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Back in the day, of course we used modems ("dial-up modems" in today's parlance) to get our Commodores connected to other systems.

These days I know several people have concocted options to get Commodores online. What options are there? I know some allow wired connections (RRNet?), and some allow WiFi (Schema made a C64 modem that works as well on the other systems, and at least a couple of other parties have made similar devices).

Is someone familiar enough with the options to list them all? Alternatively, list what you know and we can have a consolidated list. I'm interested both in currently-produced hardware and in hardware that isn't made anymore, but might still be available in the used market.

I include the VIC-20, C64 and C128 in my list because they share a common user port, but options using other connection methods are welcome too.

  • Getting something "online" is a twofold thing - On the one hand, you have to make the computer network-aware (i.e. Wifi or wired Ethernet), which is technically possible, on the other end, you need some applications that can actually access whatever there is out there in the wild. With the limited CPU of a retro computer, you are limited to non-encrypted sources, something that is getting rarer and rarer these days. – tofro Mar 9 '18 at 16:26
  • @tofro Indeed, so part of the discussion might be the practical utility of some of this stuff. I think with at least some of the WiFi modems, you can ssh into other systems (the "modem" does the heavy lifting), but I know with the 64nic and the RRNet, there are TCP/IP-enabled applications like a game that Schema wrote that's playable over a LAN or the Internet. – Jim MacKenzie Mar 9 '18 at 16:48
  • @tofro You could use a HTTP proxy. – wizzwizz4 Mar 9 '18 at 20:35
  • What would you do when online? 8-bit computers are just about powerful enough to be a reasonable terminal emulator on a serial connection. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Jan 22 at 22:03
  • @ThorbjørnRavnAndersen Telnet, IRC and ssh would be the most practical uses, although ssh would require the "modem" to do the heavy lifting of the encryption and the Commodore would in effect just be a terminal at that point. – Jim MacKenzie Jan 25 at 20:33
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Here are the answers of which I am aware, and I know there are others:

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    Was going to suggest that it would be simple enough to hook up an ESP8266 module (which can be purchased for around $3 or so if you shop around) to the user port, but that seems to be exactly what your second link above is. There's also another design for a similar device at 1200baud.wordpress.com/2017/03/04/… – Jules Mar 9 '18 at 16:59
  • @Jules Thanks for that - I've added it to the list! – Jim MacKenzie Mar 9 '18 at 17:28
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    Also you can run your own PBX with a few extensions and any of the old dialup-based methods will work. – Ken Gober Mar 9 '18 at 19:44
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Novaterm 10 has built-in PPP and a telnet client. It does NOT have a working web or ftp client. You'll need a Swiftlink, Turbo232 or HART cartridge, a modem, and a dialup ISP.

There are various ethernet cards like the 64NIC+, The Final Ethernet, and RR-Net which work with various software and alternative operating systems for the C64 including Contiki and GEOS.

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The 1541-UII+ cartridge has a network interface, and with a recent firmware, it's possible to use it from the c64. So far, listening on a port isn't supported, so you can't implement a server, but it's fully functional for clients.

Here's some unofficial documentation -- and a release of some networking tools.

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