Difficulty level: Freshman
Prerequisites: Academy BASIC: 101 - Introduction to Commodore BASIC and Programming Languages
Outcome: Have the VICE emulator set up on your computer
Suggested time to complete this module: 15 minutes

To recap, an emulator is a software that allows you to simulate a different system then the one running it. We will install the VICE emulator which emulates the Commodore 64. If you already have VICE installed you can skip to the next module. You may use a different Commodore 64 emulator, but some of the demonstrations might not apply then. Still, all programs should in theory execute the same in all C64 emulators. If you get different results on a different emulator, please report it in the forums.

All right so let's get started. Navigate to the VICE home page at http://www.viceteam.org/

Click on the link that says Download VICE

Locate your operating system and download the respective file. For most of you it will be Binary for MS-Windows 32bit or Binary for Mac OS X systems.

Unzip the file and look inside the folder. In there you will find a file called x64. Launch it. You should see this on your screen:

VICE Commodore 64 Emulator Console

Congratulations! You are now running a Commodore 64 on your own computer! This screen is exactly what you would have seen if you turned on a real Commodore 64 machine. And this is where you will be doing your programming work. We will refer to this screen from here on as the Console.

It might look a bit small on your monitor, especially if you have a big monitor with a large resolution. So let's play a bit with the settings. On the top menu bar, click on options. Make sure Double Size and Double Scan are both checked. You will sometimes want to view it in full screen mode. Under Settings, choose Video Settings. In the Fullscreen tab, set the Resolution to 800x600. Click on OK and press ALT-D to go to fullscreen more (Press again to get out). If it doesn't look good in full screen, you can play around with the resolution setting until you get the result you want, but I recommend leaving the console at a lower resolution. Under Options, you can also check Always on Top. This might help you follow our materials while working in your console. Last, under Settings, make sure that Save Settings on exit is checked.

There are many other options, but do not concern yourself about them now, we will get to these in later modules.

Notice the blinking square? That is the cursor showing you where you are on the page. Type something into the console (you might have to first click on the console window to make it the active window)

That's it! your programming environment is set up and in the next module you will be writing your first BASIC program!

If you are having any difficulties setting up the emulator, go to our forums where you can get help from the community.

Type in random stuff into your console and hit Enter. You will probably get a response of ?SYNTAX   ERROR which means that the computer did not understand your command. You will learn more about it in later modules. Now, type in your email address. You might be surprised that instead of seeing something like ron@chronodev.net you see ron"chronodev.net What happened to the @ symbol and why was it replaced with a double quotes? The answer is that the emulator is simulating a Commodre 64 keyboard, in which the double quote was on top of the 2 key. So keep in mind that double quotes are drawn by pressing Shift-2 since you will be using them a lot in your programs. Play around with the console a little more.

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape