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My MIX09 Silverlight 3 ShowOff Video – Commodore 64 Emulator

Pete Brown - 21 March 2009

At this year’s MIX, for the first time, I submitted a ShowOff video. The topic was my Silverlight 3 C64 emulator. Given the nature of the topic, I couldn’t release the video until after the Silverlight 3 announcements.

Here’s a small version of the showoff video. I captured the video using Camtasia (great software for capturing desktop video) and then edited it using Adobe Premiere Pro CS3. That was my first time using Premiere – a great and powerful program.

Showoff Video Link

The music is by Miguel F Ettema and is a remix of both the Dr. Who theme and the old Second Reality demo – the first real demo I saw on my old DOS PC. You can read more and download the music here. The voice at the end is a sample from the classic C64 game by Epyx: Impossible Mission.

Hope you like it. We’ll know the results of the ShowOff competition probably sometime later this week.

posted by Pete Brown on Saturday, March 21, 2009
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22 comments for “My MIX09 Silverlight 3 ShowOff Video – Commodore 64 Emulator”

  1. Randysays:
    dang ole dang ole man I tell you what. This blog is really something a long ole html page like when the first ever web pages were built. A whole bunch of twits and face idiots. DOS is going to make a big comeback I'm sure. Music with no melody and no originality here. I'm sure PONG is a big advancement also. Even the hip hoppers and rappers are saying it's time to get back to originality and original melodies. What a bunch of crap here. Does Silverlight 3 having decent fonts? I would like fonts that look as nice as they did on a 1980's Atari. Can you show a video without having to download it and then find it and then double click on it. Let's have a little originality and some creativity like back in the 60's. I haven't programmed with punch cards since the 70's you think I should get my old manuals out build something on an IBM 360 or a Honeywell 2000 with tape drives.
  2. Pete Brownsays:

    Lol, great comments. Love your site. 1995 called and they want their template back.

    Do you make a habit of writing things like this on all the MVP/RD blogs? I noticed your earlier post on Rocky's blog and couldn't stop laughing at the irony.

  3. Greg Neilsonsays:
    That is truly fantastic - both the demo video you've made there and the emulator itself. Great work!

    I'm curious - how clean or hacky is the code for the emulator? Something like this is probably not the run-of-the mill silverlight app - did you have to employ some dirty tricks to get stuff to work the way you wanted?
  4. Pete Brownsays:

    The code is really really ugly. The reasons basically boil down to:
    1. The original code was really ugly, even for C++.
    2. I was learning as I was porting it from C++/C# full clr
    3. The original code used TONS of pointers and almost every method was marked unsafe. I had to make that all use arrays. I did it enough to get it working, but performance isn't where I want it to be (CPU usage is fairly high). I know what the issues are (too many array copies) but just need to set aside time to fix them.

    Other than pointers, the ugliness really had nothing to do with the platform. It's amazing just how capable SL3 is as a plugin in a browser.

  5. Pete Brownsays:
    For everyone interested in the source, visit http://silverlightC64.codeplex.com keep in mind that it is "lab quality" code right now. :)

    If you want to contribute (especially designers who want to do a C64 keyboard or a nice-looking skin for the app), please do.

  6. Geoffrey Braafsays:
    Ok, I'm in awe! Actually your closing the loop for many developers among us. We started out with the VIC20, C=64, and many than logically moved on to Amiga's (next project?). Now your using state of the art technology to bring back that sentiment. Thanx!
  7. Stevesays:

    I actually still HAVE my WORKING C=64. At least I *think* it still works--it's been in the basement for a few years in a box that I won't let my wife touch!

    Thanks for bringing back some great memories! The C=64 is how I got my start in software development!
  8. Pete Brownsays:

    The most rewarding thing was when after a ton of iterations of nothing, I was surprised to get the C64 Ready prompt and blinking cursor. Seeing that really pumped me up.

    Favorite C64 games were 7 Cities of Gold (that game was the first time I heard music come out of a computer and I was just amazed), Ultima IV, Lands of Lore, Adventure Construction Set, Impossible Mission, and some others. Played a lot of gold box D&D too. None of the above work in the emulator just yet :)

  9. Pete Brownsays:
    <p>Here's the URL for the person who developed the C# port of Frodo, which I used as the starting point for my port to Silverlight. </p><p><a href="http://aussiebloke.blogspot.com/2006/08/sharp-64-commodore-64-emulator-in-c.html">http://aussiebloke.blogspot.com/2006/08/sharp-64-commodore-64-emulator-in-c.html</a> </p><p>He's done a C++ port to the iphone recently too. Cool stuff :) </p><p>Pete</p>
  10. Pete Brownsays:

    Yes, as mentioned in the comments above (I really need to edit the post to have the link) you can get the code at <a href="http://silverlightc64.codeplex.com" target="_blank">http://silverlightC64.codeplex.com</a>

  11. Joe Buccisays:
    Yep, I STILL have a couple of 64's. One system is like brand new and in the original boxes.

    I stayed with the C64, with the help of GEOS, WELL into the 90's. I'd say, '94-'95... I finally conceded, and bought an IBM386 on sale ($899.00) with Win3.1 on it.

    Almost immediately, Win95 came out! then, 98, 98se, XP, Vista, 7,..... Whatever is next.. MORE sloppy, bloated code with MASSIVE hardware requirements.

    Unfortunately, the Devil we need. I miss the C64.


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8 trackbacks for “My MIX09 Silverlight 3 ShowOff Video – Commodore 64 Emulator”

  1. Microsoft Weblogssays:
    My one-hundred-and-fifty-fifth podcast is up . Scott digs deep with Pete Brown about the Commodore 64
  2. ASPInsiderssays:
    My one-hundred-and-fifty-fifth podcast is up . Scott digs deep with Pete Brown about the Commodore 64
  3. POKE 53280,0: Pete Brown's Blogsays:
    At and around MIX I managed to get into a couple shows to talk about my work in Silverlight 3. Hanselminutes
  4. VBandi's blogsays:
    In early May, I gave a talk about the new features in Silverlight 3. As I’ve started to gather material
  5. Code Caperssays:
    The Commodore 64 Emulator In Silverlight