Commodore Inside!

In earlier articles (*), I wrote about the C64 being used as a central computer managing a range of peripheral systems. Most of the time, the breadbox would sit next to the machines it was controlling, making it possible for someone to accidentally hit the Run/Stop button and kill your process. Also, when the computer is controlling the tasks, there’s not much point to have all the bells and whistles like a joystick controller, cartridge port and even the keyboard etc. just doing nothing.

If only there was a single board computer, that could be programmed just like a C64, that I could easily integrate inside the setup and really only have the essentials on it… a bit like a trimmed down C64…

Surely, something like this never existed, right?

Wrong, it did exist (and was built toward the end of the 80s)!

It was called the EWS system and it consisted of a PCB board fitted with all the basic components like a 6502 CPU, 2 6522 VIAs creating 40 I/O channels, 4 8-bit ports, 2 I/O ports, up to 8K of RAM and up to 32K of ROM. This Commodore single board computer could be connected to an actual C64 by means of a hardware emulator allowing you to program the system directly from your C64 and allowing you also to test and control the needed peripherals directly from your C64.

To make things easier, you could even program the EWS system in Basic.

Once you were satisfied with your program, you could burn it on the EPROM and fit the system directly into your setup, connecting all the needed peripherals and keeping your C64 free for other activities, like a nice little game or the next project you were thinking of building.

 

(*) See for instance “Turning the C64 into a CNC machine” and “Music, lasers, lights and a couple of C64s

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One Response to Commodore Inside!

  1. Now THIS was completely new to me.Awesome stuff!

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