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Thursday, February 26: The Commodore 64 Is Alive (continued)

Step 3: Running 64HDD

64HDD is a sever that acts like the 1541 floppy drive. It emulates a floppy disk.

The most difficult aspect to this project is getting the software running. Every PC is slightly different and may require a slightly different command-line string.

Be sure to read the documentation included in 64HDD.

To start the 64HDD server, (on your PC at the DOS prompt) type this:

64hdd +8 C:\ROMS -rst -xe +lpt 1 -fastest +p

Now the server is running.

To load a ROM, such as ARCHON.T64, (on your C64) type this:

LOAD"$",8

This loads the current directory that specified on the PC into C64 memory:

LOAD"$A",8

This loads the A: directory into C64 memory:

LIST

This lists the contents of the last loaded directory. The ROMs appear in the 8.3 file format, so you might have to rename them to fit that format. The C64 sees those ROMs as any other directory.

LOAD"$ARCHON.T64",8

This loads the Archon directory:

LIST

This lists the contents of the Archon ROM. Then load the game just like you did back in the day:

LOAD"*",8,1

Bring the C64 to Life—Multiple-Disk Games

If your ROM spans multiple disks, it's a trickier process. Included with 64HDD, in the utils directory, is a program for the C64 called MULTIDSK. MULTIDSK defines partitions, to which you assign ROMs that you toggle on the PC as the C64 prompts you for them.

Load MULTIDSK and list the program. You'll see several lines, but you have to change only a few, depending on how many ROMs you need to assign.

Defining partitions:

20 
OPEN1,DV,15,"$C:/64HDD/DEMOFILE/ DUCKS.D64":CLOSE1
22 
OPEN1,DV,15,"$C:/64HDD/DEMOFILE/ DUCKS.D71":CLOSE1

Change to:

20 
OPEN1,DV,15,"$C:/64HDD/DEMOFILE/BARD1.D64":CLOSE1
22    OPEN1,DV,15,"$C:/64HDD/DEMOFILE/BARD2.D64":CLOSE1

If there are more than two disks, add another set of lines (you'll see what to do when you look at the MULTIDSK program). Tip: Create a partitioning program for each multidisk game.

Run those multidisk games:

  1. Start the 64HDD server as normal.

  2. Load the partition program and run it.

  3. On the PC, F12 toggles between the disks you have defined in the partition.

  4. Load the game from the appropriate partition.

  5. When the C64 prompts you for the next disk, press F12 on the PC.

There are many other features and tips and tricks to 64HD. So read the manual, read the manual, read the manual. Practice, practice, practice—and good luck!

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