Bringing the C64 online… part III

About a month ago, I attempted to bring my Commodore SX-64 online.  The goal was to “tweet” from this vintage machine from the 80’s using the Breadbox64 application.
As you could read from the report, things didn’t really run as smoothly as I wanted…

First there were the transfer issues of getting the D64-images to load from the SX-64 with the C64TPC hardware, so I ended up copying the D64-images with the TPC to a real disk on the SX-64 but not even this seemed to be working as the Breadbox application would not run properly.
Neither did the Contiki software so in the end, I decided to purchase serial/parallel cable like the XA1541 and put my hopes on this as a means to transfer the files and get them to run properly.

Next to that, I learned from Johan Van de Brande (the creator of the Breadbox64 application) that Breadbox64 is pending a major update as changed its authentication mechanism from basic access authentication to OAuth, so sending tweets from the SX-64 would be next to impossible.
But, there would still be the ability with the Contiki software to browse the web and even run a webserver on the SX-64.  So, the goal would be then to see if we could get this up and running…

About 2 weeks ago, I received a package containing a professionally mounted XA1541.  I can strongly recommend this seller on eBay as the quality of the product is really top-notch!
Now, today, I had some spare time in the evening to put the new strategy to the test.  I connected the XA1541 to a standard Commodore serial cable and hooked it up to the parallel port of a PC on one end, and the serial port of a 1541 drive on the other end.
Using the opencbm/cbmwin4win together with the user interface guicbm4win configuring the ports was a breeze and in less than 5 minutes time I was transferring the D64-files I had generated a couple of weeks before for Contiki from the PC to the floppy in the 1541.

Whilst I was copying the files, I hooked up the Commodore SX-64 to the internet with the Retro Replay cartridge with the RR-Net card and then when the last disk was copied, loaded the webserver application and… it worked!
On my laptop, I typed in the IP-address  I had assigned in the cfg-file for the SX-64 and sure enough, I could see the webpage appear before my eyes and at the same time see the logfile scroll on the screen of the SX-64.  I did it, the SX-64 was running as a webserver!

On a side-note, the pictures are taken from an LCD-screen attached to the SX-64 (using a signal modulator so I can show the actual SX-64 screens on a bigger monitor – makes taking pictures a lot easier!)

Next up, I loaded the webbrowser to see if I could really browse the web.  The webserver I just tested was still in my own LAN, so the SX-64 was not yet on the world wide web, but this test would bring this 8-bit machine onto the 21st century communication highway: the internet.

To make browsing a bit easier, I hooked up my Commodore 1351 mouse and thanks to the Retro Replay’s fastloader, a few seconds later, I could type in the first URL.  I typed in the address of the MOS-site and pressed enter and waited for a few seconds while I saw the machine resolving the DNS-address, getting the page and… showing it onto the screen!  I could see my website on my SX-64!  Browsing the site did not have the same speed as you’re used to on today’s computers, but I could navigate to every single page of my site and read all the articles!
A few other sites were browsed as well such as (no better way to go to this great site on vintage technology than with a vintage machine).  It all really worked!

So, there, I did it!  I managed to bring my SX-64 online as a webserver and also used it to browse the web.
I’m a happy Commodore geek!

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