4GB doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s an incredible amount on the Commodore C64. A disk side on the average Commodore disk is 664 blocks. 4GB is roughly 32 million blocks. Particles! has a 4GB CMD drive, which of course, is not even close to being full. However, we’re quickly approaching 1 million blocks of downloads. We currently support files for the C64, 128, Vic-20, GEOS, CP/M and the Plus/4 – C16 family with more files being added all the time. Most files are in Zipcode format or straight PRGs so you can download straight to your C64.
How Do I Download?
If you’re not from the before time, it’s a bit tricky to understand how to download files using a terminal. Hopefully this quick tutorial will help.
To put it simply, computers send files using a protocol. The protocol used on the BBS has to match your terminal program so that they both know how to talk to each other.
Definition of Protocols:
The BBS supports a few types of different protocols so here’s a quick overview of them and their advantages/disadvantages.
Xmodem – The simplest protocol there is. It is inefficient, but it works. It can only send a single file at a time, and almost every terminal program in history supports it.
Xmodem CRC – like Xmodem, but with better error checking. Only some terminals use this version.
Xmodem 1K – Like Xmodem, but sends in 1K chunks at a time. Only some terminals use this version.
Ymodem – Like Xmodem, but can send in batches and has better error checking. Most modern terminal programs support this.
Punter – The defacto standard for Commodore computers. Can only send a single file at a time.
Multi-Punter – The defacto standard for Commodore computers. Can send multiple files in a batch.
Walking You Through It
Let’s walk you through how to download a file. Let’s say you are looking at downloading some NTSC Plus/4 files because you just can’t get of TED’s goodness. First you would select T from the Main Menu to Transfer Files.
This brings up the Transfer Menu. Now we’re going to change the directory we’re looking at by selecting ‘C’.
This is the top of the directory structure. Let’s drill in and find what we want to look at. Select ‘4’ to look at the Plus/4 files.
Now we’re presented with a list of Plus/4 directories. Let’s look at all the files from 1984. Select ‘R’. It then drops us back to the menu prompt. We are now in the directory for 1984. Now, let’s mark some files to download by selecting ‘V’ for View and Download.
See that arrow on the left side? This is called interactive mode. You can move the arrow up and down using your arrow keys. Hit ‘F’ to flag files to download or ‘Q’ to quit. Here, we’re flagging some random files. And then we’re back to the main menu, but our files are flagged. We then type ‘D’ to download flagged files.
See? These are the files we’re going to download.
Now we select the protocol the two computers are going to use to talk to each other. They have to match exactly!
The BBS is ready to send your file! Put your terminal into receive file mode and the file will transfer across.