• Paladin of the Pegasos
    Paladin of the Pegasos
    Posts: 1192 from 2003/2/24
    From: Helsinki, Finland

    redrumloa wrote:
    The TC64 has a USB connector also, but it is not for expandability, it is for connecting to a PC.

    Nice to hear that TC64 has USB aswell, would it be possible to use that with USB devices (ethernet, midi, massstorage, whatever)? That would definitely make it a LOT more useful hardware. My assumtion that this was missing was the #1 reason, that made TC64 less useful to me (compared to 1541U2)


    The TC64 does have IR and is bundled with a CDTV remote. The breakout cable does give a PS/2 mouse and a PS/2 keyboard.

    Sounds quite useless, but mentioned those anyway. Of course PS/2 (or USB) is kind of must, if used without a C64.


    The "custom slot" is not so custom, it is an Amiga 1200 style clockport. The most popular use is RR-Net ethernet and mechanically inside the case this is what it was designed for. It is confirmed that the Silver Surfer Serial Adapter works and I suspect other devices probably would if anyone bothered to try them (aka MP3@64). There is even a Minimig core that supports Silver Surfer.

    I know what it is. The point was, you can't just get a standard $5 USB ethernet adapter and use that.

    There definitely isn't serial port in 1541U2, but of course, support could be added for USB serial adapter (but don't see much point in that - except that MIDI would be really nice, and quite similar)


    Most of the expandability is internally. The TC64 has features the 1541U simple does not. Features can be added at anytime. It is already like a swiss army knife.

    What does it offer for C64 user, that 1541 Ultimate doesn't? (Yes turbo, but in addition to that)

    And just like TC64, 1541 Ultimate 2 also has FPGA, and there's already f.ex. SID emulator and multichannel sample player for it. And yes, TC64 can do it too, I guess.



    "Authenticity": (as in "Why would I use this instead of software emulator?") - Both emulate 1541 (or some other) drive. Chameleon can emulate the entire C64 in FPGA, BUT even when connected to C64, the CPU is always emulated. So I'd say: - 1541U2 definitely more authentic.

    I only use in cart mode. The real C64 is mirrored in the FPGA and synced. How is this not authentic? You can use all original ports and I/O, with the exception of the cassette port. In cart mode it is an expansion, period. You can't compare to something like an FPGA arcade.

    As for your authentic argument, it is pretty silly. The 1541U is FPGA based and emulates a 6502. I guess you forget the 1541 has it's own CPU. If the TC64 isn't authentic by your criteria, neither is the 1541U.

    Yes, both emulate the CPU's (and other functionality) in attached drives. But in addition to that, with TC64, the CPU always runs on FPGA. I'd say 1541U2 and TC64 are authentic (but with rather different feature sets), but TC64 "reduces the authenticity of the C64 while it's plugged in"



    Future proof: The source code for 1541 Ultimate is open. Not exactly sure about Chameleon, but at least some fpga cores are open. From experience, this is VERY important in "Jens hardware", since sometimes promised features just are never finished (or released only for the next version hardware)

    From my experience the TC64 is a finished project. Future updates would be a plus, but not really needed. I would *REALLY* like to see some of the additional cores updated, but those are mostly 3rd party and open. We just need need some developers to get interested. Some of the cores are really mature already.

    Nice to hear. I think there was some sync issue for quite a long time, but nice if it's finally fixed.

    1541 Ultimate was also quite finished project from the beginning, but if the project is open source, anyone can expand it "beyond the original specs". And like you said, many cores are open, and thus, possible to improve.



    So what superior features am I missing?

    Did you look at the feature list? :-D

    Yes, to me it was basically:
    -Bunch of connectors useless to me (PS/2, IR, clock port...)
    -Ability to run fpga cores that emulate other systems (this was comparing products as C64 expansions - although mentioned other commodore compatibility)
    -Being able to use the (always) emulated CPU in turbo mode, as you can do with software emulators.
    -Being able to output emulated av output from different connectors.

    ...and that's pretty much it.


    You are hung up on the FPGA of the TC64, but not the one on your 1541U. Odd. You don't have to use the VGA out with 64 mode. You can use your old 1702 monitor from the original port.

    And I can... Well, remove the TC64, if I want to use the real CPU. Sure.


    Your Raspberi Pi doesn't have a Vic-II chip or a SID chip. Nor does it have CIA or anything else. You are comparing apples and oranges. I don't think you quite understand how things work in cart

    As far as I know, most parts run in tandem emulated + real (sid, vic2...) while some (CPU) are always emulated. Correct me if I'm wrong?

    And sure, for most people, it's more important to have sid + vic2 real, rather than the cpu.


    This is not the same as a Raspberry Pi with a Keyrah, the very suggestion is laughable.

    Agreed 100%. KeyRah joystick ports are WAY too slow to be used for any gaming, despite being advertised otherwise.



    And as for Jens, has everyone already forgotten about him angrily dropping all (promised) MorphOS support, due to some disagreements with Genesi? You know, the same Genesi that MorphOS development team also had disagreements with...

    I vaguely remember him dropping official Catweasel support of something. I was bummed at the time, but don't really care IMO. Companies and individuals have falling outs all the time. I only care when they act illegally, blatantly unethically or excessively anti-competitively (see HYPErion). Jens has a falling out with HYPErion too at one point IIRC. Jens and Jeri Elsworth really don't get along these days. I generally don't like to pick sides, unless something is really egregious.

    Well, the point was, it was kind of "advertised as safe buy for MorphOS users, as there will be (proper) support", and then it was suddenly just canceled.


    Easyflash support - The TC64 has it, the 1541U sort-of does but no write support. That's a show stopper for me. I can't save my game or high scores?

    Yes, long time ago I noticed that this wasn't yet implemented at that point. No idea if it's been fixed already though, have been too busy to update lately...


    1351 emulation - Using a mouse on the breakout PS/2 port works flawless for me, freeing up the joystick posts.

    That is actually rather neat idea, I didn't even consider. Definitely makes PS/2 useful in "cart mode".


    Core support - Even in cart mode you can load additional cores, such as Amiga, Atari 800XL, PC Engine etc that are very mature. To do the same as a 1451U owner you would have to buy something like a FPGA arcade and dedicate desk space for 2 totally different systems. This can get costly and desk space is a premium for retro lovers.

    Well, life is always about choices... If you want something "more authentic", it's often more restricted in some ways. And going further to another direction, you probably also agree that it would be even easier to get C64 Forever and such for computer you already have.

    Quite often for me, it's the "device itself" that's real, but f.ex. disk drive or module (PowerPak for NES, MegaFlashRom on MSX etc.) isn't.

    Of course it's often impossible to get each device as "real" - I have partially given up on that - if the FPGA implementation will be based on the assumptions on unknown chip internals, is it really significantly more "real" than 100% software emulation based on the exact same assumptions?

    As for FPGA cores, I have CommodoreOne for those.

    Of course 1541 Ultimate definitely isn't "authentic" either, but C64 it gets connected to is.

    And to be 100% honest, quite a large part of my "C64 time" is on emulator anyway. Why? - A lot of that is development time, and it's often so much faster to "just run the code in vice", and then you also have WAY better ml monitor than what f.ex. Action Replays offer (memory watchpoints etc.)

    Of course it's important to test on real hardware aswell (I'll let others do testing on Chameleon and such), and it's definitely nice to be able to send in image files via ethernet (Also possible with TC)

    Was actually doing that already with Retro Replay, before 1541 Ultimate finally arrived to raise the feature set in one go :-)
  • »08.09.16 - 00:39
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