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63 votes
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Why are C64 games inconsistent with which joystick port they use?

As Wilson points out in his answer, it has to do with how the CIA chips interact with the keyboard and the joystick ports, and the confusion that can arise trying to determine where input is being ...
Geo...'s user avatar
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31 votes
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Why did pressing the joystick button spit out keypresses?

On the Color Computer, I/O address &FF00 is used for both the joysticks and the keyboard row input. Bits 0/1 are toggled by the two joystick port buttons, and these bits are the same as rows 1/2 ...
Brian H's user avatar
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27 votes
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Which retro system controllers are compatible with Amiga out of the box

The Amiga 9-pin joystick port is compatible with: Atari 800/VCS joysticks and paddles; Atari ST joysticks; Commodore Vic-20, C64, C64GS and C128 joysticks; Commodore Amiga computer joysticks and ...
knol's user avatar
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24 votes

Why are C64 games inconsistent with which joystick port they use?

Because of the way that the joystick port 1 is mapped to the same hardware as the keyboard, from the software's point of view it's impossible to tell if you're wiggling the joystick or typing ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
23 votes

How did Joysticks with more than 4 buttons and all those extra features work on a Game Port?

I know of a minimum of two implementations of this that, as far as I know, were done independently. Gravis's GrIP protocol, which is used in the gameport version of the Gravis Gamepad Pro. Wikipedia ...
ssokolow's user avatar
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19 votes
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Why does waggling the joystick of a C64 cause errors loading from tape?

Commodore 64 uses two CIA (Complex Interface Adapter) chips. CIA#1 is responsible for the keyboard, joystick, paddles, datasette and IRQ control, while CIA#2 controls the serial bus, RS-232, VIC ...
wizofwor's user avatar
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17 votes
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What is the history of DE-9 joystick ports?

Two questions, three plus answers. Did this standard have a name? a.1) There is no neutral standard for joystick ports, hence no standard name. When speaking manufacturer/machine needs to be named....
Raffzahn's user avatar
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17 votes

How did Joysticks with more than 4 buttons and all those extra features work on a Game Port?

There are multiple different ways that are possible, so many of the things you listed have been used, in addition to others. Your first question is, how did they do this. Specifically, the Microsoft ...
Justme's user avatar
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15 votes

What is the history of DE-9 joystick ports?

The DE-9 joystick port is close to a standard D-sub connector (note that it uses the "E" shell and not the much larger "B" shell from the DB-25 serial or parallel port connectors). For joysticks, it ...
Zac67's user avatar
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15 votes
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How can I use a SideWinder 3D Pro with a modern PC running Windows 7?

The SideWinder 3D Pro has its own protocol, which isn't supported by typical gameport-to-USB adapters. The best you can hope for with one of those is to find an adapter which supports the CH ...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
15 votes
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What are the electrical characteristics of a PC gameport?

The documentation for IBM's original Game Control Adapter has some details that will be of use. Even though you're using a SoundBlaster card instead, it should still be compatible with the IBM ...
Kaz's user avatar
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15 votes

Gameboy Key Input Causes Crash

The modern compiler, or rather, the underlying libraries and build system that come with the compiling environment put some important code and/or data in the addresses FF80 and FF81 which you happily ...
Justme's user avatar
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14 votes
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How do I read the position of an Apple II joystick?

The typical Apple II joystick appears to the computer as a pair of analog game paddles and two buttons. The easiest way to read the joystick position is from Applesoft BASIC, using PDL(n). The ...
fadden's user avatar
  • 9,070
12 votes

Why Game controllers changed from righthanded to lefthanded?

A gamepad is not ergonomically the same as a joystick. A joystick's stick is normally operated with the dominant hand, while the other hand holds the body (where it can operate the fire button). ...
Bruce Abbott's user avatar
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12 votes
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Are game port joystick button circuits more than plain switches? Is this one just faulty?

Is this a special signaling mechanism of some sort, No. Buttons are always on/off mechanics. The PC doesn't have any means to detect anything but high or low, according to the threshold (*1) the ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
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11 votes
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Testing/using a joystick in AppleSoft?

The paddles and joysticks on the Apple work by charging a capacitor through a variable resistance (potentiometer). For the first joystick, the X-axis corresponds to paddle 0, and the Y-axis to paddle ...
nevster's user avatar
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10 votes
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Why Game controllers changed from righthanded to lefthanded?

I asked the same question over at UX: https://ux.stackexchange.com/questions/57630/why-are-most-game-controllers-left-handed Lots of speculation but no real answers. Larry Bundy claims the change ...
user's user avatar
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10 votes

Did any devices use the Commodore 64 joystick ports as outputs or two-way communications ports?

The dongle for the PaperClip word processor plugged into joystick port 1. It read bits 0 and 1 from the dongle and wrote bits 2, 3 and 4 to control it. Keyboard interference probably wasn't an issue ...
Alan B's user avatar
  • 4,790
10 votes

What's wrong with SNES original controller's shoulder buttons?

Looking at the pictures on iFixit, the two PCBs that fit behind the shoulder buttons don't seem to be reinforced by anything much: Excess pressure on the shoulder buttons might bend these boards ...
Mark Williams's user avatar
9 votes
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Is it possible to bend tension back into Atari 2600 joystick contact domes?

TLDR; Yes you can bend them, don't bend them too much and don't flatten the dimples. First be sure the contact disk is the issue. If the problem is intermittent, You can also remove power from the ...
Rowan Hawkins's user avatar
9 votes
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Which C64 games support two buttons?

I haven't personally tried myself but searching on the web suggests that below games make use of the second joystick button wired to Pin 9 POTX signal. If played on a C64, functionality is already ...
Nejat76's user avatar
  • 176
9 votes

9-pin port for both RS-232 and Atari joystick?

In the early eighties, use of a 9-pin port for serial communications was uncommon. Most systems used the standard 25-pin port. I think it was IBM that made the 9-pin serial port popular, but I don't ...
Ken Gober's user avatar
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8 votes
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How to get Windows XP to detect a DB-15 gameport joystick?

It looks like you need to explicitly add the device - i.e., it isn't plug 'n play like USB or even like a lot of older devices (e.g., mice & keyboards on PS/2 ports). Microsoft: To install a game ...
manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact's user avatar
8 votes

What is the history of DE-9 joystick ports?

From what I can see on the Wikipedia page about the Atari Joystick Port, it seems that the whole "cross platform" standard of the DE-9 joystick started with the VIC-20 (1980) and was ...
bjb's user avatar
  • 16.4k
8 votes

Did the IBM Game Control Adapter have I/O port aliases?

The original IBM PC and AT designs allocated 10 bits for I/O addressing, and only decoded address lines A0-A9 for on-board I/O devices. However there was no physical limitation to 10 bits, so a card ...
Bruce Abbott's user avatar
  • 6,703
8 votes

Would a multi button controller have been possible on the C64?

It was possible, but an unpopular option. I remember using Quickshot Maverick joystick. It had two separate cables connecting to both ports and worked with games that was using space bar as secondary ...
wizofwor's user avatar
  • 2,778
7 votes
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9-pin port for both RS-232 and Atari joystick?

Not an Atari joystick. The Atari joystick was basically just a set of mechanical switches and each of the pins was either ground, +5 volts, or one of the switches. Were you designing a joystick ...
JeremyP's user avatar
  • 11.7k
7 votes

Why are C64 games inconsistent with which joystick port they use?

In addition to what already was stated, namely: ... how the CIA (Complex Interface Adapter) maps JoyStick - or in general, any - input: The signals a (digital) JoyStick delivers, come in via Pins 1 ...
Leahpar Suidualc's user avatar
7 votes

Why did pressing the joystick button spit out keypresses?

The fewer kinds of input a computer has to deal with, the easier its life is. This applies equally to physical ports and to the provisions for input in the BIOS and operating system generally. ...
Martin Kochanski's user avatar
7 votes

How to get Windows XP to detect a DB-15 gameport joystick?

The DA-15 Joystick port (BTW, not to be confused with the AUI ethernet connector, which is also a DA-15 with additional locking hardware!) has no standardized provision to detect what is connected to ...
rackandboneman's user avatar

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