Does anybody actually want Commodore 65 ? / some destructive ideas

append delete Chicopy

If you finish this project (please please do..) and it would be successful, then I guess it could be only for one reason - 99% of people would buy it to play C64 games.
Possibly there really exist the 1% who is interested in C65,
I don't understand why, I have never heard about it before discovered Mega65, I am unable to find any list of games made for it and according to Wiki only 50-2000 pieces were sold.
Do you expect anybody would waste time and write new (& better) games for C65 ?
Why ? Spend months making games anybody can copy for free ?

I also have doubts you will ever be entitled to sell your clone of C65.
I guess there is still somebody who owns rights for all Commodore stuff, despite the company doesn't exist any more.

If you think there are not any legal issues threatening, then I would ask you to consider following ideas:
- the fact you are trying to make the Mega65 physically the same as C65 must make it very expensive; if your version supports SD cards, then there is no reason to use 1.44 Flopp-drive;
also no reason to copy the C65 keyboard
- why not to make the PCB as small as possible (cheap), omit Floppy-drive, design simple little enclosure, use PS/2 or USB keyboard, add some wireless transceiver to enable design of wireless joysticks = thats enough for the 99%...
- I guess FPGA soft-processors like MicroBlaze or Nios are much more powerful than the processor used in C65. There also exist compilers for them and many people use them. Couldn't the video & sound circuits you cloned be powered with this kind of processor ?
I personally program 8b microcontrollers but if I could choose, definitely would prefere assembler programming with comfort of 32b architectures.

Anyway, I wish you great success with Mega65 and hope it will be ready soon and for reasonable price - otherwise, you know, emulators do the same job for free and work ok in many cases..

Kind Regards

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append delete #26.

To have a genuine 8 bit experience we must stick to an 8 bit cpu, and mega 65 does that. Phoenix 256 does not (65816 is a 16 bit cpu) ! Pls release and sell Mega 65 asap to make a new era of 8 bit home computers come back to be true :) Personally I think new generation kids lack of something like 8 bit computing experimenting we had :)

append delete #27. tttm23w

of course we want the MEGA65.
pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeese complete it.

if the price is resonable I would get 3:
one for daily retro-game development
one is backup in case the primary on dies
and is back up for the back up in case the first two die

Im very serious by the way

append delete #28. ordyne

I think we may see some cool demo coding once the mega65 is out.

I'm not that interested in games but you may see some ports being made of updated C64 games etc, heck new C64 games are hitting the scene now so why not?

append delete #29. LGB


Sorry for the possible off-topic, but I often see this 8 bit vs 16 bit topic, involving 65816 ...

It's a bit hard topic to say if 65816 is really a 16 bit CPU. It depends on its mode used, and still the external data bus is 8 bit. In fact, Z80 is not a 16 bit CPU (question again: what makes a CPU 16 bit?) and can do 16 bit add/sbc ops for example (and has only 4 bit [!!!] ALU inside for real!), and 16 bit load/store, indexing etc, what basically 65816 can do in "16 bit mode". So it's hard to judge. 65CE02 (what C65's CPU is _based_ on) has some 16 bit opcodes as well over the 6502, though not so much (like INW and DEW). But Mega65 extends it with some interesting even 32 bit mode opcodes (so then Mega65 is 32 bit?). So it's really confusing to decide that "Phoenix 256 is a 16 bit design" and "Mega65 is a 8 bit design". From CPU data bus perspective both of them are 8 bit. From internals perspective both of them can do more than only 8 bits. Depends on the exact definition, both of them can be called "more" than 8 bit as well, or "only" 8 bit. What I really call a 16 bit CPU, when it's really organized about 16 bit internals, ie like Zilog Z8000, or Motorola 68000 (when even the smallest opcode is 16 bit, not 8 long), and again the complexity: both of them can do "some" 32 bits (and surely later Motorola 68K models are more "real" 32 bit with even 32 bit external data bus, rather than only 16 bits).

I think, it's kinda not important that 65816 is 16 bit or not, if I have to build a 65xx class retro computer now (not in FPGA! but with a real CPU which can be bought even today as new and manufactured), I would ONLY choose 65816. Why? Because WDC produces 65C02 and 65C816, but in fact the 65816 is _more_ 6502 compatible than the 65C02! And even in 8 bit mode, it offers extra opcodes over 6502 and 65C02 (it's fair, 65CE02 is the same, offers extra opcodes) 65C02 has some fixes altering the timing of certain op-codes, while 65816 is more faithful to try to behave like the good old NMOS 6502 (surely, without the illegal opcodes ... but that's true for 65C02 too). And you don't need to use 16 bit mode at all (as you don't need mega65's special escaped opcodes either to do 32 bit ops ...). So what Phoenix 256 can choose if it wants to use a discrete CPU from the 65xx family? Surely, Mega65's case is different, since it realizes the CPU itself in FPGA too, so it's not constrained to use existing "real" discrete CPUs you can buy, it can do whatever the designer exactly wants.

But again, it's more like a feeling about the topic rather than a rigid definition ...

append delete #30. MIRKOSOFT

I think no matter if is CPU 8 or 16 or 32-bit.
Really is not possible to judge CPU only - each retrocomputer fan has his/her beloved machine - C64, C128, C65, Amiga 500, Amiga 1200...
Looks C64 or C128 with SCPU not true 8-bit? Or so?
It is not about CPU and its instructions, databus, addressing and modes - it's about machine and its purpose...
We need not to compare CPUs - we need not compare what it does or not, even which is better - best way is what's goal of project and reason why is it for someone killer machine (like killerapp meaning).
Me personally is topmost C128, SCPU128 and awaiting C256, then M65. It's my opinion and don't crucify me for not loving C64. If C64, then DTV...

append delete #31. gardners

Permission to avoid crucifixion granted ;)

It is the diversity in this community that really makes it interesting. I am looking forward to seeing what folks manage with these various other projects as well. It all adds life and interest!


append delete #32. LGB

@miro Yes, it's hard to tell, and useless to argue, I just reacted to opinions that 65816 is "refused" because it's 16 bit not 8 bit ... But if someone wants to build a "retro feeling 8 bit machine" with 65xx class CPU as a discrete IC which can be bought as new even today. the logical choice can be only the 65816. This is the most compatible with the NMOS 6502, even more than the 65C02 (which can be also bought as new, even today). So in fact, 65816 is the best "can-be-bought" 8 bit 65xx CPU today in that sense! WDC's documents on 65816 even mentions situations how to deal with very 6502 NMOS specific behaviours for 65816 in Apple II and similar designs.

Other interesting thing, that there was a rumour when C65 was only a plan yet, that it will be based on 65816. interesting. I have the suspect that the choice on 65CE02-based one is probably because of the manufacturer issue maybe, that is, 65816 was not an MOS/Commodore design but WDC (?) and they wanted some kind of "internal in-house development" CPU?

append delete #33. MIRKOSOFT

In my opinion is choice 65CE02 only for compatibility with main goal C65 compatible computer.
Maybe someone remember that at beginning was project called "C64/65 compatible computer" named C65GS - what was really better 'cause it was C65 Gardner-Stephen. Paul's name was best in project name.
I was for years owner SCPU128 and 65C816 is great CPU and I'm happy that C256 uses it. Maybe you're asking "what he is doing here - wants other computer than M65?".
Yes, C256 is my first choice, but I like also M65 and both I'll buy.
Even Apple IIGS uses 65C816 - biggest portability. 65CE02 is compatible with 6502 fully but also like 65C816 without illegal opcodes.
But 65C816 is compatible with 65C02 too... But I'm talking about opcodes and CPUs only - this means not that my choice will be by CPU...
I was always fan of Commodore 65.

append delete #34. LGB

My problem, that actually 65816 is more compatible with 6502 than the 65CE02 (or in fact even 65C02!), so it does not explain why it was chosen then :) But anyway, kinda off-topic I do here, I guess :-O

append delete #35. gardners

I think marketting told them no 16-bit cpu to stop competing with the amiga, or perhaps because the 65816 was not an inhouse part.


append delete #36. hintenanstellen

Just heard about that amazing project! Sure i want a C65 ;) Fantastic! Sure i would use the C64 mode a lot but would also check out everything that would come out for other mode(s)... Perhaps i'd also develop some very poor C65 exclusive piece just for fun and fame ^^

I'm no cheapskate. I've got trust you won't try to get rich with that (which would be impossible :) )
A project like this won't happen for 300 quid... that's for sure...

If it is around a 1000 i'd have to swallow and wait for a good moment....
If it would be around 500-600 i'm sure a quick talk to the lady and i'd be in first batch :D

Thanks to you Paul and everyone working on that project!

append delete #37. gardners

Thanks for the kind wordsd of encouragement!


append delete #38. Misfit138

In addition to donating, I would gladly buy at least 2 units. This project could fill the niche that has been withheld from 2 generations of kids; 8 bit home computing.
Raspberry Pi is 64 bit and unnecessarily complex for the masses. Learning about computers from 8 bit up is a terrific way for a young person to truly be able to wrap their minds around the inner workings of a machine.

append delete #39. Misfit138

P.S. Please keep up the incredible work!

append delete #40. gardners

Thanks, we also agree, and intend to produce educational curriculum for kids based on it.



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