Sunday, November 18, 2012

Comet64 for VIC-20

Name: Comet64 for VIC-20
Author: Ghislain (wrote menu loader and configurator)
Released: November 18, 2012
Requirements: VIC-20 and Comet64 modem. 16K RAM expansion needed to run Plus Term. 8K RAM at $A000 needed for VICTERM. 8K RAM expansion for Mighty Term.
Description: A disk with utilities that can be used with the Comet64 modem.

How does one connect online with a VIC-20 if dial-up BBSes and even telephone land lines are becoming a thing of the past?  By using's Comet64 modem, you can connect your VIC-20 to the internet and gain access to various telnet BBS services.

I wrote a menu program that lets you choose the BBS you want to connect to as well as choosing which terminal program will connect to it:

-Plus Term (for Commodore graphics in 22 column mode)
-VICTERM Cartridge (for 40 column mode, make sure that RAM expansion points to A000 for this)
-Mighty Term (by Craig Bruce for 80 column mode)
-Dumb Terminal (use as a last resort if the above options don't work or if you don't have 8K memory expansion)

And after you choose which BBS you want to connect to, the Comet64 will try to connect to the previous BBS setting.  Wait until text has paused, and then press RETURN.  The menu program will then change your Comet64's configuration settings so that you can connect to the BBS that you want.  After the terminal program has loaded, make sure that it is set to 1200 baud in it's own configuration.  Depending on which BBS you connect to, you should make sure that the character configuration is set appropriately (ASCII or Commodore).

You can change which BBSes appear in the menu by modifying lines 301-309 in the LOADER program.  Each has 3 entries: name of BBS, IP address and port number.  You can find out the IP address of a BBS by using a command line window on your PC and then type 'ping'.

I found that Comet64 worked best on the VIC-20 in 1200 baud mode.  So make sure you configure your Comet64 is configured to do so--use the WizNet configuration tool on your PC from here.  To use it, launch the configuration tool and press search. If it can't find it, use the DIRECT IP SEARCH and put in the IP address of your device. You can find this in the DHCP section of your router under DHCP clients.  Once it finds it, change the server IP and port to the BBS you want to contact. Press SETTING and it will push the config to your device. Hit exit.  Credit to Commodore Revial's Blog for instructions on how to use the configuration tool.



Click here for a list of Commodore-based BBSes.

Click here for a list of 80 column (non-Commodore) BBSes.