Since the Commodore 64 was often used with one or more 1541 drive, and these had CPUs which could run user code, it makes sense to me that these would have been expanded in the day, to have roomier memory, and for these to be used as a simple cluster computer, but I can't find anything suggesting it's been done.

Is this known to have been done? Is there a technical reason why not?

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    A 1541 is a terrible computer to run user code on, for what it costs. If you need more processors to throw at a computing problem, you are better off clustering a bunch of C64's, than trying to use a bunch of 1541's. The C64's would not have required any hardware modification to add memory, saving you a lot of time and effort right from the start. – Ken Gober Jun 9 '17 at 19:06
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    @KenGober With a little more information, that could be an answer. – wizzwizz4 Jun 9 '17 at 19:35
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    An interesting use of 1541's CPU/RAM was the capability of Fast Hack'em to download software so two drives could be used to duplicate disks with the C64 completely disconnected. – Brian H Jun 10 '17 at 3:48
  • @KenGober while I agree with what you said, we're long past practicality with using vintage computers to do anything. I mean, aren't most things we do with vintage computers for fun and sport anyway? Also, last time I checked, a confirmed working C64 on eBay was easily twice what a 1541 would cost. :-) But that's not the point.... – cbmeeks Jun 12 '17 at 19:14
  • @cbmeeks I got the impression that the question was asking if this had been done in the past, not whether it could be done today. – Ken Gober Jun 12 '17 at 21:25

DolphinDOS (c64 wiki) adds 8KB of RAM to the 1541 and replaces the slow serial interface with a faster parallel one.


There were two fairly well known RAM expansions developed specifically with the purpose of improving disk copying:

  • The RAMBOard originally by Chip Level Design.
  • The SuperCard+ originally by Utilities Unlimited.

Both supported the various 1541/1571 drives and each added an additional 8KB RAM. Software designed for one expansion doesn't necessarily work on the other due to the SuperCard+ having an additional ROM with extra routines used by the copying software.

  • This appears to have been stylized "RAMBOard." It would greatly improve your answer to link to information, schematics, etc. about it and summarize that information in your answer itself. – cjs Nov 25 '19 at 12:58
  • Yes, I sort of knew it was stylized as "RAMBOard" yet still typed it wrong! – bodgit Nov 25 '19 at 13:40

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