Re: CommodoreWorld

From: Rainer Buchty (
Date: 2004-06-18 14:24:37

> The good news: I know about who is behind the development of this C64 and
> therefor we can expect quite some suprises:
> - The new C64 will have at least 265 colours
> - It will have higher resolutions
> - It will have two SID's onboard
> - The ASIC runs on 27 MHz. I hardly can imagine it needs 27 cycles to
> emulate one of the original C64.

So this thing will be incompatible to a fair amount of software,
especially newer games and demos, I guess?

Or will this ASIC indeed have a cycle-exact emulation of an NMOS(!) 6502
and the VIC?

> Another point is the makers of hardware like Maurice Randall but also
> people like Markus Brenner and the Czechs who produce the IDE64.
> Particulary those who produce hardware that is to be connected to the
> userport or expansionport. I didn't realise it but these ports are
> intellectual properties of Commodore as well. So actually anyone
> building hardware for these ports has to pay C= a fee as well.

This is utter bullshit. (Not targeted against you, Ruud, of course!)

The form factors (as otherwise pointed out) were industry standard
connectors from the past. No C= IP here.

The ports themselves are also not IP-worthy, since

- serial bus is IEC-625
- userport is just plain I/O
- joystick port is just plain I/O
- cassette port is just plain I/O
- expansion port is just plain 6502 bus with some system control lines;
  the sheer presence of I/O1 and I/O2 or the ROM control lines doesn't
  make it IP.
- plugging stuff into existing ROM, CPU and whatever sockets doesn't
  violate anyone's IP

and furthermore: the specs of these ports (yet even pinouts and register
descriptions of custom chips) were already given away for free by the
original owner and reprinted in thousands of print publications and

> Yesterday I used this example: imagine you inherit a fruitgarden with
> apples and pears, which has been left alone for ten years. Because
> nobody cared, the neighbouhood got used to pick their own fruit every
> autumn.  You as the new owner, are only interested in the apples as the
> pears have no real commercial value for you. So you can leave them
> hanging to rot or.... tell the neighbourhood generously to help themself
> with the pears as you don't have a really need for them for the moment
> [1].

Actually, I think this example misses the point when it comes to system
ROMs and the ridiculous IP thing about ports. And especially when it comes
to emulators.

I can understand the part that they don't want to see sites offering
original Commodore software.

But now, after some 10 years after the C64 officially died, and people
having spent an extraordinary amount of time and effort into reverse-
engineering the internals of all those custom chips, building
sophisticated emulators... someone else comes and says "all your code are belong to us"
because they own the rights, they want to enter the market *now* that
someone else did all the donkey work for them, collected software on
public servers which otherwise might have just faded away

So they already lost my sympathy just because they were just holding back

- the chips were reverse engineered by external people
- the (freely published!) emulators were good enough
- a proof of concept was done that in fact the C64 can be emulated in
  hardware and a significant amount of people are even willing to pay
  substantial money for a retro machine (thinking of the C=1 here)

To pick up the garden scenario: They did not only let other people care
about that garden, but even waited until harvest to *then* jump in and
take away all fruits saying "it's our's, not your's -- but for the moment
you might keep what's fallen off the trees."


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