was "C=64 C", but nevertheless the German 64'er magazine decided to call it "C64-II" (because the first units didn't have the new name on the label at the bottom), the badges on all the 64 C's just says "Commodore 64". They pointed out
that this name was only valid for the 64'er magazine, but since the 64'er was the magazine for the C64 for a long time, the name was widely accepted and so this model is mostly known as "C64-II" in Germany.
Then appeared the C64 "Aldi" (1987, only in Germany) and the C64G (1989). They were virtually same machines, this time with the new, short motherboard. So, although the case might look the same and the label says "Commodore 64", the boards may be completely different.
Commodore also released a "laptop version" (though hardly portable) of the C64, called SX64. This computer has a built-in 5" color screen, one detachable keyboard, one 5.25" floppy disk drive (the famous 1541) and a second one can be installed as well. A version called DX-64 was launched (in very limited quantities) at the same time, it has same characteristics as the SX64 except its two 5.25" floppy disk drives. The SX64 and DX64 computers never had success, but it is known as the world's first color portable.
Finally, the C64GS was released in 1990. Basically it was a re-boxed C64, without a keyboard or any other interfaces, except for the cartridge slot on top. It didn't have much success as you could buy a C64 for not much extra, and the C64GS games would still work on the C64.It came with one game cartridge containing International Soccer, Klax, Flimbo's Quest and Fiendish Freddy's Big Top O'Fun. The carts had a memory of 4 megabits (512k).
(info from old-computers.com)
* C64.com -- http://www.c64.com/
* C64files.com -- http://www.c64files.com/
* Commodore 64 Nostalgia -- http://www.staggs.pair.com/c64/
* LEMON 64 -- http://www.lemon64.com/
* C64 at vintage-computer.com -- http://www.vintage-computer.com/commodore64.shtml
* C64 at old-computers.com -- http://old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?c=98
* VICE -- http://www.viceteam.org/
* CCS64 -- http://www.ccs64.com/
* Free64 -- http://www.umr.edu/~bmartin/
* Frodo -- http://frodo.cebix.net/
* Win64 -- http://www.geocities.com/siliconvalley/park/6558/win64.htm