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Emulation (Games) Games

C64 Emulator Finally Approved For iPhone 214

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the give-us-basic dept.
Gi0 writes "After a couple of months of rejection, the C64 Emulator has finally been approved for the iPhone (and is available at the app store now). 'BASIC has been removed for this release; however, we hope that working with Apple further will allow us to re-enable it. Despite its absence, BASIC is not our focus; ultimately, fans of the C64 want games.' It comes with 5 bundled games and will certainly give you that retro fix for your iPhone."
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C64 Emulator Finally Approved For iPhone

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  • by omgarthas (1372603) on Monday September 07, 2009 @02:26PM (#29343133)
    Or for people who wants to send Twitts.. Not joking, there is a Twitter client for Comm64...
  • by omgarthas (1372603) on Monday September 07, 2009 @02:28PM (#29343141)
    You could run your own code

    That's a DO NOT WANT for Apple
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 07, 2009 @02:30PM (#29343159)

    They will never, ever enable BASIC support.

    The issue is that Apple doesn't want any iPhone application to be able to install and run other apps. No scripting languages, no loadable modules, etc. If they allowed this then there would be no need for the App Store and anyone could run any application they wanted just by using a "shell" application to load other apps.

    Personally I think it's stupid, but it's Apple. They want control and they want your money.

  • by Jeek Elemental (976426) on Monday September 07, 2009 @02:32PM (#29343177)

    Commercial software was mostly in machine code, basic was too slow and ate too much memory.
    Basic was great for beginners and for trying out the programs listed in magazines etc.
    And yes, it was also the shell, needed for loading from tapes and discs.

    For an emulator tho you can populate the memory before starting, so you dont really need the basic.

    If theres no basic ROM it will break some programs that used routines from there to save space tho.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 07, 2009 @02:43PM (#29343283)

    The commodore ROMs and the individual games were licensed, but they had to remove the BASIC interpretor. The C64 interpretor said "Commodore BASIC, V2", but it was written by a little company that made money selling its version of 6502 BASIC.

    I always knew which company made the barebones BASIC in the C64 because it had the same "print asc(0)" bug that the company provided in Atari, Apple, Amiga and IBM PC BASIC. The company also put an easter egg into Commodore 64 BASIC [wikipedia.org]. When Commodore's Jack Tremail found out this OS vendor had wasted dozens of bytes of his precious ROM for their easter egg, he was furious. It's possible that Apple is still afraid of the license Jack Tramial signed in the early 80s because the little company which put bugs and easter eggs in their BASIC ROM is now a big company known as Microsoft! But more likely, Apple just doesn't want you to be able to run arbitrary applications on their iPhone. They want to control every end of the software development process and if you're able to type your own low-res game, chat application or amortization schedule in Commodore BASIC, Apple doesn't get any royalties. And we can't do fun things like:

    10 poke 53265,59

    20 wait 60,1

    30 poke 53265,27

    But frodo64 has provided FULL C64 emulation for Nokia phones for at least 3 years. I think I've run it on a pre 20th century Nokia phone. Nice try Apple, but if you open your OS development environment to those who don't buy your latest OS and hardware and/or if you allow Java applications, you might eventually have as many applications as other phones in the global marketplace. They might not be as flashy or have as polished of an interface, but they will work for the user and for the author.

  • Re:App approval? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 07, 2009 @02:45PM (#29343299)

    I'm not sure under which stone you've been lying under, but here is the heads up:

    You have to get Apple's blessing in order to distribute anything via the AppStore.
    AppStore is the only way (short of jailbreak) to get software into the iPhone and iPod Touch.
    There is no such thing as a "developer hardware" that could make your development/testing easier - you have to wait the random approval process before any hands on testing (you are restricted to software emulators).
    The development platform is MacOS X only.
    Your app cannot duplicate functionality already on the phone (i.e. GoogleVoice). Your app cannot allow any form of access to cussing words or the like.

  • by cicuz (1414125) on Monday September 07, 2009 @02:56PM (#29343377)

    It actually is sitting there, just not on the main screen..
    Tap reset while in a game (keep the keyboard onscreen) and you're right at the prompt.

    Now you can tweet or run a webserver too ;)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 07, 2009 @03:01PM (#29343441)

    If you are going to be on the East Coast next weekend, come
    by the Vintage Computer Festival:

    http://www.vintage.org/2009/east/

    and see how it compares to the real thing. There will be several
    C64s on display, up and running.

  • Re:App approval? (Score:3, Informative)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Monday September 07, 2009 @03:07PM (#29343481)

    AppStore is the only way (short of jailbreak) to get software into the iPhone and iPod Touch. There is no such thing as a "developer hardware" that could make your development/testing easier...

    Neither of these statements is strictly true. Enterprise developers can distribute their own applications in-house, just not to the general public. Any developer can distribute their applications ad hoc to up to 100 users.

    Your app cannot allow any form of access to cussing words or the like.

    The rules were never quite that strict and Apple has relaxed the profanity clauses now that they have included parental controls for the iPhone. Their original concern was they wanted to make sure they did not poison the market for younger people by having issues with pornographic programs. Now that parents can lock down the systems, Apple is not as concerned as parents need not avoid purchasing the devices out of the fear of what their children will access.

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Monday September 07, 2009 @03:07PM (#29343485) Journal

    >>>>>isn't the C64 pretty much just a BASIC interpreter? I thought just about everything for the C64 was written in BASIC

    Oh my. I will assume you are less than 30, and forgive your ignorance. Yes the C=64 came with BASIC but most everything was *not* written in that because it was too darn slow. Most programs ran directly on the hardware.

    >>Obviosuly, you never knew about BASICS's 'peek' and 'poke', in order to get assembly.

    Those commands, being part of the Microsoft Basic set, would not be included in this Iphone emulator. Usually when you run games, word processors, internet browsers, or other programs on a C64 you type LOAD "PROGRAM",8,1 which directs the external drive to load that code directly into memory - overwriting everything that's present including the MS-BASIC. The computer than executes instructions directly at the maximum speed possible (i.e. no interpeter to slow things down).

    Using this trick, programs can occupy all of the computer's memory except about 5 kilobytes (the screen space, interrupt handlers, and so on).

  • by Yvan256 (722131) on Monday September 07, 2009 @03:08PM (#29343491) Homepage Journal

    Link [wikipedia.org].

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Monday September 07, 2009 @03:16PM (#29343563) Journal

    >>>I won't post the link to it. It takes very little to induce the slashdot effect on that hard

    A wise man. But here's some other cool Commodore=64 stuff to check out. Remember this stuff all works on a machine with only a 0.001 gigahertz processor and 0.064 megabytes of RAM.

    - A web browser - http://www.armory.com/~spectre/cwi/hl/ [armory.com]
    - A 1984 Mac-style OS - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GEOS_(8-bit_operating_system) [wikipedia.org]
    - A true multitasking OS - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Contiki-C64.png [wikipedia.org]
    - A photo viewer for your porn... oops, JPEGs - http://www.ffd2.com/fridge/jpeg/ [ffd2.com]
    - Okay here you go (NSFW) - http://girls.c64.org/ [c64.org] :-)

  • by erroneus (253617) on Monday September 07, 2009 @03:18PM (#29343587) Homepage

    As at least one other has pointed out, even when writing in assembly language, it was common to make calls to the BASIC interpreter's functions and routines. If they manage to make things "other than basic" work, it is my guess that they merely disabled basic in some way and did not remove it. By extension, I would guess that it could be re-enabled as well.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 07, 2009 @03:41PM (#29343759)
    Downloaded and verified this works. Simple "hello world" programs work, as do things like "poke 53281, 144" to change the screen color, and "SYS 64738" to reset.

    Gosh people, learn to use Google ;-)

    http://www.theiphoneblog.com/2009/09/06/quick-app-c64-commodore-64-emulator-iphone-hack-basic/ [theiphoneblog.com]

    "If you're dying to get your BASIC on, however, reader Stooovie let us know you can still access it by enabling 'always show full keyboard', starting a game, paging over to the EXTRA keyboard, and then tapping RESET. Boom, dropped into BASIC with a ready-prompt"
  • by Cmdr-Absurd (780125) on Monday September 07, 2009 @03:52PM (#29343871)

    LOAD "PROGRAM",8,1 which directs the external drive to load that code directly into memory

    Almost.
    the ,8 specified device 8 (generally the primary floppy drive) rather than the default cassette tape drive.
    (The under 30 drive probably has no idea what either device looks like)
    the ,8,1 specifies not only device 8, but that code should load not to the default memory loading location (where basic expects it to be) but rather where the code "wants" to live -- the programmer saves with similar options so the code will load into memory ranges used by the programmer when s/he wrote the code.

  • by tsa (15680) on Monday September 07, 2009 @03:58PM (#29343913) Homepage

    That's why I would much rather have a Nokia N900 [nokia.com]. No annoying provider tied to the phone, runs an open source OS... Beautiful.

  • by writermike (57327) on Monday September 07, 2009 @04:10PM (#29344027)

    It seems that trying to predict Apple's actions is not terribly easy. I don't really care if they get Basic enabled. I really just want to play games.

    What's interesting, however, is you can break into Basic in the app right now.

    Here's how you do it.

    1. Launch the app.
    2. Tap the power button to power on the C64.
    3. Tap the Advanced button on the bottom right.
    4. Turn the option "Always show full keyboard" on.
    5. Tap the "My Games" button on the lower left.
    6. Run any game.
    7. Tap the "Extra" button under the game screen.
    8. Tap the RESET button on the left.

    The app launches BASIC.

    I don't know if it's fully functional, but it will run the "10 PRINT "I AM SO GREAT!!!!!!" / 20 GOTO 10" program, which is about the extent of my programming skills.

    Disclaimer: I did not discover the above. It was posted on Engadget.

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Monday September 07, 2009 @04:21PM (#29344115) Journal

    LINK to Commodore 64 peripherals (tape drives, disk drives, et cetera): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodore_64_peripherals [wikipedia.org]

  • by QuantumLeaper (607189) on Monday September 07, 2009 @04:29PM (#29344173) Journal
    Microsoft wrote the original Basic version 1 for the Pet computer all the rest of the versions where written my Commodore but they were based on the MS Basic on the Pet. Just check the C128 screen after you boot, it says Copyright Microsoft and Commodore.
  • by NotBornYesterday (1093817) * on Monday September 07, 2009 @04:35PM (#29344221) Journal
    Back then, Microsoft had versions of BASIC for various platforms, including the Apple ][ plus I had, and for the C64. Back before they started trying to kill the rest of the computing world, they had stuff that would run on different platforms. I even had a version of MS Flight Simulator for the Apple. Mmmm, sweet monochrome wireframe graphics. Ah, memories ...
  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday September 07, 2009 @04:35PM (#29344225) Journal

    And because sandboxes tend to leak. VBScript, ActiveX, Flash, Adobe, and Javascript have all had their fair share of vulnerabilities

    Could you show me one incident where an emulated CPU/hardware system has ever lead to any kind of leak? We're talking about a BASIC interpreter running on a 6510 emulator here. And if the emulator leaking is a concern, then I would think an attacker would more than likely get as low-level as possible and write the attack in 6510 assembler.

    In other words, your objection is moronic. It's even beyond moronic, it's pretty much the most retarded defense of not allowing C64 BASIC on a C64 emulator that I can imagine.

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Monday September 07, 2009 @05:40PM (#29344647) Journal

    More worthless trash-and-trivia:

    This Iphone app emulates the world's most popular CPU - the Commodore/MOS 6502 (and other variants). This processor was the heart of machines like the VIC-20 (10 million sold), C=64 or 128 (40 million), Atari 400/800 computers, Apple I/II/IIc/IIe computers, BBC Micro, Atari VCS/2600 and 5200 game consoles (40 million), Colecovision (10 million), Nintendo Entertainment System (60 million), plus many other applications like store registers and handheld calculators. In total over 200 million 6502s sold.

    The 16-bit version called the 65816 (with 6502 backwards compatibility) ran the Apple IIgs, the SuperCPU C=64, and the Super Nintendo, and then the design was retired.

  • by Zerth (26112) on Monday September 07, 2009 @08:46PM (#29345917)

    If you played it on an Apple(or an Atari or an Amiga), it wasn't MS sim, it was still Bruce Artwick's. MS licensed it, and later bought it when they started going all monopolistic.

  • by MBGMorden (803437) on Monday September 07, 2009 @09:06PM (#29346009)

    GW BASIC was the BASIC that shipped with DOS prior to version 5.0 (at which time they switched to QBASIC). It wouldn't have come on a C64.

  • by tsa (15680) on Monday September 07, 2009 @11:20PM (#29346997) Homepage

    Yes I know that, and I live in Europe, thank all deities. But if the N900 isn't a phone then the iPhone isn't either.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @10:51AM (#29352239)

    > Not true. Apple passed RIM in terms of ma

    WRONG.

    Apple is still #5 listed here under "others": http://www.heise.de/resale/Preisradar-Nur-smarte-Handys-verkaufen-sich-noch-bestens--/news/meldung/144345 [heise.de]

  • by bhtooefr (649901) <bhtooefr&bhtooefr,org> on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @12:21AM (#29362185) Homepage Journal

    Not only that, but you can develop Windows Mobile apps on a Mac.

    http://cegcc.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

It was kinda like stuffing the wrong card in a computer, when you're stickin' those artificial stimulants in your arm. -- Dion, noted computer scientist

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