C64 cluster

From: Jim Brain (brain_at_jbrain.com)
Date: 2007-11-06 05:06:34

Sellam Ismael of the Vintage Computer Festival had to cancel his C64 
"super computer" display right before the VCF show this past weekend.  
For some reason, his designer has gone AWOL and the project looks stalled.

Aside from some vague blurbs on the project from the original project 
designer on various forums, there's very little information on the 
hardware details.  Sellam noted that the designer was planning to use 
the user port and the keyboard ports to talk in a round robin approach 
among up to 64 machines.

Sellam is asking for some help, in bringing the project to fruition.  If 
you are interested, let him know.

However, I'm writing this for another reason.  A few years back, I found 
the AppleCrate project, that connected 8 Apple IIes into a cluster.  I 
thought it would be a neat project to implement for the C64/128.  
However, I didn;t get very far on a design, as I got interested in other 

But, Sellam's request for help piqued my interest.  However this list is 
a rich pool of information and ideas, so I thought I'd throw this out.  
Anyone have ideas for a network option?

Sellam's email noted that he wasn't wild about the original hardware 
setup, as it required the use of the keyboard ports (I assume that meant 
popping the case and removing the KB).  He thought a smaller datapath 
that would be usable on stock machines would be better.

He also noted they were planning a peer to peer Token Ring type 
operation.  The AppleCrate, goes the other route, with a master and a 
number of slave machines.

He finally noted that he'd rather not boot each machine by hand, so was 
thinking of a NetOS cart to kick off the machines.  With that idea, I 
thought maybe a small EPROM-based cart with a minimal TTL footprint 
might be economical and leave the user port and joystick ports for other 
things, but I didn't put a lot of thought into it.

I'd love to hear any ideas.


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