Bringing the C64 online… part I

I finally, finally found a Retro Replay cartridge with an RR-Net expansion board!  I’ll now be able to bring my trusty old C64 (it will be the SX-64 actually) online and see if I can send tweets from that good ol’ machine from the 80’s.

Hang on there, you’re probably thinking:  “What’s all this RR-stuff?”  Well, in short, the Retro Replay is a clone of the Action Replay cartridge, but enhanced with some 21st century goodies.  For instance, it extends into the RR-Net board which (and this is the really cool part) brings an ethernet port to your C64, allowing your home computer to be hooked up in your LAN and even take it one step further, to the internet.

The search for these cards wasn’t easy as they’re out of production by the company Vesalia, which replaced the boards by the Chameleon board, which is also… sold out.  Their site mentions that they’re taking pre-orders for the board, but no date is set.
So the only way to get a hold of them is on the internet.  It’s a no-brainer that collectors and hobbyists don’t put these online all that often and when they do, be sure to spend some $$$.
Nevertheless, for some reason, I got very lucky on an eBay-auction and picked up the boards for little over € 50,00.  Talk about a deal, as the RR-Net board itself normally comes in at $ 50,00!

Today, I got my boards delivered and a first check reveals they’re in perfect working condition.  So, now it’s download time as the tools I need will be Contiki (an operating system that offers many features in very small space: A TCP/IP stack, a web browser, a webserver, a VNC-client and of course a graphical user interface) and Breadbox64 (a twitter client for the C64/128 which allows you to tweet from a real C64 and even show your friends timeline).
To transfer the files I downloaded (D64-format) to my SX-64, I use the C64TPC box, which is a small piece of hardware that connects your C64’s serial port with a serial port on your PC.  With the complementary software, it becomes easy to transfer D64-files from your PC to a C64 floppy-disk.

So, with the hardware ready to go, the software downloaded from the web, I’m ready to start the big experiment.
Next steps, getting it all hooked up this weekend, so stay tuned for the next parts in the “Bringing the C64 online…”!

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  1. Pingback: The essential Commodore book | A Commodore Geek's Blog

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