Part of the idea behind this Wizard's Crown Chronicles odyssey was to get me to play a classic Computer Role Playing Game (CRPG) again - one of my favorite genres - and another part was to get me to make proper use of some of my collection and new technology. What this forced me to do was install JiffyDOS inside my Commodore 128DCR and get Adaptec's GameBridge working under Windows Vista (no easy task, but they came through with the goods here) so I could capture both video and still shots directly from the real hardware more easily.
And so begins more rambling and photos (the images are clickable and can be viewed full size):
Here is a shot of the Commodore 128D with Commodore 1084S monitor running Epyx's G.I. Joe game:
That's how I originally intended to photograph the chronicles, but I wasn't satisfied with the results, even after tweaking the photo's settings in software.
Here is a shot of the Commodore 128D with its unaltered BIOS:
Confident that everything was running correctly, it was time to get the system working with GameBridge (as described above) and my Gateway Windows Vista Tablet PC so I could easily capture direct feed video and stills, and use my Tablet PC as a display at the same time.
The only drawback to this is that I won't easily be able to take notes as I go along, but I'll figure something out, perhaps even turning the screen on the Tablet PC back around so I have access to that system's keyboard.
Confident again that everything was working how I wanted it, it was time to upgrade my C-128D with the JiffyDOS ROMs I bought way-back-when. If you recall, I got this version because it was easiest to get inside the C-128D as opposed to the other C-64-class systems. Following the instructions carefully, I removed the screws on the back of the system's case, turned the system over and removed those screws, then removed the cover itself. Not too bad. I pulled the two chips that needed pulling with my IC extractor and popped in the two JiffyDOS chips, one for the CPU, one for the disk drive. As you can see it was necessary to move the disk drive out of its slot to access the one ROM chip area.
So what's up with that cotton pad? To catch the metal shavings of course! Unfortunately a disable switch is necessary with JiffyDOS, so I needed to drill a hole in the back of the case per the instructions. I got my Dremel-like tool, but that was not powerful enough. I then got a drill with a 1/4" bit as suggested. After a few quick recharges of the battery, I was able to get it going and make a proper incision. Very, very technical for someone not handy in the least like myself.
It was then time to screw the switch in, which wasn't all that easy either.
I then put the disk drive back, closed the case up and crossed my fingers.
Amazingly, I had success on the first try. Everything worked, including the kill switch. I even took some screen captures with GameBridge.
So, this will now be my "play station" as I get ready for the actual chronicles...