||Final cartridge III for SD2IEC turbo loader & saver, Commodore 64, C64, 1541|
Item Code c64_fc_III_retro
Final Cartridge III for SD2IEC (SDrive 1564) and Commodore floppy drive
Freeze your game and continue later!
Save game state to SD card and continue later!
SD2IEC detect the FC3 cartridge
Boot C64 with standard basic with fastloader mode
Graphic User Interface (Desktop)
Controll with joystick
Freeze & Reset button
Comparison of fast loaders
FC3: PRG save: 5,40X , PRG load: 9,34X
Jiffy: PRG save: 2,54X , PRG load: 9,84X
Epyx: PRG save: 1X , PRG load: 5,14X
The "Final Cartridge 3" is a cartridge, which can be operated on the Expansion port of the C64 or the C128. It was developed in 1987 from the company RISKA B.V. Home & Personal Computers (based in: Rotterdam in the Netherlands). It provides over 60 new functions to the C64-user (e.g. BASIC-Extension, Fastloader and -saver for the VC-1541 with an acceleration factor of 10, Freezer, Monitor). Additionally there is a graphical user interface (Desktop) with windows (similar to GEM or Windows). From the hardware there is a Reset- and a Freezer-Function. The VC-1581 is not supported.
Functions in BASIC
The function keys in BASIC are assigned as follows:
F1 Execute of the BASIC-command LIST
F2 Calls the built in Assembler Monitor (MONITOR)
F3 Execute the BASIC command RUN
F4 Restore a BASIC program after a NEW or software reset (OLD)
F5 Load program from disc (DLOAD)
F6 Save program to disc (DSAVE)
F7 Show disc directory without loss of the program (DOS"$)
F8 Send Disc command (DOS)
There are the following BASIC-Expansions:
Scroll function (down and up) within a BASIC-listing
Printer-Interface, i.e. usage of Centronics printer under BASIC V2
Hardcopy with the key combination +
30 additional BASIC-commands (* Commands have been expanded):
APPEND, ARRAY, AUTO, BAR, DAPPEND, DEL, DESKTOP, DLOAD, DOS", DOS"$, DSAVE, DUMP, DVERIFY, FIND, HELP, KILL, LIST *, MEM, MON, MREAD, MWRITE, OLD, OPEN *, ORDER, PACK, PDIR, PLIST, RENUM, TRACE, TYPE, UNPACK
The cartridge featured a "reset" button and a "freeze" button, as well as a LED that indicated whether or not the module was active. The cartridge featured a "Final Kill" option (accessible through the desktop, freezer or BASIC) which disabled the cartridge's functionality and booted the computer to unexpanded state. This was needed as some software, particularly games, were incompatible with fast-loaders; disabling the cartridge meant it never needed to be removed.
One of the unique features of the cartridge was its GUI, even when its usefulness remained quite limited compared to other GUI environments for Commodore 64. Unless RUN/STOP key was held down during power-on or reset, the cartridge presented a graphical WIMP desktop. The graphical look of the desktop was borrowed from AmigaOS 1.x. It was possible to load new GUI-based utilities from disk or tape, though these remained rare. Of the tools in the cartridge ROM, the most useful were a text editor, a disk file management utility, a calculator, and an alarm clock.
A big selling point was the disk and tape turbo feature, which was available for most commands; this accelerated loading things from disk or tape considerably. However, the biggest strength of this particular cartridge for the Commodore 64 lies in the built-in machine code monitor program, which is capable of the widest range of features, such as text and sprite dump, as well as text and sprite editing.
The cartridge provided an extension to the Commodore BASIC, which contained several new BASIC programming aids, such as RENUMBER, and several utility commands, one of the most notable of which was DOS" which can be used to give Commodore DOScommands (e.g. DOS"S0:UNDESIRED FILE to delete a file), read the error status of the drive (plain DOS") or display the disk directory without overwriting the BASIC program in the memory (DOS"$). The BASIC commands also allowed to return to the GUI desktop mode, or start the machine-language monitor.
The freezer feature allowed to save the memory contents to disk to be resumed at later point (this allowed for convenient copying of single-load games, for example). It also allowed the use of some rudimentary game cheating functionality (disabling sprite collision detection, for example), and printing a copy of the screen image to the printer. The freezer also allowed access to the machine-language monitor.
The FC3 can be combined very good with a SD2IEC-Floppy, because his Fastloader stays alive in File-Browsers like CBM or SD2BRWSE. Also you have the very good FC3 F-key commands for changing directories on the SD-Card or loading files without the need of typing anything. Therefore the combination FC3 and SD2IEC complement each other very good.
Price $ 65