Let’s Try This Again

Yes, I’m back. Let’s hope it’s for a bit longer this time… sigh.

Anyway, let’s just get right to it 🙂

Version 1.2.2 firmware is now available for the Flyer! As always, you can download it by typing the following on your favorite Commodore:

The major addition in 1.2.2 is support for HTTP chunked transfer encoding, which seems to be used by Apache most of the time now, even for trivial page requests.

Also, the Flyer User’s Guide has been updated to version 1.2, and should contain up-to-date documentation for all features that have been added to Flyer over the last few firmware updates.

Note that this latest firmware was built with an all new development toolchain. While I expect everything to be fine, and I have done a reasonable amount of testing, it’s always possible (though unlikely) something has gone haywire. If you discover any issues new to 1.2.2, please let me know immediately via the contact form! And remember you can always downgrade your firmware to a previous version, or even reset your Flyer to its pristine “factory” state. The Flyer was designed to be a very robust device 🙂

I’ve spent close to a month now resurrecting Flyer development and even rebuilding retroswitch.com (although content-wise, it’s more or less identical to the old site). I’m super excited to be working on C=/hardware dev again and have some unfinished ideas from years ago I’d love to continue exploring.

Please contact me with any feedback, requests, ideas, questions or anything else! And please let me know how version 1.2.2 is working for you!

Paint Server for Flyer

Here’s a simple network programming example for the Flyer I’ve been meaning to post for quite some time. It demonstrates using the Flyer to implement a server application, utilizing the tcp listen functionality that was recently added in the 1.2.1 firmware.

It is essentially a “paint server”, and includes a corresponding client application for Windows, Mac and Linux. Once running on the Commodore/Flyer, clients can connect and paint remotely onto the Commodore’s display (nothing high tech at all – painting is done using simple character blocks). The goal was to demonstrate/provide some solutions to writing a “real” networked application for the Flyer.

Source code is included for both server and client applications.

  • The server app is written in C and developed using CC65. There are both c64 and pet targets. I am using the excellent “generic makefile” for cc65 projects, found here. Please refer to this page if you have any issues building the CC65 targets.
  • The client is written in C++ and uses the Qt 4 framework. Solution/project files are included for Visual Studio 2008 (requires the Qt Visual Studio add-in). Project files are also included for Qt Creator, which should build under Windows, OS X and Linux without issue.


The client and server projects + source code can be downloaded here.
Precompiled binaries for Windows can be downloaded here.
The server binaries can be downloaded for the C64 here, and for the PET here.

To load the paint server directly from your Commodore using the Flyer, type the following:

For the C64: load”http:retroswitch.com/files/PaintServer.c64″,7
For the PET: load”http:retroswitch.com/files/PaintServer.pet”,7

Hello, Android

As a recent Android convert (and with no real Java programming experience) I thought it might be fun to try writing a live wallpaper app.

With Christmas around the corner, I figured a gentle snowfall would be the obvious choice despite there already being about a million existing snowfall apps on the Google Play store.

Anyway, I thought it came out ok 🙂 If you’d like to check it out, you can find it here.

It utilizes OpenGL for rendering and native code for the physics update, and seems to perform quite well even on older phones.

If you are interested in Android app development, this book is the absolute best one I’ve found. It seems to cover topics at a perfect pace, and the section on getting an OpenGL based live wallpaper engine set up was invaluable, as this is not officially provided in the standard Android SDK.

Grand Opening!

Welcome to retroswitch.com!

This site will feature information on various retro-computing projects (mostly Commodore-related) I’m working on in my spare time, including Flyer,  a combination internet modem and drive emulation peripheral compatible with the entire line of Commodore 8-bit computers including the PET. I’ll be posting more detailed information on that one soon.

You can also expect to find general information on interfacing with older computers, repair tips & utilities, source code, and any other “techie stuff” I feel might be useful/interesting to the Commodore community, and which hasn’t already been covered extensively by the many excellent sites and forums out there.

I hope you’ll find something interesting here, and thanks for stopping by!