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RAM Expansions For C64
by Cactus/Oxyron

The +60k is the most popular RAM expansion in Poland, that's fact. I was wondering about reasons why not being so popular all around the world, and the only one sensible reason for that seems to me is little knowledge about it. The +60k can be build by almost everyone who knows how to use a soldering iron, the price is really low (3-4 Euros, just compare it to all other well-known RAM expansions!), so the only one thing I can do is to tell you about it and to encourage you to install +60k in you C-64. The profit you gain will be priceless, I can assure you that without +60k I would never have been able to code this magsys for "Attitude" and many other things. Although 60 kbytes of extra RAM is not really much, that's enough for you to be able to edit thousands of lines of your sources in "Turbo Ass", and to store graphics and music data in the whole memory. It's just great.

I've decided to create this small opinion poll, just to check how people are interested in RAM expansions for the C-64. I need to agree with you that it's great for developing wares, but it wouldn't be nice if some releases require owning such a hardware. However comparing the price and simplicity of installing the +60k, this RAM expansion would be the only one applicant for such a solution. If the +60k is not as popular in the world as in Poland, I hope that it will change after the serie of publications in this issue of "Attitude". What can I say? You won't regret installing it in your computer.

OK. So let's get into the opinion poll... My question was... "What do you think about the RAM expansions for the C-64, especially the most popular one +60k?" And let's go on with the answers from C-64 sceners from all around the world.

ALIAS MEDRON/PADUA/SAMAR

I think RAM expansions are good only when developing something... More memory for tables, pics etc. Using memory expansions for software (or demos) is quite wrong for me, because not everyone will be able to watch it...

ANONYM/PADUA

My general view on topics like this always is that anything that helps to create productions is fine - however I don't really like it so much if something actually requires the expansions to run it.

CADAVER/COVERT BITOPS

Cool if used optionally (disk cache etc.), but I think programs shouldn't require them for (widest userbase).

COMMANDER/ROLE

Well, I think that REU 1764 is more popular than +60K. The +60k is more popular in the Polish scene, but REU 1764 is more known here. REU is also easy to use RAM expansion! I am glad that RAM expansions exist, a pity that not all sceners have one. Maybe it would be a nice idea for someone to produce a cheap RAM expansion for the C64 (256K)...

CREDO/RESOURCE

Is this +60k the most popular one? I thought the SCPU+Super RAM Card, even "Metal Dust" will require one, so it must be widespread. These can be useful when someone is working on the machine, more lines in assembler editor, less swaps for disk copiers etc. (I have an original 1764 for example). But making games and demos for such a rare hardware expansions (this stands for SCPU too) isn't cool in my opinion, because: 1) we, C64ers are a small community, limiting games and demos for an even more limited number of C64s equiped with extra hardware is uncool; 2) if we expand our machines to hell, add faster coprocessors, more memory, extra audio and video possibilities, then we'll lose its limits, and its limits are the most interesting part of the machine and the challenge also lies there to make new demos and games.

DECOMPRACID/SHRINE

I'd never buy it/them. Do not need'em. I don't think that I would be interested even if I were a coder since it isn't a standard that everyone has, and if I would need more RAM I could just buy a C128 instead. :)

DJB/ONSLAUGHT

It's OK but it could never be classed as a standard, as there will be many users that will probably not get them.

DRUID/AGONY

I don't know that +60k one, but I have REU 512KB memory expansion. In age of emulators, where my C64 lies hidden somewhere I really do not need it. I think that true soul of C64 lies in its basic, not upgraded possibilities. If you want upgrade - buy a PC - and you can upgrade every two days with investing all money in "new outstanding features". :)

DYLOTIC/XENON

Well, it's a C64 not a C124. I'm sure it speeds up a lot of applications when adapted to the extra memory like packers, crunchers, etc. that sure will do the job in shorter times. But when it's going to be used in demo scene, meaning demos may be displayed at parties with the conjunction of the extra 60k, I think the C64 spirit left my body. Still it can come in handy and I won't reject it. If it's used in those barriers I just mentioned. After all it's a nice piece of hardware we can all benefit from.

GRG/SHAPE/ONSLAUGHT

I have two 256KB REU's and I use them quite a lot: copying disks with my parallel cable and creating large iffl files. In other words I think REU is great!

HOILD/ENC

It is a good idea, the best thing about it is providing Soci/SGR with an even better one that you can find at Singular homepage. It is a three bank version, each bank keeping a mirror of CPU registers and chip I/O areas as well, so you can switch "on-the-fly" between THREE different virtual C64s on a single machine! AMAZING!

JAZZCAT/ONSLAUGHT

A great thing. Any support for our computer is good. I still like the idea of software using RAM, but I think it is a good idea to keep "exclusive" support for it to a minimal. The real quest is interaction with the wider C64 community, not the minority. But as I first stated, it is of course a positive thing for the C64 either way.

JSL/PROTOVISION

I think they're great, some use it for coding stuff, I have a 256k REU and do copying with it, it all goes in 15 seconds... For music or code just pay attention to the restrictions of memory and you don't need a RAM expansion, but I know a few coders who have one and work with it.

JTR/PROTOVISION

Actually, +60k is not the most popular one. It's only the most popular one in Poland! More original Commodore-made RAM expansions like REU are more common in the rest of the world. These expansions are an absolute necessity when developing bigger programs on the C64. So, they are great tools! Best is of course a SuperCPU - with SCPU, coding gets the real blast. I don't think it makes much sense coding especially for RAM expansions, especially as there are many different kinds incompatible to each other. Using the extra RAM as an option or having special RAM versions is cool, though.

LORD HYPNOS/PADUA

It is very cool for personal using (coding for example), but as necessity for official releases (demos, games...) it wouldn't be good.

LORD LOTEK/LOTEK64

Depends on what kind of user you are. I have a Commodore 1750 REU which my GEOS 128 2.0 loves to make use of and I have a GEORAM cartridge (also 512k), but this cart works with a special version of Geos only. The diskmag "Digital Talk" can use the extra memory. It offers the very nice feature of loading all texts and tunes into mem, no loading required after everything's in the 1750. "Digital Talk" is the only prg I know that makes use of the GEORAM (except GEOS of course).

I saw Antitrack has optimized a cruncher which was some hundred times faster than the original with a 1750. I wish some more popular games and prgs would be patched to make use of the extra RAM by people who know a lot more about these things than I do. :)

MACGYVER/DMAGIC

The +60k RAM expansion ain't the most popular one - for sure not outside of Poland. I don't even know a single person owning it. The most famous RAM expansion is the Commodore 1764. It's good, but I prefer the SuperCPU, since it gives upto 16 MB RAM and at the same time 20 Mhz CPU power.

MERMAN/P.O.L./ROLE

I use a Commodore 1750 RAM Expansion, which has 512K. It is perfect for GEOS, allowing you to use a RAM 1571 (larger capacity for running applications) and have extra software like GeoCanvas or GeoWizard running. It also has the DMA chip for speeding up the moveData routine in GEOS. I also use it in other programs like Maverick and Big Blue Reader. Of course, it is nice to have the extra memory, but it should be an OPTIONAL extra to use in programs, not a necessity. I would love to have a RAMLink or SuperCPU with extra memory for the speed and convenience.

MOJZESH/ARISE/PADUA

I think that +60k RAM expansion is a huge advantage for coders. When I installed the +60k I've realised that I would never be able to code anymore without it. That's really comfortable to edit sources in "Turbo Assembler" and having the whole memory available for other data... There are no problems with clearing memory from $9000 up, where is usually located the source of "Turbo Assembler". The extra RAM memory is not deleted even after hard reset and I'm able to run "Turbo Assembler" by one single POKE instruction.

When it comes to other tools it depends on popularity of +60k among C-64 users. I think there's possibility of coding some cool programs and demos, which could be using the +60k, but it wouldn't have any sesne if there are not many owners of this expansion. The solution is to write a program that is at first checking if there's +60k installed in the computer and if so it offers more to the user who is running it with than without RAM expansion. But I think that coders are too lazy to do things that way...

MR.ALPHA/NOSTALGIA

I don't think +60k is any popular yet. :) I prefer the good old 1764 REU with 256 kbytes of RAM.

NAFCOM/P.O.L./THE STOCK

Well, I like it, no need for me that often anyway, but "Wheels" runs slick with it, so definately thumbs up!

NINJA/THE DREAMS

I have REUs and SCPU with extra memory. It's fun to play around with, even helps debugging sometimes. While they might be useful for additional features with tools, I think they are still a no for demo competitions.

PASTHOR/EXON

+60k is very useful, but the only application of it is for tools, it wouldn't be fun to play around with demos for +60k, because it smells to me like a PC with unstopable upgrades. It is very useful for people using all kind of tools. It's a revelation to me, it was really great relief for me as a swapper when I started using +60k.

RAMOS/SAMAR

It would be really good if all sceners have got such a hardware, it should be a new standard in the C-64 scene. +60k is really cool, though it would be better if there was more extra memory available.

SKATE/BRONX

I never used +60k but I have a Retro Reply with +64k Flash Memory. It's not very useful 'coz it still uses the C64 memory. For example, it allows you to upload the Turbo Assembler to Flash Mem. But when you need it, Retro Reply copies Tass to 64's memory. So what's the deal? Loading speed? Or don't I know how to use the Retro Reply? In both cases I still prefer using two 64/128s. Code in one, compile to another...

STEPPE/???

Is the +60k really the most popular one? I always thought that most people use the REU? Anyway, I never used such things, but then I'm not really what you'd call an active scener. In a way that I don't code or use applications that would run better with a RAM expansion. I'm just a demowatcher that fiddles around in the JCH editor from time to time. :)

STIRF/SPIDERS-CREW/ROLE

A RAM expansion is very handy for coding and copying. But they are hard to get/build so they will never be the new standard for C64's.

STORMFRONT/EXCESS

RAM expansions are cool hardware tools for backup copies, complex calculations (like "ByteBoiler" or something like that), RAM "Turbo Assembler" or even cross assembling... But I think that it's NOT okay to develope games that don't work WITHOUT a special hardware. They should work on every "normal" C-64, also supporting different hardware would be cool!

STRYYKER/TIDE

I would love one, could be fun to mess with.

--

Just a few additional comments from me... +60k is really easy in making, its usefullness is big, and could be bigger with more sceners owning it. I think that everybody can afford paying 3-4 Euros for it. The scheme of +60k can be found on the disk with "Attitude #6". I can say that at this point I just couldn't imagine coding without using this RAM expansion.

I was surprised when Commander said: "it would be a nice idea for someone to produce a cheap RAM expansion for the C64", because I don't think that anyone will be able to create cheaper expansion than +60k. And by the way... Does 3-4 Euros is really so much money for you? I fully agree with Ramos/Samar that it would be really good if all sceners have got +60k...

CACTUS/OXYRON

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