Blog posts and video from Steven as he “COMBS” through the minutia to discover tech, retro-computing, physical computing, gadgets and sci-fi.

retroCombs Playlist

Commodore Plus/4 Series

MEGA65 Resource Page (v.6)

Followers know I own one of 100 MEGA65 DevKits (#261) to closely follow and enjoy the development of the MEGA65. That ownership allows me to experience, once again, my love of Commodore computers and the joy of BASIC and 8-bit computers. Was it a pricey purchase? For Sure. Was it worth it? Every penny and then some!

Video Courtesy MEGA65

I use my DevKit not in the true developer sense, but rather to help spread the word of why every Commodore retro-computing fan needs to start saving their pennies and of course selfishly, to have a great time learning about this computer that “could have been.” Want information on the MEGA65? Check out the official page.

I’ve created much content about the MEGA65. This page collects all my MEGA65 content onto a single quick reference page and will become the starting point for “all my things MEGA65.” Bookmark/Favorite the page now. Go ahead. I’ll wait. Done? Great, let’s continue on to the content.

Below is a link to each blog post in the series. Most blog posts contain a companion YouTube video and links that support the post content.

  • 09 Nov 2021 » Install the MEGA65 on a Nexys4 or A7 FPGA | Build your own MEGA65!
  • The MEGA65 is AVAILABLE! That was the virtual shout during early October 2021. The first 400, of which I snagged one, will ship late December, while another batch of 1000 will ship during Q2 of next year. As of this writing, there are a few available. At around $850 USD, these pre-orders may be out of reach of some early adopters. If that’s the case, there are two ways you can begin your MEGA65 journey while production increases and costs decrease during the next couple of years.

  • 25 Oct 2021 » Install a MEGA65 Bitstream on Nexys A7 FPGA: the Livestream
  • Another Sunday, another livestream and instead of a TI-99/4A topic, I returned to a project that’s been on the back burner for a long time; installing the MEGA65 Bitstream on a Diligent Nexys4 field programmable gate array (FPGA). A MEGA65 livestream would do double duty and make supporter Mislav happy. He’s asked for new MEGA65 content for a while. Here ya go Mislav; this one’s for you.

  • 31 Aug 2021 » Run a MEGA65 on your Mac using Xemu
  • As a MEGA65 Dev Kit owner, I’ve created several posts to share what’s coming when my favorite Commodore “what could have been” retro computer releases. I’m not going in depth about the MEGA65 in this post and companion video; instead, check out my new MEGA65 page. In this post, I will show you how to get started with the MEGA65, on your Apple Mac computer, while you wait for the hardware to arrive.

  • 28 Aug 2021 » Build MEGA65 Tools on Mac OS X (Intel and M1) | And an intro to the MEGA65 community
  • Before I begin, I want to send out a huge thank you to Gurce Isikyildiz for his assistance with these instructions. My first attempts to build these tools were unsuccessful. I posted a comment on the MEGA65 Discord channel about my struggles. Gurce responded; however, after several Discord interactions, it became apparent, I needed help (on many levels but in this case; help with Terminal commands). The mega65-tools are meant to build on an Intel Mac, but not on a newer M1 Mac.

  • 26 Jul 2021 » Ten cool things you will do with a MEGA65 | Includes 2 bonus items!
  • Commodore computing fans will soon have a new device to add to their collection of retro-computers, the MEGA65. In this blog post and companion video, I look at what makes the MEGA65 special and then share items one through five of the ten cool things you will do with the MEGA65 that you can’t do with any other Commodore-inspired recreations such as The C64. Spoiler alert: I include a bonus item to tide you over until number 6 through 10 drop!

  • 20 Mar 2021 » Use the mouSTer on the MEGA65
  • In this FAST LOAD, I try to get the new mouSTer from working with my MEGA65 Developer Kit. Watch the video below and then come back to this blog post to see if I was successful. Spoiler alert; at first the device did not work; however, I get this wonderful USB HID to DB9 connection device working, and it’s not as hard as I imagined.

  • 04 Feb 2021 » retroCombs: Update the MEGA65 and utility software
  • Updating the MEGA65 requires several steps that can confuse new owners (count me in that group!). This blog post and associated FAST LOAD video will demonstrate the process and serve as a reference to update a MEGA’s SD card essential files, MEGA65.ROM, core (bitstream), and the M65Connect software. Before reading the rest of the post, I recommend you watch the retroCombs FAST LOAD video. You will find it after the table of contents below.

  • 01 Dec 2020 » MEGA65 DevKit Open the box, assembly, and first use
  • I’m really excited! I mean, 15 year-old boy excited. That’s how I felt while opening the box, unpacking, assembling, and turning on the new developer’s kit (DevKit) for the first time. Seriously, I’ve not been that excited about a package in some time; and this from the guy who has two brand new Mac minis (with M1 processors) set to arrive a few days before Christmas.

  • MEGA65 Homepage - Learn all about the MEGA65 and what makes this retro recreation so special for Commodore computer fans.
  • MEGA65 YouTube Channel - The latest update videos and development streams from the MEGA65 team. MUST WATCH!
  • MEGA65 filehost - Growing collection of titles and utilities for the MEGA65.
  • Xemu - Use this emulator on your Mac, Linux, or Windows PC to run a virtual MEGA65 environment.
  • MEGA65 GitHub - All the official repositories for the MEGA65 project. User highlights include the user’s guide, tools, and Xemu (see above).
  • MEGA65 Discord channel - Home to quite possibly the friendliest community of developers. Think 8-bit BBS level support without the communication lag.
  • MEGA65 Style Guide - A GitHub GIST for writers, bloggers and those contributing to the official instruction manuals. Embed at the bottom of this page.
  • More to come…

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Key to Keys

Because the MEGA65 keyboard is so different from modern keyboards, I use the modified “key to keys” nomenclature I developed for my Commodore Plus/4 series. Keystroke combinations found in blog posts are shown in the table below:

Key Description Key Description
Caps Lock F1 Function 1
[M] Mega F2 Function 2
Control F3 Function 3
Escape F4 Function 4
Clear/Home F5 Function 5
Insert Delete F6 Function 6
Return F7 Function 7
[R/S] Run/Stop F8 Help
Shift Space
Cursor Up Cursor Down
Cursor Right Cursor Left

MEGA65 Style Guide

Wondering how to style blog content to meet MEGA65 standards? Check out the GIST below by Impakt:

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