Idea: Commander X16 on a cart

Grunchy

New Member
Nov 21, 2019
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
I was watching the recent "Apple IIe on a card" episode:
Also, I watched Retro Man Cave's "World's Newest Amiga" with the vampire:

I'm not on Facebook, maybe this idea was already discussed & discarded...
But it just occurred to me: if I already have a Vic20/C64/C128, why couldn't the Commander 16 be delivered as an add-on cartridge?
Because then it could benefit from the keyboard, joystick ports, perhaps ROMs (even RAM?), user port, serial port, and so on. SID chip.
Obviously, like the above YouTube examples, such a cartridge would need to have its own separate audio/video output.
I dunno, if you skip developing a keyboard & case and just make use of what's already there, that could really drop the cost.
Man, I would love to upgrade a Vic20 into a bad-ass Commander 16 simply by plugging in a cartridge. That would be amazing!
What would be more amazing would be if there was a switch between modes i.e. Host->Commander 16,Host->C128,Host->Pet, etc.
I'd love to have a Vic20 that doubles as a Pet :)

Hey... I just discovered SuperCPU, a 20MHz cartridge for C64:

Ohmigosh: Doom on the C64, I totally was not aware!

 
Last edited:
May 22, 2019
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There's virtually nothing on one of those computers that's reusable on the Commander... so you'd be basically implementing the entirety of Commander on a cart, then on top of that, trying to interface it to the host computer. I think it would actually cost more than the current design.

This is actually consistent with many of these "computer on a card" designs from the 80s and 90s. Many of those were just as expensive as a stand-alone computer, and the Super CPU (as you've discovered) is much more expensive than the computer it was plugged in to.
 

Grunchy

New Member
Nov 21, 2019
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Well, I won't argue. You guys are making what you're making and that's that. I'm just sharing my thought as an uninvolved by-stander.
But yes when you think about it, that's exactly the point: it's a complete Apple IIe on a card. It's a complete Amiga system on a vampire board.

Like, my first thought about Commander 16 was: if it was a physical computer vs an emulator, hands-down I'd choose the emulator. I just don't want the hassle of another computer if it's obsolete and there's nothing to run on it. Even if there were 100 programs to run, meh, the emulator is free and I could play as much as I felt like. In fact I downloaded the Commander 16 emulator and I'm perfectly happy with that!

But if Commander 16 were an expansion cart, man that's what I'd leap for. This reminds me strongly back when the Supercharger came out for the Atari 2600. We got that thing plus many of the cassettes, and every game was a winner, but the real awesome thing was it expanded the usefulness of the 2600 we already had. It was like, the 2600 was becoming an unused lump soon to be discarded, but as soon as the supercharger came out and we got it, man look at all the awesome cool new games!

Anyway, either way, VERY cool project and I'm seriously interested enough to download the emulator and check it out, and keep up with updates.
If it were a cart that could transform my C64 into something cool, man what a home run (in my opinion), but it doesn't have to be that.
 

cml37

Moderator
Staff member
May 19, 2019
161
39
28
Washington, D.C. Area
Well, I won't argue. You guys are making what you're making and that's that. I'm just sharing my thought as an uninvolved by-stander.
But yes when you think about it, that's exactly the point: it's a complete Apple IIe on a card. It's a complete Amiga system on a vampire board.

Like, my first thought about Commander 16 was: if it was a physical computer vs an emulator, hands-down I'd choose the emulator. I just don't want the hassle of another computer if it's obsolete and there's nothing to run on it. Even if there were 100 programs to run, meh, the emulator is free and I could play as much as I felt like. In fact I downloaded the Commander 16 emulator and I'm perfectly happy with that!

But if Commander 16 were an expansion cart, man that's what I'd leap for. This reminds me strongly back when the Supercharger came out for the Atari 2600. We got that thing plus many of the cassettes, and every game was a winner, but the real awesome thing was it expanded the usefulness of the 2600 we already had. It was like, the 2600 was becoming an unused lump soon to be discarded, but as soon as the supercharger came out and we got it, man look at all the awesome cool new games!

Anyway, either way, VERY cool project and I'm seriously interested enough to download the emulator and check it out, and keep up with updates.
If it were a cart that could transform my C64 into something cool, man what a home run (in my opinion), but it doesn't have to be that.
There are definitely aspects of the Commander X16 that are being developed using the Commodore 64 via the expansion port, so maybe some of the components could be used in the way that you describe!
 

BruceMcF

Active Member
May 19, 2019
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Note that if the board is a standard size and the keyboard is a PS/2, then the keyboard is an option and the case is an option ... they might be really popular options, but someone with a suitable case and keyboard and VGA monitor already wouldn't have to buy them again. And that would be a cost saving option that would apply to a lot more people than those that actually have a C64.
 
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