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tcv
27-02-11, 06:56
Hoping Scott knows and will answer...?

tcv
27-02-11, 07:03
I found this:


It wasn't too long after the 1541's introduction that third-party developers showed that the notoriously-slow floppy drive operation could be overcome by a piece of software that took over control of the serial bus signal lines and implemented a better transfer protocol between the computer and floppy drive. In 1984 Epyx released its FastLoad cartridge for the C64 which replaced some of the 1541's slow routines with its own custom code, thus allowing users to load programs at a fraction of the time (~ 1/5th). Despite being incompatible with many programs' copy protection schemes, the cartridge became so popular among grateful C64 owners (likely the most-widespread third-party enhancement for the C64 of all time) that many Commodore dealers sold the Epyx cartridge as a standard item when selling a new C64 with the 1541.

It was buried on this site (http://yangluluchina.supersized.org/archives/392-Commodore-64-peripherals.html).

But, honestly, I hope that Scott will chime in! I think he'd have a better explanation!

SubaruBrat
15-03-11, 10:18
Sorry for just now getting around to this, I have quite a few PMs and emails to answer too as well. I was busy with my final exams and papers due at the end of the semester. I just completed the last two classes for my masters so I have some breathing room now.

So, the explanation you posted is pretty much it really. About the only think I could add to that is that what most people don't know, and what is really neat about the 1541 is that it is its own stand alone computer as well as a drive. It actually has the same CPU as the C64 does. What you have is one computer connected to another, one with a display and one with the drive. In fact it is so self contained you can task it to do an operation and unplug the serial cable and it will continue to work. Please don't try this unless you want to risk damaging your drive though, the IO chip can be damaged by doing this. Another neat fact is that the drive has less capacity than it could have had, 35 tracks instead of 40, because they had some reliability with reading those tracks because of the quality of the drive mechanisms.

chalksalad
18-03-11, 03:26
In fact it is so self contained you can task it to do an operation and unplug the serial cable and it will continue to work. Please don't try this unless you want to risk damaging your drive though, the IO chip can be damaged by doing this.

On 2 separate occasion in 1986 and 87 I turned the disk drive on while disconnected from the C64 and ended up with a a damaged 1541. The second time it was next to impossible to fix and just made me upgrade to the Amiga much sooner than I expected (thanks Dad!!)

wongojack
19-03-11, 12:00
Cool Thread

I remember ruining my copy of Microprose Soccer (Keith Von Eron . . .) by using the fast load cart. I sent it back to Microprose and they replaced the game! But then a friend of mine loaded it with the cart in when I wasn't around and broke it again - sad face