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COMP.SYS.CBM: General FAQ, v3.1 Part 8/9

( Part1 - Part2 - Part3 - Part4 - Part5 - Part6 - Part7 - Part8 - Part9 )
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Archive-name: cbm-main-faq.3.1.p8
Comp-answers-archive-name: commodore/main-faq/part8
News-answers-archive-name: commodore/main-faq/part8
Comp-sys-cbm-archive-name: main-faq/part8
Version: 3.1
Last-modified: 1996/01/25

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
  
  Table of Contents (for this file)
  ---------------------------------

  13.  Enhancements
  13.1.  How do I increase my disk drive's transfer speed?
  13.1.1.  What is a Fastloader?
  13.1.2.  What is a ROM replacement?
  13.1.3.  What are the disadvantages to using a drive enhancement?
  13.1.4.  What other things can I do to speed up the drive?
  13.2.  How do I expand my disk drive's capacity?
  13.2.1.  What is a Hard Drive?  Who sells them?
  13.2.2.  What is 64NET?
+ 13.2.3.  What is SERVER64?
  13.3.  How do I expand my computer's RAM capacity?
  13.3.1.  What is a Ram Expansion Unit?
  13.3.2.  What is a geoRAM Unit?
  13.3.3.  What is battery backed GeoRAM (BBGRam)?
  13.3.4.  What is a RAMLink?
  13.3.5.  What is a RAMDrive?
  13.3.6.  How do I expand my C128 Video RAM?
  13.3.7.  How do I expand my C64 internally?
  13.3.8.  How do I expand my C128 internally?
  13.4.  How do I increase my computer's speed?
  13.4.1.  How do I increase my Commodore 64's speed?
  13.4.2.  How do I increase my Commodore 128's speed?
  13.4.3.  Can I speed up other Commodore computers?
  13.5.  How do I increase my computer screen's resolution?
  13.5.1.  How do I increase my Commodore 64's screen resolution?
  13.5.2.  How do I increase my Commodore 128's screen resolution?
  13.5.3.  How do I increase other CBM computers' resolutions?
  13.6.  How do I increase my computer's serial transfer speed?
  13.7.  How do I increase my computer's sound quality?
  13.8.  What other ways can I expand my Commodore computer?

  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
  
  
  13.  Enhancements
  
  If you like to tinker with your Commodore to get the best possible
  performance out of it, these suggestions and products may help you
  in your quest.
  
   
  13.1.  How do I increase my disk drive's transfer speed?
  
  Since the introduction of the Commodore VIC-20 and the slow serial bus,
  Commodore owners have been plagued by slow disk access.  There are two 
  ways to allevaiet this problem, fastloaders and ROM replacements.

  
  13.1.1.  What is a Fastloader?

  The Commodore 1541 drive and any drive attached to a VIC-20, C64, Plus 4,
  C116, or C16 suffer from very slow read and write times.  This is caused
  by Commodore's haste in "economizing" the IEEE-488 bus used in the PET
  series of Commodore computers into the serial bus.  The IEEE-488 bus
  transferred 8 bits of data at a time, and performed some synchronization
  steps, or handshaking, between bytes.  Commodore reduced the path to 1 bit
  but kept most of the original handshaking, most of which is redundant when
  transferring 1 bit at a time.  Early on, some developers noted that, since
  the 1541 drive was intelligent enough to execute a program loaded into its
  RAM, and the Commodore operating system calls to do disk I/O could be
  bypassed, they could write software that sped up the loading process by
  modifying or completely changing the protocol used on the serial bus.  This
  is the idea behind fastload cartridges like FastLoad, Mach 5, etc...


  13.1.2.  What is a ROM replacement?
  
  As programs became more complex, some programs would not operate with
  this approach.  Thus, the developers then rewrote parts of the Commodore
  operating system on both the computer and the disk drive, and replaced the
  parts of them that did disk I/O with new pieces of code.  This is the idea
  behind JiffyDos and others.

  The basic idea in speeding up the disk drive is to use more than 1 line
  to transfer data, effectively doubling the transfer speed.  Then, reduce
  synchronization requirements in the protocol to a bare minimum, as
  synchronizing time is time not being used to do transfers.

  The fastload cartridges are handicapped somewhat by the need to transfer
  the portion of the program that runs in the disk drive to the drive using
  the slow speed evry time the drive is used.  This can be alleviated
  somewhat, but the replacement operating system replacement products like
  JiffyDos win the race since they do not need to load code into the drive,
  as it is already there.


  13.1.3.  What are the disadvantages to using a drive enhancement?
  
  The products are not 100% compatible, as they sacrifice reliability for
  speed somewhat.  That means that a program that does not load due to an
  error while using a fastload product will probably load without the
  fastloading enabled.  Also, some programs can not handle the change in
  loading or reading speed, so these enhancements yield about 90%
  compatibility.


  13.1.4.  What other things can I do to speed up the drive?
  
  You can also increase the speed of disk drive operation by organizing
  consecutive parts of a file on disk to fall a certain number of disk
  sectors apart.  This is called the interleave or interleaving factor.
  Normally, a 1541 disk drive space consecutive parts of a file 10 sectors
  apart, but you can change that a little to minimize the time needed to find
  consecutive parts of a file.

  Also, the C128 in 128 mode hooked up to a 1571 or 1581 has a built-in
  fastloading scheme called burst loading.  Therefore, if you are in 128 mode
  and hooked up to a 1581 or a 1571, you already have this feature.  However,
  the 128 in 64 mode reverts back to the old slow serial routines, and the 128
  in any mode using a 1541 cannot use the burst load routines.

  
  13.2.  How do I expand my disk drive's capacity?
  
  Software Support International sells the 1541 RAMBoard, which will increase
  you 1541's memory.  SSI used to market a similar board for the 1571, but they
  have depleted stock and no longer carry it.
  
  You can also expand your disk drives on board RAM capacity, and use that extra
  memory for better archiving performance.


+ 13.2.1.  What is a Hard Drive?  Who sells them?
  
+ A hard disk drive is a non-removable ramdom access medium similar that 
+ allows one to store very large quantities of data.  Hard disk drives
+ are mandatory on most newer computer systems, but are usually optional
+ for Commodore 8-bit computers.  However, the faster load time, the 
+ greater capacity, and the ease of use make them desirable.
  
  CMD sells hard drives for the Commodore 64 and 128.  They range in sizes
  from 50 Megabytes on up.  In comparison, a Commodore 1581 drive holds
  .8 Megabytes.


+ 13.2.2.  What is 64NET?
  
  If you have access to an IBM of some kind (preferrably with a hard drive),
  you can use a product called 64NET to hook the drive up to the Commodore.
  64NET consists of a cable which connects the CBM User Port and the IBM
  Parallel Port together, and a program that runs on both machines.  The
  program on the IBM is a standard application, but the CBM part is a wedge,
  so it should integrate seamlessly with some programs.  There is now just
  one copy of the product.  Registered users simply receive a 64NET.KEY
  file that enables SAVING.  There is a student discount of AUS$40.00.

  The product is at version 1.82.62 and has full OPEN/CLOSE/READ/READST
  support, can support 4 gigabyte IBM partitions, and have a built-in
  off-board monitor which includes some dos wedge functions. The
  IBM programs have link-based helpsystems and will run on any IBM
  machine.  The registered version allows saving of files, wheras the PD
  version does not.  The registered version also contains support for GEOS.
  
  The registered BETA version is available (with upgrade to final version
  free) for AUS$50.00, while the unregistered version is free.  These
  prices do not include the cable that is required for operation.  The cable,
  program, and more information can be received from Paul Gardner-Stephen at
  gardners@ist.flinders.edu.au.  Also, the system can be ordered from:

  In Europe:

  Performance Peripherals Europe
  Germany
  +49 2227 3221

  Michael Renz
  +49 2227 3221

  And in Australia from:

  Russell Alphey
  +61 3 4278558 (A/H
  r.alphey@dce.vic.gov.au

  Paul Gardner-Stephen
  +61 8 277 7479 (A/H)

  Versions are available for the C64 and C128, and a C65 version is close to
  completion.
  
+ Also available is an Software Development Kit (SDK) with a CBM 
+ cross assembler.
				 
  
+ 13.2.3.  What is SERVER64?

  SERVER64 is a product like 64NET, in that it allows you to use an IBM PC
  as a large hard drive.  However, unlike 64NET, SERVER64 does not require
  a connection to the user port and a special boot program be run.  Instead,
  the system uses an X1541 cable to attach the Commodore 64 serial port to 
  an IBM parallel port.  
  
  The product is available at:
  
  ftp://ccnga.uwaterloo.ca/pub/incoming/
  
  Documentation is available at:
  
  ftp://ccnga.uwaterloo.ca/pub/incoming/
  
  Both are expected to move to the /pub/cbm/emulation directory soon.
  
  
  13.3.  How do I expand my computer's RAM capacity?
 
  13.3.1.  What is a Ram Expansion Unit?
  
  The original form of RAM expansion available to the C64 and C128 were the
  Commodore REUs (Ram Expansion Units).  These REUs plug into the cartridge
  port, and provide 128K (the C=1700), 256K (the C=1764), or 512K (the C=1750)
  of additional RAM.

  This RAM is not true system RAM however; simply adding a 512K REU to your
  system does NOT mean that your word processor will suddenly be able to edit
  512K larger documents.  A REU will only be used by a program that was
  written to take advantage of an REU.  As a caveat on this, you can use your
  REU as additional RAM for a RAMLink .

  An REU can be used as a Commodore Disk Drive by running the program
  RAMDOS.  This will allow users to save and load files from the REU.

  If you are using CP/M, the REU can be configured to act like a disk drive
  under CP/M.

  Although the C=1764 was originally advertised for the C64, and the 1700 and
  1750 for the C128, any of the three RAM expanders will work with either the
  C64 or the C128.  Note that if you want to use any of them on the C64, you
  need a heavy duty power supply.  The 1764 comes with such a power supply.

  There are hardware hacks that will expand a 1700 or a 1764 to 512K;
  additionally, a 512K REU can be expanded to 1 Meg or more.  The plans are 
  at ftp://ccnga.uwaterloo.ca/pub/cbm/.  While it appears completely
  safe to upgrade your REU to 1 Meg, there have been some reports of problems
  with REU's upgraded to 2 Megs.  Sometimes the REU will work fine for a while,
  then fail.  If you are upgrading your REU, it would probably be wise to stop
  at 1 Meg.  If you are still memory hungry, consider a CMD RAMLink.
  
  If you don't wish to do it yourself, there are people who will do it for 
  you, for a fee.  The following individual will do RAM expansions on the 
  17xx series. He Has lots of experience doing these modifications. His 
  current quoted price for expanding a 1750 from 512k to 1 meg is $60. Call 
  for the latest prices.  In addition he can do repairs on the RAM.

  Raymond Day
  9601 Morton Taylor Road
  Belleville, MI 48111-1328
  r.day@genie.geis.com (Contact)
  (313) 699-6727

  On a similar note, Software Support International sells a device called
  the 1750 clone, which functions just like a 1750.  It is not as expandable
  as the real 1750, but can be used where a 1750 is recommended or required.

  13.3.2.  What is a geoRAM Unit?

  When Commodore REUs became hard to find several years back, Berkeley
  Softworks introduced geoRAM, which is a 512K RAM expander.  This RAM
  expander gives you all of the advantages of a 1750 with GEOS.  However, it is
  not 1750 compatible, so it will not work like a 1750 outside of GEOS; it is
  transparent to other programs.  (As a caveat on this, see the info on
  RAMLink)).  DesTerm128 2.0 will not work with a geoRAM plugged in.  A
  special version of GEOS 2.0 (which is bundled with geoRAM) is necessary to
  use geoRAM.  No additional power supply is necessary to use geoRAM.  The
  geoRAM can be upgraded to 2MB also.  Contact Jens-Michael Gross at
  grossibr@buran.fb10.tu-berlin.de for information on upgrading the geoRAM.

  The geoRAM can be used without GEOS if it is installed in a RAMDrive or
  RAMLink.  See Section 13.3.4 for information.
  
  13.3.3.  What is battery backed GeoRAM (BBGRam)?
  
  Battery Backed GeoRam is a products marketed by Performance Peripherals
  Incorporated.  The unit is actually a geoRAM clone, but has battery backup 
  included within the unit.  The unit can be ordered in the following 
  configurations:
 
  512kBytes     $92.97US
  1MBytes      $123.97US
  2MBytes      $165.97US

  13.3.4.  What is a RAMLink?

  RAMLink (RL) is a RAM expansion devices from CMD.  The RAM in these devices
  can be partitioned into native mode partitions (with dynamically allocated 
  subdirectories), or 1541, 1571, or 1581 emulating partitions.  Thanks to the
  15x1 emulating partitions, software does not have to be specifically written
  to run with a RL. The RL devices should appear as a disk drive to most 
  programs.  One notable exception is DesTerm v2.00, which does not work 
  with the RL.  There are few other exceptions, and no major commercial 
  program has a problem running with an RL .  The deciding factor seems to be 
  whether or not the program uses a drive's internal ram.  The RL does not 
  'mimic' having this type of internal drive ram, and if a program relies 
  upon this it will not run.  The heavily copy protected Digital Solutions' 
  programs use this drive ram for its burst loading routines.  So, even 
  though a Maverick/RamBoard combination will write a copy of it to the RL, 
  it will fail to boot.  However, these programs, once booted from a 1571, 
  will use and access all of RL's many functions for lightening fast loads 
  and saves.

  RL has ts own power sources, separate from the computer.  When you turn 
  off the computer, the power to the RL is left on, leaving its contents 
  intact.  This power supply always remains on.  (For safety from power 
  outages, battery backups are also available.)

  RAMLink is a powerful, large device.  It can be configured from 0 to
  up to 16 Megs of RAM, using industry standard 1x8 (100ns) 1 Meg and 4 Meg
  SIMMs.(1x9, and faster Simms can be used.)  The RL is constructed so that
  the user may easily add additional SIMMs at any time.

  RAMLink has a port into which you can plug a Commodore REU or a geoRAM.
  You can configure RAMLink to either leave this RAM device alone, or to use
  the REU/geoRAM's RAM just as if it were part of the RAMLink's RAM.  A
  RAMLink also has a pass-through port, in which you can plug a normal
  C64/C128 cartridge, and a parallel port for a CMD hard drive.  The latter
  greatly improves the transfer speed of data between your computer and the
  hard drive.

  If you have a geoRAM, the geoRAM can be plugged into the RL .  the
  geoRAM then acts as an extra piece of ram-based disk storage.

  The RL comes with a very well documented, thorough, and easily
  referenced User Manual.  Contact CMD for more details.


  13.3.5.  What is a RAMDrive?
  
  The RAMDrive is similar in function to the RAMLink sold by CMD (see 
  Section 13.3.4).  The main differences are the smaller amount of memory
  (1-4 MB) and the smaller size. 
  
  At one time, the RAMDrive was sold by CMD, but is no longer available 
  through them. However, Performance Peripherals, Inc. still sells the
  RAMDrive unit.  
  
  
  13.3.6.  How do I expand my C128 Video RAM?

  The original, "flat" C128's came with an 80 column display that had it's own
  display RAM that was separate from the system memory of the computer.  This
  "VDC RAM" was 16K in size.  After Commodore introduced the C128D, they
  changed the design and marketed some versions of the Commodore 128D with
  64K of VDC RAM.  Since them, some programs (e.g. I-Paint, Dialogue128)
  have come out that either need or support 64K of VDC RAM.  Owners of flat
  128's can upgrade their video RAM to 64K either by ordering an upgrade
  plug-in board(e.g. from Software Support International), or by replacing the
  RAM chips themselves.  All that needs to be done is, the two 4416 RAM chips
  next to the VDC chip need to be replaced with 4464 RAM chips.  Note,
  however, that since this involves soldering in tight quarters on your 128's
  motherboard, it is very easy to damage the motherboard or the nearby VDC
  chip.  Whenever you wish to use the extra RAM, be sure to set bit 4 in the
  VDC register 28 (0 = 16kB, 1 = 64kB).
  

  13.3.7.  How do I expand my C64 internally?

  THE TRANSACTOR magazine published two articles written by Paul Bosacki on
  expanding the Commodore 64.  The first article (in Transactor 9.2) described
  how to expand the 64 to 256kB by swapping RAM chips and contained switches
  to perform some special options.  The second (in Transactor 9.6) describes
  how to expand the Commodore 64 to 1MB, using a 512kB REU and 512kB on the
| motherboard.  In addition, this expansion needs no switches to enable
  options, which is an enhancement to the first article.

  The Nordic/Finnish MicroBITTI magazine published a two part article by Pekka
  Pessi on expanding the Commodore 64.  Pessi's design (in MicroBITTI Issues
  1 and 2 for 1987) split the C64 memory map into 4 16kB pages, which could be
  each mapped to any 16kB page in 256kB of memory.  It uses the same approach
  of swapping the 64kB DRAMs for 256kB ones, but does the addressing somewhat
  differently.

  In 1993, Marko Makela, with help from Pekka Pessi, translated Pessi's
  article into English and made it available via the Internet.  It is now
  available at ftp://ftp.funet.fi/pub/cbm/documents/ or
  ftp://x2ftp.oulo.fi:/pub/cbm/docs/
  

  13.3.8.  How do I expand my C128 internally?

  Marko Makela has written an article on how to expand the C128 and C128D's
  memory up to 1024kB.  It is compatible with his earlier article on expanding
  the C64 to 256kB, so programs written for the expanded 64 should run on the
  expanded 128 in 64 mode.  The plan and schematic is available via ftp
  from nic.funet.fi in directory /pub/cbm/documents/1028.

  The C-256 and C-512

  Twin Cities 128  issues #30 and #31 have a hardware scheme for expanding
  your 128 to 256K or 512K.  To people who understand banking on the 128, the
  256K modification adds RAM blocks 2 and 3 to your system.  The 512K
  modification adds four more RAM blocks that can be accessed as alternate RAM
  blocks 2 and 3, or as a completely separate set of RAM blocks 0-3.

  As with Commodore REUs, software must specifically support the expanded RAM.
  Since these modifications are relatively new, there is not much software out
  yet that supports the additional RAM.  However, ACE 128 does support this
  expansion without any special drivers.

  The hardware modification, while simple from software's point of view, is
  rather difficult to perform in hardware.  Richard Curcio, the designer of
  the memory modifications, can modify your 128 for you.  See Twin Cities 128
  issue #31 for more information.

  
  13.4.  How do I increase my computer's speed?

  There are a number of products that can increase the operating speed of
  the Commodore 64.  These products work by turning off the on-board 6510
  and turning on a compatible microprocessor, usually a 65C02 or a 65C816
  in 6502 emulation mode.  These products will work with any software that
  does not mind running up to 4 times faster and does not use any of the
  undocumented opcodes of the 6502 IC.
  
  Also, for a quick way to gain a small speed increase, please see Section 
  17.2.
  

  13.4.1.  How do I increase my Commodore 64's speed?

  Please note that some of these products are no longer offered for sale
  by the original companies, but can be purchased from individuals as used
  equipment.

  Turbo Master Accelerator for C64.

  The Turbo Master Accelerator is for a C64 (or C64 mode of C128) only, uses
  a Rockwell R65C02P4 microprocessor clocked at 4.09 MHz, has its own 64K of
  fast static RAM and a 32K EPROM, has hardware/software switchable speed
  between 4.09 and normal, and has an enhanced ROM with faster disk routines
  that can also be disabled.  A JiffyDOS compatibility option was available.

  Turbo Process Accelerator for the C64.

  This accelerator, made by Rossm"oller, uses a 65C816P-4 microprocessor
  to operate the 64 at three speeds: 1MHz, 4 MHz, or anything between 50kHz
  and 4 MHz.  The 65C816 is a 16 bit version of the 6502/6510, so it is
  possible to write software for the new IC that takes advantage of the 16
  bit opcodes.

  Flash 8

  This accelerator, the only one being currently produced, is also the 
  fastest such accelerator for the Commodore 64 to date.  The module, 
  which plugs into the expansion port of the Commodore 64, increases
  the CPU processing speed from 1MHz to 8MHz.  It uses a 65816 CPU 
  (The 65816 is a descendant of the 65XX series) running at 8MHz to enable 
  the increased speed.  Also, it can be optional expanded to 4 or 8 MB RAM 
  onboad.  This product is the successor to the Rossmoeller TurboAccess 4MHz 
  accelerator card.  The unit has the capability to provide 10x speed disk 
  access via a parallel cable and has a CP/M option.  
  
  GEOS compatible requires the special patches that are available from the 
  manufacturer, and games or demos which do very intensive timing or raster
  effects might not fucntion correctly.  At present, the accelerator only
  works on PAL 64s of certain revisions and will not function on a C128 in 
  64 mode.  Currenlty, the REU is not supported.
  
  From the advertisement:
 
    "FLASH 8 is a GEOS-compatible module for the expansion port with a 65816
     CPU that speeds the C64 to 8Mhz by highest compatibility with existing
     software.  Additionally to the original Commodore Kernal a JiffyDos
     kernal is available. You can choose between two different kernals via
     DIP-switch.  Flash 8 comes either with 256 Kbyte or 1 Mbyte RAM onboard.

     A CP/M-emulator for running Z80-CP/M-Software, a macro-library and
     assembler for the 65816 in native-mode are included."

  The prices are:

  349 DM (~$245.00 US) for the unit with 256kB RAM.
  449 DM (~$315.00 US) for the unit with 1MB RAM.

  It is being manufactured and sold by Discount 2000 and Performance
  Peripherals, Inc.

  The Turbo Master Accelerator is for a C64 (or C64 mode of C128) only, uses
  a Rockwell R65C02P4 microprocessor clocked at 4.09 MHz, has its own 64K of
  fast static RAM and a 32K EPROM, has hardware/software switchable speed
  between 4.09 and normal, and has an enhanced ROM with faster disk routines
  that can also be disabled.  A JiffyDOS compatibility option was available.

| CMD SuperCPU 64
		 
| The CMD Super 64 CPU accelerator cartridge, currently shipping from
  Creative Micro Designs, will allow a Commodore 64 or Commodore 128 (in 64
| mode) to reach CPU speeds of 20 MHz. 

| A Western Design Center 65C816S 16bit CPU core (with 6502 emulation) 
| forms the heart of the unit.  The accelerator is compatible will all 
| standard peripherals for the Commodore 64, including the 1500 series 
| disk drives and the 1700 series Ram Expansion Units.  In addition, the
| unit is compatible with GEORam and the various peripherals offered by 
| CMD, such as the HD and FD series disk drives and the RAMLink.					
  						   
| Internally, the unit contains a WDC 65C816S CPU and 64kB of fast static
| RAM for no-wait program processing.  Both a stock and JiffyDOS enhanced
| kernel are available, and the user can completely disable the unit if
| desired without unplugging.  Also, the speed of the unit (1MHz or maximum
| speed) can be selected via switch or software.  A pass through port 
| allows the user to use existing cartridges, and an expansion port
| dubbbed the "Rocket Socket" allows RAM or functionality enhancements to
  be added to the accelerator.

  Production units began on July 25, 1996, and a developer's package
  will be made available to software authors shortly.  The price is as
  follows:					    	   	 

  Super 64/20      US$199.00

  Creative Micro Designs, Incorporated. (CMD)
  15 Benton Drive
  P.O. Box 646
  East Longmeadow, MA  01028-0646
  (800) 638-3263 (Orders only)
  (413) 525-0023 (Information)
  (413) 525-0147 (Fascimile)
  cmd.sales@the-spa.com (Information and Pricing) 
  cmd.support@the-spa.com (Technical Support) 
  cmd.cac@the-spa.com (Charles Chistianson - Marketing) 
  doug.cotton@the-spa.com (Doug Cotton - Technical Writer)
  

  13.4.2.  How do I increase my Commodore 128's speed?

  The ZIP card for your C128.

  This accelerator was not produced.  Its development has been stopped due
  to miscellaneous problems. 
  
+ The SuperCPU 128
  
+ In addition to the SuperCPU 64 (see Section 13.4.1), Creative Micro
+ Designs is planning to introduce a 128 version of this 20 MHz accelerator.
+ Production dates are sceduled for around Christmas, 1996.  The price for
+ the 128 version has not yet been finalized.,  Contact CMD for more
+ information.


  13.4.3.  Can I speed up other Commodore computers?

  Although it is possoble to accelerate just about any Commodore machine, 
  no commercial products exist to speed up other Commodore computers.
  
  
  13.5.  How do I increase my computer screen's resolution?
 
  Although the Commodore computers once reigned in terms or screen
  rsolution and number of colors available, newer machines have surpassed
  it in both areas.  Depending on whether you want more characters on the
  screen or more colors at one time, these products might help.
   
  
  13.5.1.  How do I increase my Commodore 64's screen resolution?
  
  Since the Commodore 64's VIC-II cannot be expanded, the only way to increase
  the resolution of the Commodore 64 is to turn off the on-board video and
  replace its output with one from another IC.  The simplist approach
  involves attaching an 80 column video chip (6545, 6845, etc.) to the C64
  via the expansion port.  This will provide 80 columns of monochrome text.
  However, this is only useful for text applications, as most of these video
  devices are not capable of doing high resolution graphics.  Also, none of
  the following are currently produced, but many are sold as used equipment
  by users.

  Batteries Included BI-80

  This unit combined an 80 column monochrome text video display (using the
  6545 IC) and BASIC 4.0.  Either options could be turned on or off via
  software control.

  DATA 20 80 column unit

  This unit preceded the BI80 unit, and was produced from 1982-1984.

  Protecto Enterprizes Protecto-80

  This was basically a repackaged DATA-20 unit.  Some circuitry was changed
  to permit price reduction, but the same functionality is there.


  13.5.2.  How do I increase my Commodore 128's screen resolution?

  The Commodore 128 comes equipped with an second video display controller
  in addition to the 40 column VIC chip.  This chip can be used while in
  64 mode through clever programming, and the controller's standard 640*200
  pixel size can be expanded to 640*400.  However, there is no way to
  completely overcome the color limitation of 16 colors
  
+ In Germany at one time, there was a small hardware device which 
+ plugged right into the C128 and expanded the resolution to 720*700
+ in C128 Mode. Other modes made available were: 640*720, and 640*650.	
+ Basic 7.0 had full access to screen modes of 640*720/360, 720*700/350
+ and for monochrome displays: 640*400 and 720*400.  Any vertical 
+ resolution above 400 was interlaced, but flickered far below anything
+ the Amiga offered.  There was reportedly no interference with other 
+ hardware and full compatibility was maintained. The device was the
+ 'Graphic-Booster 128' and was marketed by:

+ Combo AG
+ Tugginerweg 3
+ 4500 Solothurn
+ Schweiz (Switzerland)
  

  13.6.  How do I increase my computer's serial transfer speed?
  
  If you wish to operate serial devices at speeds faster than what the 
  internal software emulated UART can handle, you will need to purchase 
  a UART interface.  There are a couple of different kinds, and each has 
  its advantages.
  
  To use these hardware UARTs, the application must be written to take
  advantage of the device.
  
  SwiftLink

  the SwiftLink cartridge is manufactured by CMD and allows speeds up to 
  38.4 Kbps.  This device contains a 6551 UART and plugs into your cartridge 
  port and supplies you with a standard 9-pin serial port.  You then connect 
  the desired modem.  Dialogue128, Novaterm64, and Kermit(v2.2s) support 
  the SwiftLink.

  Creative Micro Designs, Incorporated. (CMD)
  15 Benton Drive
  P.O. Box 646
  East Longmeadow, MA  01028-0646
  (800) 638-3263 (Orders only)
  (413) 525-0023 (Information)
  (413) 525-0147 (Fascimile)
  cmd.sales@the-spa.com (Information and Pricing) 
  cmd.support@the-spa.com (Technical Support) 
  cmd.cac@the-spa.com (Charles Chistianson - Marketing) 
  doug.cotton@the-spa.com (Doug Cotton - Technical Writer)
  
  HART Cartridge
  
  The HART cartridge is a device similar to the Swiftlink in size.  However,
  the HART unit conatins an 8255 UART IC and can handle speeds up to 57.6Kbps.
  The unit is manufactured by Hatronics.
  
  Hatronics
  145 Lincoln Street
| Montclair, NJ  07042
  (201) 783-7264
  Mark Hatten (Contact)
  
  DataPump
  
  DataPump is a set of plans used to build a device that functions just like
  a Swiftlink.  The plans are available at many FTP sites.
   
  ftp://ftp.funet.fi/pub/CBM/documents/ (GEOS format)
  ftp://hamsterix.funet.fi/pub/CBM/documents/datapump.sfx (GEOS format)
  ftp://ccnga.uwaterloo.ca/pub/cbm/INCOMING/hardware/
  
   
  13.7.  How do I increase my computer's sound quality?
  
  SID Symphony

  The C64 and C128 come equipped with 1 Sound Interface Device (SID) IC.
  This provides 3 channels of output.  For more channels, one can purchase the
  SID Symphony cartridge from CMD to provide 3 extra channels.  Most newer
  sound playing and editing software is able to use the extra channels.

  There are also a number of units one can purchase or build that will
  provide MIDI capabilities for Commodore 64 and 128 users.

  
  13.8.  What other ways can I expand my Commodore computer?
   
  There are many hardware items that you can use.  Below is a list of a few of
  them.  Note that some of these items may no longer be in production, and
  thus are only available as used equipment.

  80-Line Simplified Digital I/O Board

  This unit has 40 TTL input lines and 40 separate buffered digital output
  lines plus an expansion socket that could support a standard ROM or clock/
  calendar cartridge.  It works on the C64 and all modes of the C128
  (including CP/M mode).  Its model number is the SS100 Plus.

  "Original Ultimate Interface"

  This is a universally applicable dual 6522 Versatile Interface Adapter board
  with four 8-bit fully bidirectional I/O ports, eight handshake lines, and four
  16-bit timer/counters.  It has IRQ interrupt capability and is expandable
  to four boards.  It works on the C64 and all modes of the C128 (including
  CP/M mode).  Its model number is the 641F22.

  A/D Conversion Module

  This unit is 16 channel, 8-bit, 100 microsecond conversion time.
  Piggy-backs on the 641F22 and thus requires it to operate.  Works on the
  C64 and all modes of the C128 (including CP/M mode).  Its model number is
  641F/ADC0816.

  The Spartan Apple ][+ emulator for the C64, by Mimic Systems, Inc.

  In addition to allowing the use of Apple ][+ hardware/software, this
  device boasted four software selectable C64 cartridge slots, a non-
  dedicated 8-bit parallel port, and standard audio cassette deck
  capabilities for the C64.

  ROM upgrades are available for the C-128 and the 1571.

  C64 Games Port Expander  (Model #8401) 40/80 column converter.

  Switchable, it has 4 independent cartridge sockets plus a 5th switch
  position accessing an 80 col. character set ROM - (limited usability
  because it *apparently* accesses a C64 Ram location which interferes
  with a lot of stuff, I forget where or how) - and a 6th switch position
  independent of the cartridge port for general use stuff.

  It was built into a neat steel housing designed to sit flat on the desktop
  and slide into the cartridge port at exactly the right height.
  
  
  
-- 
Jim Brain, Embedded System Designer, Brain Innovations, Inc. (BII) (online sig)
bii@mail.jbrain.com "Above views DO reflect my employer, since I'm my employer"
Dabbling in WWW, Embedded Systems, Old CBM computers, and Good Times!      -Me-
BII Home: http://www.jbrain.com          CBM Info: http://www.jbrain.com/vicug/

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