Re: C64 cluster

From: B. Degnan (
Date: 2007-11-07 04:21:54

At 08:39 PM 11/6/2007 -0600, you wrote:
>Anders Carlsson wrote:
>>Marko Mäkelä wrote:
>>>loads 192+2 bytes [..] in 10 to 15 seconds.
>>By the way, is it specified what the cluster will do? I saw that VCF
>>has planned a C64 cluster thrice since 1999, and once it was mentioned
>>to be used as a giant, 48 voice synchronized SID chip.
>No, I noticed (while searching) that Sellam has been promising the cluster 
>for some time (I saw a 2003 iteration of it as well), but no concrete 
>details.  I had the idea of using all the monitors to play some game that 
>showed on an 8 by 8 grid of screens, though that was just a dream for me, 
>as I do not possess enough coding skills to pull that off.
>The sound option is cool as well (even in smaller numbers, like a 4 
>machine cluster, you'd have 12 voices and 4MHz or so of processing power 
>at your command), but the only other thing I could think of was a true 
>multi-line BBS strapped to the Internet.

I would like to help, testing, etc. and I would be willing to pay my share 
for parts, even help with simple assembly.  I have a lot of C64's that I 
can use for testing, but yes we should make this system work for *any* 
number of like connected C64's.  I would have a lot of fun writing the 
music and programming, but I am not good enough with the hardware 
hacking.  I could learn from this project.

One thing to remember, timing is important for music, and the "networking" 
should take that into account.  I am thinking a "ready set go" approach to 
give all systems a chance to start simultaneously, and so that the C-64 
that's X units away from the trigger machine will start at the same time as 
the closer machines.  Otherwise there will be a small but detectable delay 
for the outer machines.  I personally don't know how to do this, but I am 
imagining a pulse traveling out from the starting machine, the pulse hits 
the end of the chain (sequentially) and bounces back to the original 
machine.  Now that the "network" has been mapped by the trigger machine, 
the appropriate "NOW" signal can be formulated for each machine and 
delivered the appropriate system with the appropriate time delay to keep 
all systems in synch.  In short, a central "timer" is needed.

I have a fast bus design for the B128 that can be adapted for the user port 
of the c-64.  I have already promised this to Ruud, I will post on my site 
asap for everyone.  It may come in handy.


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