Picodore 64: Mini Commodore 64 Hack

My second PC was the Commodore 64 (the first one was a Timex Sinclair 1000). I often reminisce about programming into the late nights to make a pixelated wizard move around the screen with crazy 8-bit sound effects. I did waste a lot of time sitting in front of a flickering screen. I guess not much has changed, but at least now I get paid to do it. My beverage of choice back then was Tab instead of Mountain Dew.

Now I have my wish, Jason Winters of PicoBay has developed the Picodore 64 – an ultraportable Commodore 64 laptop. It is an impressive hack of many systems all packed into one stylish case. Jason is a true hacker.

Picodore 64

The Picodore 64 project was announced on the DTV wiki (now defunct).

“Here are a few pics of my own DTV Hummer project. I had an old PSOne LCD screen lying around and I thought I’d make a C64 laptop. Actually, it’s more like a C64 PDA! It measures 6.5 x 6 x 1.5 inches (15.5 x 16.5 x 4 cm) when closed. It can run from an AC wall adapter or 6 NiMH AA batteries. The keyboard is hacked from a portable folding keyboard for a Jornada PDA which outputs RS-232. I’m using a PIC 16F88 to decode the signals and re-encode them to PS/2 (that was an ordeal to figure out). The PIC checks to see if an external PS/2 keyboard is connected on power up. If one is hooked up, it will route data from that instead. There is an internal ampilfied speaker as well as connections for audio and video output on the back. There’s a serial connection for a disk drive and an SD card slot in the side for a 1541-III but I haven’t been able to get that to work yet. I also have a connection for a userport/joystick. The joystick in the picture is a hacked Atari keychain joystick. The mini joystick wasn’t in the original plan but after I accidentally discovered it on eBay, it seemed perfect.”

Jason Winters
Picodore 64 Ports

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