Authentic Gaming Experiences

I’m just setting up my Commodore 64 again for some authentic gaming. The 5.25” floppy disks on the day use a notch in the side to detect if the disk was write protected or not, and commercially bought empty disks usually only had the notch on the right to make one side writable.

However, people soon found out that the disks are usually safe to use on both sides, and that if you put a similar hole in the other side, you could write data onto the other side as well. There were even sophisticated hole punches for floppy disks.

Wussies I say, real men use cutting tools and make their own holes, so that their disks have character and personality! Okay, okay, I kid, the real reason is that I just can’t find these disk hole punches anymore on eBay, they have become even rarer than disk boxes.


Anyway, my setup is up and running and almost ready to record (fighting with a broken hard drive in a RAID-0 array and with the Blackmagic Intensity Pro’s lack of good configuration options – the setup is arguably overkill anyway, it was meant for 1080p HDMI capture).


One thing I noticed is that the Commodore 64 had some real differences in timing between the PAL and NTSC versions, the Zak McKracken Intro seems to play 50% faster on mine.

Here’s how the Intro is supposed to be like:

Zak Mckracken Intro (Commodore 64)


I like how far emulation has gotten over the years and how we can now experience classic games easier and more comfortable (faster loading times, less or no disk swapping, Save/Restore the system state, no cabling and no need for different controllers), but sometimes, authentic experiences require the real hardware.

Apart from Tube Screens. Sorry, I take the slightly degraded quality on a digital LCD over the size of an analogue, proper NTSC color TV.