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For some time now I have been on a mission to get back into playing games on a Commodore 64. I have bought an original Commodore 64C. I got hold of a original 1541 disk drive. I also got hold of a tape datasette. I figured out how to get the image to a modern monitor with a VGA cable. It wasn't perfect, so I ended up buying a Commodore monitor. So I basically have everything working. I even got hold of some new (old stock) floppy disks and they work!

The next step in this journey is to try and get some games. I was hoping that there is a way to download images online and then transferring them to a floppy disk. I think I sort of have figured out a way to do this. I am pretty determined to get this to work, and I am willing to spend more $$ to get this working.

From a bit of research I am thinking about the following

1) Get older desktop with Windows 98 and parallel port and 3.5 inch floppy drive from Ebay.

2) Get an X1541 cable to connect 1541 disk drive to desktop.

3) Download Star Commander to modern desktop and transfer this to older desktop using USB key or using 3.5 inch floppy disk.

4) Download the Commodore 64 disk images (.d64?) from internet.

5) Use Star Commander then finally to transfer/burn images to 5.25 inch floppy disks.

I am not sure I completely understand every single step, so before I do all this, I want to make sure that I am at least on the right track and that there is a high chance of success. I would also welcome suggestions on how to do this easier. The end goal is really just to play C64 games on my original system without any SD card adapters ans such. I would also welcome any recommendations or things to watch out for with the above approach.

  • "The end goal is really just to play C64 games on my original system without any SD card adapters ans such." Serious? Why operating a PC in parallel and go thru all the complicated stuff, when one can just copy one (or more) D64 files on a SD-card and start playing? SD cards are supported by next to all modern machiens and OSes, while adapters like SD2IEC are cheap and add no strings to the C64 - not to mention the 1541 Ultimate, a nice pice of hardware and as compatible as it may get (Or even better the Ultimate II+ using USB sticks for d64 files). --- So, again, why? – Raffzahn Aug 25 '18 at 19:55
  • @Raffzahn: This who process had been fun in and of itself! It isn't just about playing games, learning how to get games on floppy disks is kinda the goal. Sure, I might go the SD card route someday for convenience. – Thomas Aug 25 '18 at 19:59
  • Oh, come on, writing it to a real 1541 is as well possible when using liek the 1541 Ultimate. It works exactly like a real 1541 - just the way from the internet toward the C64 isn't so much cluttered with non related stuff - and expecially not depending on unrelated soft and hardware. Or is Windows torture your kind of fun? :)) --- Serious, using one of the SD-card solutions will steamline the whole process and let you interact more with the C64 - not at least by using C64 tools for the final step. – Raffzahn Aug 25 '18 at 20:24
  • I don't think it would be cheating to use SD2IEC or Pi1541 to bring over the disk images and write them to a real floppy. – Stavr00 Aug 27 '18 at 13:32
  • @Stavr00: That would be fine. I guess I just want to get the disk images written to an actual floppy disk. I don't care how that happens. – Thomas Aug 27 '18 at 17:41
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Your outline sounds exactly correct. In fact, I am doing the exact same thing. I run Windows 98, with star commander (I boot into dos when using star commander), I have a home brew 1541 cable attached to the parallel port and an original 1541 disk drive. I also have an Ethernet card installed, so I can easily download files from the internet and transfer them to my older windows 98 system. I primarily use the setup to image my own collection of floppies from high school, but the process works just as well for downloads.

However, I have been following a project called Pi1541 where the author is doing cycle exact emulation of a 1541 disk drive using a raspberry pi 3b, and standard d64 images on a SIM card. You simply hook up the pi via a cable and home brew adapter to emulate the disk drive. It works pretty nice, and is a fun build if you are inclined. https://cbm-pi1541.firebaseapp.com

  • Excellent! I hadn't come across the Pi1541 project so I will check that out. – Thomas Aug 26 '18 at 12:00
  • I second the Pi1541. It works incredibly well. But heed the warnings on the page about using the simple level-shifter build: don't daisy chain it with other devices, or you risk frying the Pi's GPIO. – db2 Sep 20 '18 at 11:24

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