How WinVice compares to a Commodore 64

The tool called WinVice is essentially an application that ’emulates’ a Commodore computer. When you first start it up it will instantly jump into the Basic mode. Here you will see a start up screen with a light blue border and dark blue screen. The display shows

*** COMMODORE 64 BASIC V2 ****


The Commodore 64 Display

The Commodore 64 computer is identical as well. In the example below, I have my system hooked up to my 1702 Commodore monitor. Turning on the computer there a slight pause and then the same familiar screen will greet the user. The display confirms that Commodore 64 Basic has now been loaded and patiently awaits instructions, known as programming.

Both WinVICE and the Commodore 64 computer emulate Basic and allow you to type in instructions into the console. Each will recognize the same set of commands and allow them to be executed with RUN. Both system devices utilize the command called LIST to show the program in memory.

When you want to save a program in memory while using WinVice, you need to access the File menu and choose the selection called Attach disk image. Then a secondary submenu will pop up showing Drive 8, 9, 10, and 11 allowing you to choose the appropriate device.

For this example let’s choose Device 8 as our drive assigned number. Next a window for the Attach disk image will appear showing the files on your computer. If you have not created or downloaded a d64 to start with then you will need to generate one in this window.

Generating a Disk Image

In order for WinVice to save a program that you typed into it’s memory, you will be required to create a Disk image file as mentioned earlier. In the File name text box type in test1. Notice below all of the files type which show d64, d71, d80, d81, d82, d1m, d2m,d4m, g64, d41, p64, and x64. These are all of the types compatible with WinVice. Below this area you will see an area that says New Image. Immediately below this you will see an ID and Type field and finally the Create Image button. Click on the button called Create Image.

Attach a Disk Image File

After this in the main files window display, you will see the new Disk image called test1.d64 appear. Now click on the area above on the disk image we just created and then click the Attach button on the far right. This tells WinVice that we will be using the file test1.d64 whenever we want to save a program in Basic’s memory. Soon you will see the familiar blue screen again and you can now type in a simple program. Then use the command SAVE “(program name)”, 8 and press the Enter key to copy the contents to the newly created disk image.

When you want to save a program on the Commodore 64, you can choose between recording to a disk drive or program recorder. In this example, we will be saving information to a Commodore 64 1541 disk drive.

Before we continue another important point needs to be mentioned. Earlier you learned how WinVice created a disk image to record a program to. For the Commodore 64 computer, you will need to locate an empty 5 1/4 floppy disk that can transfer data in Basic to it. This must also be formatted with Commodore CBM DOS to work correctly.

Be sure that the cables are connected up correctly first. Then insert the floppy disk into the disk drive. You can open it with a sliding handle down the center front face. Then be sure to close the drive once the floppy disk has been pushed as far as it will go. Next we can enter a program in memory, such as the simple one below to record our data to the diskette.


After the program has been typed into Basic, type the command below as follows and the Commodore 64 will record this information on a diskette that has been formatted with Commodore CBM DOS.


WinVice can recover data from a disk image file as well as the Commodore 64. This is accomplished by entering the command below.


Depending on the size of your program, you may experience a slight delay while the systems retrieve data from either the disk image file or the floppy disk. On the Commodore 64, you will often hear the drive make strange noises. This means it is resetting the track location to read from the beginning of the diskette to read it sequentially into memory.

Understanding the keyboard

For this part let’s start discussing the Commodore 64 first. When you are seated in front of your Commodore 64 keyboard you can begin typing any characters you see on the display. To access the special control characters you will need to hold down the control key while typing letters or the appropriate symbols.

The important thing to understand in this section is that WinVice will emulate the Commodore 64 keyboard layout. So while you are seated at the Commodore 64 computer and type a plus sign (+) for example, you will get the letter displayed on the screen according to the keyboard layout.

However when you are using WinVice and you type the plus key you will get a surprise and see a minus sign displayed instead. This is because the Windows keyboard has the plus located on a different key, but WinVice is looking at an actual Commodore 64 keyboard map where the plus key is located and it has the plus sign on the opposite side. Observe each of the keyboard layout patterns below to see both the minus, and plus sign locations.

We have reached the end of this session. I hope you enjoyed learning about the differences between WinVice and your Commodore 64 system. Understanding how to SAVE and LOAD files is important, as well as knowing where to locate the appropriate keys when you are typing in a program.

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