DT 91 17

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English Translation


                 DAY 1
                 DAY 1

I  finally, finally found a Retro Replay
cartridge    with  an  RR-net  expansion
board!  I'll  now  be  able  to bring my
trusty  old  C64  (it  will be the SX-64
actually)  online  and see if I can send
tweets  from  that good ol' machine from
the 80's.

Hang on there, you're probably thinking:
"What's  all  this  RR-stuff?"  Well, in
short,  the  Retro  Replay  is  a  clone
of  the  Action  Relply  cardridge,  but
enhanced with some 21st century goodies.
For    instance,  it  extends  into  the
RR-Net  board  which  (and  this  is the
really  cool  part)  brings  an ethernet
port  to  your  C64,  allowing your home
computer to be hooked up in your LAN and
even  take  it  one step further, to the

The  search  for these cards wasn't easy
as  they're  out  of  production  by the
company   Vesalia,  which  replaced  the
boards  by the Chameleon board, which is
also...  sold  out.  Their site mentions
that  they're  taking pre-orders for the
board,  but  no date is set. So the only
way  to  get  a  hold  of them is on the
internet.    It's    a  no-brainer  that
collectors and hobbyists don't put these
online  all that often and when they do,
be sure to spend some $$$. Nevertheless,
for  some reason, i got very lucky on an
eBay-auction  and  picked  up the boards
for  little  over  € 50,00. Talk about a
deal,    as   the  RR-net  board  itself
normally    comes    in    at  $  50,00!

Today,  I  got my boards delivered and a
first  check  reveals they're in perfect
working condition. So, now it's download
time as the tools I need will be Contiki
(an  operating  system  that offers many
features  in  very small space: a TCP/IP
stack,  a  web  browser,  a webserver, a
VNC-client  and  of  course  a graphical
user     interface)    and    Breadbox64
(a  twitter client for the C64/128 which
allows  you to tweet from a real C64 and
even  show  your  friends  timeline). To
transfer    the    files   I  downloaded
(D64-format)  it  to my SX-64, I use the
C64TPC  box,  which  is a small piece of
hardware that connects your C64's serial
port  with  a  serial  port  on your PC.
With   the  complementary  software,  it
becomes  easy to transfer D64-files from
your    PC    to    a  C64  floppy-disk.

So,  with  the hardware ready to go, the
software  downloaded  from  the web, I'm
ready  to start the big experiment. Next
steps,  getting  it  all  hooked up this
weekend,  so  stay  tuned  for  the next
parts  in the "Bringing the C64 online!"


                 DAY 2
                 DAY 2

Friday  evening  20h30,  finally getting
ready  to  hook  my Commodore on the net
and  start  sending  "tweets"  from that
classic of the 80s. I connect the C64TPC
to  the  serial port of a PC, connect it
to  the serial port of the SX-64, jam in
the  Retro  Replay  cartridge  with  the
RR-Net   card  attached  to  it  in  the
cartridge slot and finally hook the card
with  a  UTP-cable  in  the  back  of my
router:  it's  official,  i'm  ready  to

With    the    downloaded  D64-image  of
Breadbox64  attached  to a virtual drive
9,  I type in <LOAD"*",9,1> and wait for
the  program to load. A "bleep" from the
PC  signals  there's  something wrong...
Ah, I spot it immediately, it's the vir-
tual  drive  that got disconnected since
it  can't cope with the turboloader from
the  Retro  Replay. No problem here, the
turboloader  is  quickly  disabled and I
try  again.  Now  loading  goes smoothly
and  actually  quite fast (as the C64TPC
has  its own sort of fastloader), so the
131  block  take  less  than 30 seconds.
This  is  it...  I  type in "RUN" and...
nothing...    just    a    READY-prompt.

Is  maybe  the  D64-image faulty? I test
it  with the CCS64 emulator and here the
program  boots up nicely. I do spot that
once  loaded and running, the Breadbox64
application  is  accessing  the drive on
the  emulator  (the  files  IP.CFG and a
couple  of  Contiki ETH-files). Could it
be    that    the   program  is  somehow
configured  to  load  these  files  from
drive  8,  regardless  of  the fact that
it's    loaded    from   another  drive?

Let's  try it again I say to myself, and
I  load up the program again and indeed,
I  so  see  the  application  trying  to
access  the  drive  of  the  SX-64. This
should  be  a  breeze  to fix, as I just
need  to  copy  the  IP.CFG-file and the
ETH-files  from  the  virtual drive 9 to
the  SX-64  drive.  I load the files one
by one (they're marked as PRG-formats so
this  should  theoretically be possible)
and  after  each load save them to drive
8,  the  drive  of  the  SX. Loading the
application    again   I  see  it's  now
successfully  accessing  the  drive  but
still,  I  am  greeted  with  the READY-
prompt,  and  not  with  the  Breadbox64
screen...    what    is    wrong?  Maybe
I  also  need  to  load  the application
itself   from  the  SX-drive,  so  after
loading  and  saving  it  to  disk, i go
through   the  process  again,  but  now
loading    everything    from  my  SX-64
directly.    Unfortunately,    the  same

To  exclude any issues with the SX-64, I
try  the  same process from a C64C and a
classic  C64  breadbox with a 1541-drive
attached.  Both  had  the same result as
the SX-64.

I  decide  to  check if Contiki with the
built-in webbrowser and webserver run (I
downloaded     the    D64-images    from
cbm8bit.com).  I  realize  that  I  also
would  like  to run these disks directly
from    the  SX-64,  as  otherwise  I'll
probably  run into the same issues I had
with  the  diskaccess  and  the  virtual
drive  on the C64TPC, so I first load up
"FastHack'em"    to  help  me  with  the
copying  of the diskimage to a real disk
(some  files  on  the  Contiki image are
of the type "USR", and you cannot simply
load  and  save these like "PRG" types).
I  got  a  bit  of a cold shower as none
of  the  tools  worked,  not  even tried
and  tested  applications such as "turbo
nibbler".  All  of  them,  as  soon as I
stared  the  disk  copy  routines,  made
the  C64TPC  virtual  drives disconnect.
Browsing  some of the forums on the web,
I  found  out  that  disk  copy with the
C64TPC  is  quite impossible... a bit of

The  upside  of this however, was that I
noticed  that  both  the  CFG-files  and
ETH-files  on  the Contiki image were of
the  type  "USR",  and  the  ones on the
Breadbox64  image were "PRG". Ok, I know
the application ran on the emulator, but
maybe the emulator is less picky when it
comes  to these file types in comparison
with  the  1541.  With the D64 editor, I
decided  to change the file types of the
CFG-  and ETH-files to "USR", commit the
changes  to the image and load the image
again  on  the  C64TPC. Hang on there, I
still  need  to  copy these files to the
actual disk on the SX-64 but wasn't this
impossible  with  the  C64TPC (remember,
you  can't load and save these files and
disk    copy    tools    don't  work...)


Maybe,  just  maybe,  I  need to set the
IP.CFG    file  to  the  proper  network
address etc. before the application will
load  (I had my doubts, as it ran on the
emulater),  but  it  was  already  after
midnight  and I was getting tired. So, I
made a config-file, renamed it to IP.CFG
and  with the D64 editor added it to the
Breadbox64  image...  again,  trying all
of  the above, it didn't run... I decide
to  send  a  quick  mail to Johan Van de
Brande  (the  creator  of the Breadbox64
application)  to see if he's come across
this  issue before and decide to call it
a day (or night rather).

Saturday morning 11h00, received a reply
from  Johan.  He  was  not familiar with
this    issue    but  pointed  out  that
Breadbox64  is pending a major update as
Twitter.com  changed  its authentication
mechanism      from     basic     access
authentication    to    OAuth.  Aarrrgh!

Nevertheless,  I  first  need to get the
application  running  before  I can even
try to log-on to Twitter.com, so of I go
for  another  attempt at some other disk
copy  tools  to  get  the  image  of the
D64-file  transferred  to  disk,  as  my
intuition  tells  me it has something to
do  with  the  PRG  vs.  USR  file  type
setting.  A couple of hours later, and a
few utilities later, i'm still left with
the  same result... it doesn't work... I
close up for the day as we're off to the
city and i'm out of ideas.

Sunday  afternoon,  16h00, have an idea!
If  the disk copy tools fail to copy the
image,  perhaps  I can copy the file one
by  one  by  using  the  GEOS  Operating
System!  I  download  an  image, load it
into  a  virtual  drive  with the C64TPC
connected  to  the  serial  port  of the
SX-64,    load   it,  run  it...  and...
nooooooooooooo  it's  trying  to  access
files  on  the  drive as well and that's
not  the  strong  point of the C64TPC...
So in order to be able to copy the files
I first need to be able to disk copy the
GEOS  D64-image  on  a  disk, but that's
just  what  I was trying to avoide... it
seems  i'm  stuck  between  a rock and a
hard place on this one...

The only thing i can think of to get the
Breadbox64  files  from  PC (and GEOS or
whatever    image    for   that  matter)
transferred  on  a  real disk (including
those    USR    files)  is  by  using  a
serial/parallel  cable  like  the XA1541
and an application like Star Commander..
I  went of to buy one of those cables on
eBay for ö 15,00. so hopefully the cable
will  be  here before next weekend so we
can    continue    the  big  experiment!


                 DAY 3
                 DAY 3

About  a month ago, I attempted to bring
my  commodore SX-64 online. The goal was
to  "tweet"  from  this  vintage machine
from   the  80's  using  the  Breadbox64
Application.  As you could read from the
report,  things  didn't  really  run  as
smoothly as i wanted...

First  there  were  the  transfer issues
of  getting  the D64-images to load from
the  SX-64  with the C64TPC hardware, so
I  ended  up copying the D64-images with
the  TPC to a real disk on the SX-64 but
not  even  this  seemed to be working as
the  Breadbox  application would not run
properly.    Neither   did  the  Contiki
software  so  in  the  end, I decided to
purchase  serial/parallel cable like the
XA1541  and  put  my  hopes on this as a
means to transfer the files and get them
to run properly.

Next  to  that, I learned from Johan Van
de Brande (the creator of the Breadbox64
application)  that Breadbox64 is pending
a  major  update  as Twitter.com changed
its  authentication mechanism from basic
access    authentication  to  OAuth,  so
sending  tweets  from the SX-64 would be
next  to  impossible.  but,  there would
still  be  the  ability with the Contiki
software  to browse the web and even run
a  webserver  on the SX-64. So, the goal
would  be  then  to  see if we could get
this up and running...

About  2 weeks ago, I received a package
containing    a  professionally  mounted
XA1541.  I  can  strongly recommend this
Seller  on  eBay  as  the quality of the
product is really top-notch! Now, today,
I  had some spare time in the evening to
put  the  new  strategy  to  the test. I
connected   the  XA1541  to  a  standard
Commodore  serial cable and hooked it up
to the parallel port of a PC on one end,
and  the  serial port of a 1541 drive on
the     other    end.    Using       the
opencbm/cbmwin4win   together  with  the
user  interface  guicbm4win  configuring
the  ports was a breeze and in less than
5  minutes  time  I was transferring the
D64-files  I  had  generated a couple of
weeks  before for Contiki from the PC to
the floppy in the 1541.

Whilst I was copying the files, I hooked
up  the  Commodore SX-64 to the internet
with the Retro Replay cartridge with the
RR-Net  card and then when the last disk
was    copied,    loaded  the  webserver
application  and...  it  worked!  On  my
laptop,  I typed in the IP-address I had
assigned  in  the CFG-file for the SX-64
and sure enough, I could see the webpage
appear  before  my  eyes and at the same
time  see  the  logfile  scroll  on  the
screen  of  the  SX-64.  I  did  it, the
SX-64    was  running  as  a  webserver!

Next  up, I loaded the webbrowser to see
if  I  could  really browse the web. The
webserver  I just tested was still in my
own LAN, so the SX-64 was not yet on the
world  wide  web,  but  this  test would
bring  this  8-bit machine onto the 21th
century    communication   highway:  the

To  make browsing a bit easier, I hooked
up my Commodore 1351 mouse and thanks to
the  Retro  Replay's  fastloader,  a few
seconds later, I could type in the first
URL.  I  typed  in  the  address  of the
MOS-site  and  pressed  enter and waited
for  a  few  seconds  while  i  saw  the
machine    resolving   the  DNS-address,
getting  the page and... showing it onto
the screen! I could see my website on my
SX-64!  Browsing  the  site did not have
the  same  speed  as  you're  used to on
today's  computers, but I could navigate
to every single page of my site and read
all    the    articles!    A  few  other
sites  were  browsed  as  well  such  as
www.oldgoldtech.com  (no  better  way to
go    to  this  great  site  on  vintage
technology than with a vintage machine).
It all really worked!

So,  there, I did it! I managed to bring
my  SX-64 online as a webserver and also
used  it  to browse the web. I'm a happy
Commodore geek!


                 DAY 4
                 DAY 4

Back  in October, I was able to bring my
Commodore  SX-64 online by setting it up
as a webserver and also as a webbrowser,
surfing  the  web. All this was done, by
using  the  2.4  build  of  the  Contiki
software,  allowing  older systems, like
the  Commodore, to interact on the world
wide  web. The only thing i couldn't do,
was   send  tweets  using  the  included
Breadbox64    twitter    client,  as  it
utilizes    basic    authentication  and
Twitter only accepts OAuth.

Last  week though, I read a message that
a  new build of the Contiki software was
out  (2.5  rc1), so naturally I download
it  (hoping there would be an update for
the  Breadbox64  application), moved the
D64-files  to a couple of 5,25" floppies
and  started  up my SX-64, equipped with
the   Retro  Replay  cartridge  and  the
RR-Net card.

The    Contiki  software  has  undergone
several  updates  mostly in the backend,
but  some  updates  are  visible  at the
front  and  are  a real improvement. The
webbrowser  for  instance,  now  uses  a
black-and-white    color  scheme,  which
provides  much more contrast and works a
whole  lot better than the previous blue
The  mailclient,  working along the same
color schemes, is fast but unfortunately
still  some  issues  remain. You need to
replace   the  "ü"  in  the  recipient's
mailaddress    with  the  "Shift-*"  (it
will  be  translated  into  "ü"  by  the
application).  Also, it cannot cope with
SMTP-servers   requiring  authentication
(if  it  can,  please  let  me know as I
wasn't  able to access one of my secured
SMTP-servers).    For  all  other  SMTP-
servers,    it    works  like  a  charm!

Now,    for   me  the  most  interesting
part was going to be tested... would the

Breadbox64 Twitter client work this time
around?  Loading  the program, I noticed
that  on  the  welcome  screen, not just
Johan  Van den Brander's name was listed
as  the author, but also Oliver Schmidt.
It  further mentioned that now you would
need  a  SuperTweet.net  accounte... OK,
what's all this then... well, basically,
the  SuperTweet.net API provides a means
to  take  advantage  of  Twitter's OAuth
authentication  technology  without  the
cost  and  complexity of OAuth in simple
tweeting   applications  like  this  one
for the Commodore. All you need to do is
with OAuth to the SuperTweet.net
site,  where  you  create a password for
your    applications  to  use  with  the
SuperTweet.net    API   when  they  want
to    tweet.    This  password  is  used
when    logging  on  to  the  Breadbox64
application.    Apparantly,  Oliver  and
Johan   changed  the  loginprocedure  of
Breadbox64,  using basic authentication,
to sign-in to http://api..supertweet.net
instead  of  twitter.com  and  using  it
effectively as an OAuth proxy.
Pretty  cool  and  i'm  happy  to say, I
launched my first tweet from my SX-64 =)

Note:  This  article  was  take from the
excelent  MOS6502 blog (www.mos6502.com)
Thx Robby for sharing it with us... NYQ
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