Use Excel to Load Your Commodore 64 Software program

It’s simple to take trendy computing as a right, as even putting in and launching software program may be very simple. Most computer systems immediately do not even embody a CD drive, as a result of everybody downloads their software program over the web. Retrocomputing lovers understand how a lot issues have modified. Within the early days, getting any form of information onto a pc was a chore. If you wish to use one thing like a Commodore 64, you’ll have to deal with that problem. However RaspberryPioneer turned to a stunning piece of software program to make the method simpler: Microsoft Excel.

To most individuals, Excel is little greater than a phrase processor that places info in neat, orderly rows. However the software program is definitely very highly effective. That goes past the formulation that Excel nerds take pleasure in, as a result of Excel consists of Visible Primary for Purposes (VBA). Visible Primary is a programming language and VBA integrates that into software program like Excel. It lets customers bridge the hole between Excel spreadsheets and different software program or {hardware}.

On this case, RaspberryPioneer constructed a whole database of Commodore software program in an Excel spreadsheet. That features field artwork, particular launch instructions, info on joystick help, and extra. Every entry within the spreadsheet hyperlinks to that software program’s ROM. To launch software program on the Commodore 64, the consumer solely wants to pick out the software program within the spreadsheet, push the join button, after which the load button. The VBA script will deal with all the small print.

After all, it will solely work if the pc operating Excel has a manner to connect with the Commodore 64. RaspberryPioneer used an Arduino Uno improvement board as an adapter between the 2. The brand new Excel laptop connects to the Arduino through USB serial, and the Arduino connects to the Commodore 64’s serial port. The Arduino accepts information from the Excel spreadsheet’s VBA script, then passes that lengthy to the Commodore 64 within the good, sluggish manner that it accepts.

It will work with different classic eight-bit computer systems, however you will want to know what communication settings to make use of and the pc might want to settle for some type of serial information — this may not output cassette audio. It should additionally work with different improvement boards and never simply the Arduino Uno.

In the event you’re into retrocomputing and also you’re tried of loading up software program manually, then RaspberryPioneer’s Excel workflow could make the method much more handy.

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