Friday, November 25, 2016

C64 repaint - 2nd Chapter

Well, sometimes we simply _have to_ experiment and try out new things. There's an infamous saying in my hometown: "Once in a lifetime you have to try everything you can. Except folk-dancing."
So, here it is, I'm almost finished with repainting a C64. Yes, I know, this is not the first time I'm repainting a C64 but this is the first time I'm doing it right. At least I tend to think I'm doing it in the right way.

The case was yellow. Very. Yellow.
Keys were dirty. Very. Dirty.
There was no sunshine for a long time, I have no balcony or garden area where I live.
This made me to do it, even if some might say I'm vandalising the good ol' sixtyfour.
Whatever. Once in a lifetime you have to try it. It's still not dancing. Folk-dancing.

First question: what color shall I use?
How about the signature Commodore blue-red? -ish. It's hard to find matching colors, especially by looking at some pictures on the internet. They can be misleading, however, maybe accurate as well. So I gave a try (still not dancing) to Plastikote Satin Navy Blue and Satin Wine Red.

Well, they are definitely not similar to Commie's blue-red but these were the better-looking colors.

Dismount C64, clean it with warm and soapy water. Let it dry out properly. Start painting.
We need a place where it's possible to use the spray paint without damaging walls/furniture/lung/etc...
Ok, whatever, I went down to the front of the building and painted the C64 with people staring at me. I became kinda famous because at the second round I've been asked what the hell I'm doing and somebody even made a selfie with me in the background, spraying.

Anyway, sprayed the case on the street but let it dry inside the flat. Not 100% satisfying but worked well, I just had to keep in mind to open the windows from time to time, to get rid of the smell of the paint.

Yaaay, this spray paint is awesome. Not just because the color is pretty but the paint gets even on the plastic. Push the button, spray it, move your hand from left-to-right, repeat. It's done.

1 day was more than enough to let the first layer dry out.

Nope, I have nothing to do with football, nothing to do with Barcelona. It just happened to be similar to their colors. I'm especially proud of the red-blue crossing on the top cover. It's smooooooth.

After a week of leaving it dry out - it wasn't gluey anymore - I started to assemble it.

And in the meantime SIDfx arrived! Why not make this C64 even more special by mounting the SIDfx inside this machine?

Great. It fits. FYI: you should use 6mm drills for the jack connector and switches.

Almost done. The keyboard looked pretty off whit the usual white-yellow-ish keys. I even tried with black-brown keys but it still looked ridiculously off. I'm still waiting for the new C64 keycap set, probably they never going to arrive... so I didn't want to order another set.

Brilliant idea, let's use the (pretty a lot) remaining of the red-blue spray paint. Similar way, similar method, similar technique.

Add a layer of matte paint and that's it. Looks better and brighter in real, this picture can't give back the proper look of it.
I still need to find a solution to the keys, or I just simply have to learn to type blind. Oh, and a nice LED that fits this color-scheme.

I'm going to post about the SIDfx next time, will write about my experience after a deeper test.
See ya' there.


Today's music: SIDRIP Alliance - 2nd Reality (remix)

Friday, November 11, 2016

C64 music vs. GoatTracker

We live in a world where it's possible to compose Commodore 64 music basically on any platform. I'm not sure how popular SID music is compared to the Gameboy chiptunes. It would require some research to find it out so let me skip this part and jump straight into music editors and leave research for another day.

Back in the good ol' days I 'composed' music with Future Composer and various versions of Demo Music Creator. Since then, I've used and still use SID Wizard which is a great tool and it's up to todays standards in composing C64 music.

Those were the days, when I started to play with those editors without any knowledge about the SID chip and without any documentation given to the tools. Now it's not even unusual to create a C64 music on PC, either with loading a native music editor into VICE or similar emulators. Or just simply using a tool that was made for composing SID music on the PC/Mac and saving it in C64 format.

One of these tools is Goat Tracker. Widely used and loved together with CheeseCutter, now it's quite simple to make some noise without having a real breadbox.

The main reason of today's post with this introduction is to mention those music editors AND show you a great example of using Goat Tracker by my good friend, NecroPolo. He's got some serious guitar playing skills and talent in making the SID bleed - in the meaning of creating unusual sounds and using the SID as it was his beloved guitar. And distortion. Because metal, that's why.

His passion is to release videos of his C64 tunes from time to time, let me share the latest one here:

Now this is how Goat Tracker does look and sound like - good old tracker interface with SID registers for tweaking the sound and all with hexadecimal numbers of course. I recommend to subscribe to his channel as well.

I, hereby save and publish this post with recommending to check NP's other videos and have a listen to his music:


Saturday, November 5, 2016

Amiga 500 vs Gotek drive vs KMTech extension board

Previously I wrote about the Gotek drive with Cortex firmware for Amiga computers. It works like a charm, the only issue is the placement. I wanted it inside the A500 without drilling additional holes on the original case so I was looking for a solution.

Actually, I found a great solution quite fast. Googled "mount gotek into amiga 500" and got a bunch of forum posts and this: KMTech's Gotek Extension Board

This is a nice looking board that is easy to assemble into the A500. I don't want to go into details, their webpage shows the installation steps nice and clear. A little bit of soldering required but don't worry, you can do it if I was able to do it :)

I simply followed the steps and mounted the 2 boards together into the Amiga:

That adhesive stuff keeps the boards in place. It's not super-strong but strong enough. You can try to hotglue them to the plastic, it'd be definitely stronger, however, permanent.

Of course, there are many options to mount the Gotek inside the Amiga, this is one of the easiest and fastest solutions. I'm very happy with the result, it looks good and the plastic case is still intact.


Today's music: Driveclub OST