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The Hippie Campus Posts

Inside the Core: C64

Crispy passed away August 8, 2022 and I thought I’d publish this unfinished article he was working on. When I began development on the MMDC I was focused solely on creating an implementation of the Atari 2600 game console using modern day electronic components. Because of this, I designed the circuit board with hardware features specific to the Atari 2600, and it wasn’t until well after I had it all working that I was inspired to develop cores for other platforms. The first problem I ran into when exploring the possibility of a C64 core was that of RAM. The Atari 2600 doesn’t have any system RAM to speak of. The RIOT chip has 128 bytes that are used for…


Slik Stik Slickness

The Suncom Slik Stik is my all time favorite joystick. I first picked up one of these at Toys R Us back in the day when they were selling Commodore 64 hardware and software. My Atari joystick was on its last leg, so I needed to find a replacement. The $4.85 price was right, and the packaging promised higher scores and better feel. OK, I believe that. Sure enough, they weren’t lying. The short throw and high spring rate made it super responsive, and provided excellent tactile feedback. The first time I tried it, I doubled my previous high score in Centipede. Of course, it wouldn’t last. The Slik Stik has one big achilles heel. After a few months of…


Under the Hood

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about various technical aspects of my project, so I decided to make it easy on myself, and put it all down in one post. The construction of the device is fairly straightforward. It consists of a 3D printed frame that the circuit boards attach to, and a 3D printed shell that covers the frame, and finishes off the look of it. The size of the frame, and the placement of the buttons were dictated by the size of the Atari 2600 cartridge. I designed it to have just over an inch of the cartridge exposed when it is fully inserted. This was done to allow it to be easily removed, but still look good…


The Current State

Development on the MMDC Retro Player has slowed in recent weeks. All of the necessary features are in place, everything is working great, and now I can enjoy playing games on it. Implemented and working features: Cores Atari 2600 Commodore 64 Pacman coin-op Ms. Pacman coin-op Output Formats 640 x 480 @59.94 800 x 600 @59.94 1024 x 768 @59.94 1280 x 720p @59.94 1600 x 1200 @59.94 1920 x 1080p @59.94 1920 x 1200 @59.94 On Screen Display Output Format Vertical Size Vertical Position Palette Test Patterns Game pause function Change output format and test patterns via USB. Load FPGA core map via USB. With that said, there are still a number of things on my to-do list. These…

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