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How to get into Commodore 64? Beginner


acromite53
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I'm interested in getting a Commodore 64 to listen to its music and watch demos on it. I love the SID music. I have no experience or knowledge about the C64. What are some things I need to know as someone in the US? Use a US or PAL system? Is there only one model? What are the best ways to load roms? Use flashcarts or usb? Use RAM upgrade? Do I need to get a PAL system? Will I run into display problems with pal 50hz system/roms? Anyone have any knowledge of music player programs for c64? Thanks everyone.

I want to run stuff like this:

 

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I'm no expert, but my suggestion would be to get a flash drive of some type as your first stop and then to pick up a US system first since that's where you're based.  If you want access to all the cool PAL-specific demos and such, pick up a PAL system too (or at least the chips for one, if you're willing to do a mod to be able to switch it back and forth--guides are available online on how to do that), but I wouldn't make that the focus of your initial setup.  RAM upgrades are definitely worthwhile if you're wanting to play some of the more advanced games and see some of the bigger/better demos, but shouldn't be a priority out of the gate versus making sure you've got an effective way to get software on and off the system.  If you really want to mess around with actual disks, you'll need to pick up at least one drive, if not two, but again, my suggestion is to go for a flash based solution since they're ultimately cheaper and easier to deal with.

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9 hours ago, darkchylde28 said:

I'm no expert, but my suggestion would be to get a flash drive of some type as your first stop and then to pick up a US system first since that's where you're based.  If you want access to all the cool PAL-specific demos and such, pick up a PAL system too (or at least the chips for one, if you're willing to do a mod to be able to switch it back and forth--guides are available online on how to do that), but I wouldn't make that the focus of your initial setup.  RAM upgrades are definitely worthwhile if you're wanting to play some of the more advanced games and see some of the bigger/better demos, but shouldn't be a priority out of the gate versus making sure you've got an effective way to get software on and off the system.  If you really want to mess around with actual disks, you'll need to pick up at least one drive, if not two, but again, my suggestion is to go for a flash based solution since they're ultimately cheaper and easier to deal with.

Thanks for the info! I was looking o line and was suprised at how expensive the C64 is to buy one. I think the biggest hurdle will be finding a display that runs 50hz. I have nothing that can display it. I might have an old IBM ps/2 monitor that can do 50 but then again that uses a vga cable.

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14 hours ago, acromite53 said:

Thanks for the info! I was looking o line and was suprised at how expensive the C64 is to buy one. I think the biggest hurdle will be finding a display that runs 50hz. I have nothing that can display it. I might have an old IBM ps/2 monitor that can do 50 but then again that uses a vga cable.

If you've got a modern TV that still has composite/component inputs, there's a good chance that you've got a screen that will do 50hz.  It's not always advertised, but many (most?) modern displays are sold across multiple markets with no changes to the inside electronics save for the power supply (and in some cases, not even then, as some will have switches to immediately convert them from 110 to 220 and vice versa).  If you've got an AVS or access to one, you can set it to 50hz and see if your TV picks it up properly; if not, just reset the system to defaults and you'll know.

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