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Found Vic-20 Disks.


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I found some disks formatted in a Commodore 1541 disk drive back in 1980s. Been in a plastic box for 30 years. Wonder if anybody out there I can send the disks to and make some disk images and email them back to me, or post them on here. I am in the Buffalo, New York area, and prefer someone near by to do these transfers. There is a chance that the images completely degraded after all these years. The Commodore hardware was disposed of many years ago. Most of the stuff I am interested in retrieving are games I wrote in Basic many years ago.

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There is a chance that the disks became unreadable after all this time. But I discovered if you cut open the disk and clean them up with rubbing alcohol, they might become more readable. Just copy the files to a new floppy or disk image on the PC. I am not sure what Commodore to PC interfaces are available also. I know the Atari 8-bit systems had SIO2PC and SIO2SD devices. Anything similar for the Commodore?

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The Commodores have had PC interfaces since the mid '90s or earlier. The X1541 cable and its derivatives let you connect a Commodore disk drive to a PC's parallel port. It's not the fastest thing in the word, but it gets the job done. I have one such cable.

 

Other, more modern hardware bits let you transfer disk images or individual files between a PC and a Commodore 64. The Turbo Chameleon is one such example. I hope to have one some day soon.

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If you've got a 1541 drive and are looking to connect it directly to a PC, you might want to get the ZoomFloppy device which connects with USB, unlike the majority of the X-series cables which relied on parallel ports which most PC's unfortunately have done away with in the past decade.

 

If you've got a C64 or VIC-20 as well, and you want to use it later on, I imagine you can get a SD2IEC or uIEC/SD and then use a Commodore program called CBM-Command that works a bit like old Norton Commander, and would let you copy files from the real floppy drive to the SD card. As we're speking of VIC floppies with homemade programs, I suppose those are entirely unprotected so you wouldn't have to worry about intended read errors and other things that otherwise would require you to use higher resolution G64 files and alike.

 

Or if you don't have any matching hardware or interest in using it, find someone in this thread to help you. I would assume someone in the Mid-Atlantic Retro Computing Hobbyists, MARCH based in New Jersey would also be able to help you, as well as plenty of people in the greater New York, once you locate those (perhaps easier to find on mailing lists and Commodore dedicated forums).

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  • 1 month later...

Hey just to let everyone know I found my old Commodore Vic-20 technology, CPU, tape drive, and disk drive, all working with just some minor clean up. I ordered the ZoomFloppy thing and will be transferring these Basic Games to my PC disk images and posting them. I probably will need to find a way to save programs as ASCII (text) instead of the standard tokenized compressed format used on these systems. Can probably port some of them to other computer systems like the Commodore 64 or Atari 8-bit. I will need to change all the pokes and adjust for screen size, but is doable. Closest thing on the Atari 8-bit to a Vic-20 screen set up is Antic 6 widescreen adjusting LMS to +22 columns per scan line. The Vic-20 also has its own screen width control.

 

When I post some programs I transfer and see if anyone is interested in assisting in porting. I am now fluent with 6502 assembly and could enhance a few of these things with SYS calls. I am not sure how the SYS passes parameters. Atari 8-bit Basic USR pushes the parameters onto the stack. A few ML subroutines could certainly speed things up.

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