Friday, 31 October 2014

1541 Ultimate II Guide 3 : Software!

For those of you who were not around in ye olde days of the 1980's: there was a LOT of software released for the C64/C128.  You can find d64 files all over the net. Still, that will be a lot of work and if you do not know what the good games or SIDs are you are not going to find the right ones.

So this post is about getting a collection of C64 software and music onto your UII as fast as possible, and in a way that will make you enjoy using your UII.

The easiest thing to do is to download all the stuff at once, and then find the cool stuff by going to review sites so that is what we are going to do.

Gathering The Goods


Music
One word (or acronym): H.V.S.C. These folks gather all known SID files into a large archive for all of us to download. As the UII has a built-in SID player, this is great for us.

The archive can be obtained from their website: http://www.hvsc.c64.org/


Software (read: Games)
The best thing to do is to download Gamebase64, their website is here. Although the front end tools are downloadable from the website, the actual c64 software is not! Luckily, there are torrent seeds for this collection. You can find it easily if you know how to use Google. The full package contains 4 ISO files, and the latest version is V12 (as on october 2014)

Demos
The C64 is famous for kick-starting the demo scene. Even today, demos are released which push the boundaries of the C64 capabilities. Some of these demos have to be seen and heard to be believed. The best resource for demos is the CSDB (Commodore 64 Scene DataBase) which can be found here.  The menu on the right side of that page shows the best demos, most recent demos and the best coders.  Grab some of these demos and be amazed.

Organizing

You could copy the base folders of HVSC and GB64 to your SD card, but it would look awful on the UII, and the directories contain a lot of files so browsing the content will take ages. Luckily there is a tool which was made especially for this problem. It will scan the game and music folders, reformat the names and folder organisation and output all of this to a new location. The tool is called Gamebase 64 Reorganizer SD. You can find it here: http://www.obliterator918.com/gamebase-64-reorganizer-sd/

After starting the tool, you will see a screen like this. I have already selected the base folder of my gamebase collection and of HVSC. Pressing GO! will start outputting to my selected output folder.


This is the result of re-organizing Gamebase64 and HVSC on my computer:


That's a lot of games and music. And I drank a cup of coffee while all this was being done for me. Excellent. All that is left is copy the output folder to the SD card and fire up the UII. Copying WILL take a long time, so hang on.

Note: the music files will be placed in the corresponding game folder. This may not be what you want. In that case, do not include the HVSC in the tool selection, and copy the music folders to the SD card. This may be the better option if you are composer/demo focused and not game focused.


This is what it finally looks like on the UII:


So nice, and you won't have to touch these folders again for a long long time.

That's it for this post. I hope you can use this post as a guideline to organizing your collection.

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