The First C64 Demo That Doesn’t Run on the C64, Because it Runs on the C64 Floppy Drive

Are you keeping up with the Commodore?

Matthias Kramm just became a demo scene legend for creating the first Commodore 64 demo that doesn’t run on the Commodore 64. Kramm’s demo, Freespin, runs on the Commodore 1541, that’s the model of the Commodore‘s floppy drive.

The video and audio are both processed on the floppy drive, and Kramm explains everything on his blog including how he made the floppy drive generate a video signal, generated the music, loaded the demo into the floppy drive, and got around the flickering 50hz output of the C64’s monitor to record the video.

The global demoscene centers around creating audio and visual demonstrations that are either impressive for what they can do on limited hardware, or go far beyond limitations to do more than could be expected. So in that sense, it is maybe somehow less surprising that this would happen because of course after making demos fit into smaller and smaller amounts of storage or memory and other limitations the demoscene coders would eventually say “screw the C64, I’m going to run the demo on… the floppy drive!”

To someone who enjoys the demoscene results and will never make a demo, I’m still very impressed.

That C64 Mini

The c64 mini

The miniaturizing nostalgia shrink ray is sprayed at everything now: Cars; entertainment systems both super and conventional Nintendo; iPads; arcade cabinets… There’s also now a The C64 Mini, not a Commodore 64 Mini or Classic Edition, but strictly The C64 Mini. Apparently they couldn’t get the name Commodore 64.

This miniature device that definitely isn’t a Commodore 64 also isn’t out yet in the U.S., but it is out almost everywhere else and I wouldn’t trust an American to review it, so here is Dr. Ashens’ review:

It sounds like this The C64 Mini isn’t going to be beloved like the original unless the firmware is updated in some fundamental way and they also recall and replace every joystick. Still, it is fun to hear someone who is familiar with all of the 64 games it ships with go over each one.

Alec Meer’s review at RPS rakes the makers of this device over the coals about the non-functional keyboard a bit more than Ashens did:

There are two things a miniaturised version of gaming-centric 80s home computer the Commodore 64 needs to do above all else: 1) have a working keyboard 2) have a really good joystick.

Uh-oh.