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3. Getting more C64 Games for Power64

There are three ways to get C64 software for use with Power64. You can get one of the C64 software collections available on CD-ROM, visit one of the C64 archives on the Internet or copy it from your old collection of 5.25" disks.

Please be aware of the copyright problems attached to C64 games. The fact that the C64 is no longer produced, and hardly any new software is available for it, does not mean that the old commercial software has in general become public domain. Even old software, that is no longer sold, is still intellectual property of its author and protected by copyright laws. Only few authors (see below) have actively decided to release their (once commercial) work into public domain. All others have, up to now, just chosen not to take any action against copyright infringements (but may of course revoke this decision at any time).
In other words, the collections mentioned below consist primarily of pirated software. Use them at your own risk - You have been warned!

A detailed study on emulators and the problems that they pose in relation to Intellectual Property Rights can be found at http://emulegal.emuunlim.com

The following generous C64 software authors officially released their (once commercial) work into public domain:

Hopefully others will follow their example...

3.1 Games on CD-ROM

If you want to purchase a C64 software collection on CD-ROM you can choose among the following:

A (not quite up-to-date) list of emulator-CDs is available at: http://members.aol.com/chrissalo/cdrom.htm.

3.2 Games on the Internet

If you are looking for C64 software on the internet, you might want to look at the following sites:

If the above is not enough for you than read the list of C64-FTP sites (Find-It-FAQ) that is posted weekly to news://comp.emulators.cbm. The Find-It-FAQ is also available at:

3.2.1 Downloading and Unpacking Hints

Here are some hints, that will seem trivial to experienced internet users and are meant to help newbies avoid the most frequent errors:

C64 games are always stored in binary, never in text (ASCII) files. If you are using a FTP program for downloading make sure it is switched to binary mode. If you are using a webbrowser such as Safari, Firefox, iCab or Opera press the option key when clicking on the link of a game. Otherwise there is a good chance that you will end up with a file that looks fine at first glance but is internally corrupted and unusable.

Only few sites offer games in pure D64 or T64 format. Almost all archives offer their files in a compressed format, that saves disk space and network bandwidth. Common file extensions for compressed files are: ZIP, GZ, LHA and SIT. Power64 can use ZIP, GZ and LHA files directly - there is no need to waste hard disk space by decompressing them before use. SIT files need to be expanded before they can you can use such a game with Power64.

The easiest way to expand a compressed file is to drag and drop it on StuffIt Expander with Expansion Enhancer. Both StuffIt Expander and Dropstuff with Expansion Enhancers are available at your local info-mac archive or from Smith Micro Software at http://my.smithmicro.com/mac/stuffitexpander/index.html.
StuffIt Expander is freeware, Dropstuff with Expansion Enhancer is shareware and together they expand all the important file formats.

Some sites also offer SFX files. These are Self Extracting LHArchives, that need to be unpacked on an (emulated) C64. The easiest way to do this probably is to mount the folder containing the SFX file as drive #9 and place a new disk image (or a disk image with sufficient free space) in drive #8. Now LOAD and RUN the SFX file, just like any other C64 program. It will ask for a drive and a device number. Answer '0' and '8' respectively and stand by as the archive is unpacked onto the floppy. When expansion is completed, you have the playable game on the disk, that can now be used like any other D64 file. The SFX file is then no longer needed.
Note that the C64 is a slow computer (in comparison to your Mac). Decompression might take quite a while. Use the Turbo Boost mode (Cmd-B), or manually increase the CPU speed in the Options/Emulator Speed Dialog, to make this a little faster.

If the expansion tool complained about a bad file structure, checksum errors or similar problems, it is most likely cause is that you made an error in downloading. Remember: All C64 games are stored in binary files! When in doubt use an specialized FTP tool for downloading. Don't (ab-)use your webbrowser for FTP sessions.

Now you hopefully successfully managed to expand the downloaded games. Still the files look dull on your Macintosh desktop and double-clicking on them does not start Power64. Please remember that there are computer systems other than the Macintosh out there. They have no idea of the Type/Creator system that the MacOS uses to keep files linked to icons and applications. Thus such information is not stored in the compressed file and can therefore not be retrieved when it is expanded.
Still Power64 is able to use such files, if you manually start Power64 and use the Device menu to attach a D64, T64 etc. to an appropriate drive. If a file does not have one of the characteristic extensions, it is most likely a CBM program file and you should mount its folder as a hard disk. After a file has been successfully loaded Power64 will adjust the Type/Creator for this file, so that it can be opened Mac style by double-clicking.

3.2.2 Uploading and Packing Hints

Even so the archives are already quite well filled with C64 software there are still some jewels out there that should be added to the collections. Here are some rules that should be considered before sending a contribution to an archive:

3.3 Other Internet Resources

If you do not want to search for games yourself there are also internet search engines specialized on the C64:

Lots of C64 related wisdom is accumulated in the Commodore Knowledge Base at:

Project64 attempts to gather all kind of documentation around the C64 in the form of plain text files. They are available for download at:

While Project64 collects only english documentation, the international CBM documentation project iDoc provides etexts in many languages (incl. English, German, Swedish, Hungarian...).

If you are stuck with a game, need a hint for an adventure or a POKE of invulnerability for an action game there are several sites, that will serve your needs:

If you are looking for paper magazines for the C64, visit:

There are WWW-Sites devoted to the general topic of Emulation on the Macintosh:

There are also newsgroups that are devoted to Commodore computers (news://comp.sys.cbm) and their emulation (news://comp.emulators.cbm). Read them to learn about new CD-ROMs and game-sites. Before you ask questions in these newsgroups (or any other, for that matter) please be sure to read the FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) summaries that are repeatedly posted in the newsgroups and that are also available at ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/comp.sys.cbm/ and ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/comp.emulators.cbm/ respectively.

Once you are addicted to the C64, you will probably want to tell everyone of your preferences. Why not do so with a cool T-shirt and coffeemug?

The C64's SID (Sound Interface Device) 6581 has inspired many composers in the creation of musical masterpieces that have lost nothing of their splendor over 20 years. Thus there are also some audio CDs available: They great C64 tunes played either by an original SID in a C64, or by more modern instruments, trying to keep the C64 melodies alive, but adapt them to more recent listening habits.

3.4 Using original 1541 Floppy disks

If you have your own collection of documents and games that you wrote yourself, and that are not publicly available you can copy these from 5.25" disk to your Mac. Unfortunately this is not a straight forward job. Still there are several options:

3.5 Using original cassette tapes

If you have a collection of private files on (audio) cassette tapes, you can attempt to convert them for use on your Mac. This is however a rather tricky process, that starts out by converting the tapes to uncompressed WAV files (do NOT attempt to convert them to MP3 (or similar compressed formats) since the compression scemes are optimised for the human ear (and not for computer 'listeners') and will discard information that is essential for data recovery). These files can than be converted to TAP and/or T64 using a Windows PC (unfortunatly not a Mac) and one of the following tools:

A good collection on hints for the conversion of tapes to TAPs or T64 file images, can be found at the Commodore 64 Tape Transfer FAQ.

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