Category Archives: Shredz64

Shredz64 at NJ Science and Engineering Festival

A quick notice for you in the NJ area tomorrow (10/24/10) – Jeff Brace and the gang at MARCH (Mid Atlantic Retro Computing Hobbyists) will be demonstrating Shredz64 at the NJ Science and Engineering Festival in Clifton, NJ. This is the second time Jeff and MARCH have been kind enough to show off our game and adapter, and it’s really appreciated.

It looks like they’re going to have a lot of very cool technology at the festival, so be sure to check it out.

Player Videos of Shredz64 in Action

It’s always a blast to see people enjoying the game – here are a couple of videos posted by some dedicated Shredz64 players.

The first is a nice and detailed video by Arkanoid_376970 who does much better on Zak McKracken than I could hope to:

The next is by Anders C who was kind enough to bring Shredz64 along to Retrogathering 2010 in Stockhold, Sweden:

Thanks guys! :)

Win a Free PSX64 Interface and Help a Great Cause!

If you’ve been following along on the blog, you’ll know that I recently got a Twitter account. Yeah – I was definitely one of the hold outs. But – I wanted a place to post little tidbits that weren’t really blog worthy, but were interesting none-the-less, and Twitter is the perfect place for that. Plus, I’ve already met some pretty groovy people through it – and it’s a great place to get news out fast. However, Twitter is definitely a more-the-merrier kind of thing, so along that vein, presenting:

The Synthetic Dreams Spooktacular Giveaway!

First, the prize: we’ll be giving away a free PSX64 Interface, along with a copy of Shredz64 to the lucky winner. Additionally, we’ll be donating $50.00 to one of the charities below – to which is by choice of the winner.

Heart to Heart International – Disaster Response and Medical Aid
Global Links – Medical Aid and Health Education
Vitamin Angels – Nutrients for Infants and Children
Books for Africa – Literature and Education for Africa

Not only do you get to rock out to your favorite SID tunes Guitar Hero style and reinvigorate your old C64, Amiga, and Atari games with a Playstation controller – but you also get to help out those less fortunate who could really use a hand.

The Rules

The rules are simple! Follow me, @ToniWestbrook, on Twitter between now and Halloween (October 31st). Once you’re following me, send me a tweet saying you’d like to participate in the contest – and your name will be entered into the drawing! (And I’ll follow you back!)

You can even double your chances to win – after tweeting the above to me, if you then tweet to all your followers:

“RT: @ToniWestbrook Win a free PSX64 to play Guitar Hero on your Commodore 64 while helping those in need! Details: http://bit.ly/cK1YKF”

You’ll be entered twice!

Keep following along, and at midnight (EST) at October 31st, the winner will be announced.

More on the Charities

There are a lot of future scientists, doctors, and engineers waiting to soar, but they may never get the chance without food, medicine, or education. This blog, and Synthetic Dreams as a whole, is about letting people achieve their dreams – but before you can do that, you need your basic needs met – and sometimes you need a helping hand to meet them.

Each of the charities above has been verified with Charity Navigator.

Good Luck Everyone!

Shredz64 – Check It Out at Maker Faire This Weekend!

First off, before I make the plug – if you haven’t checked out MAKE or the Maker Faire before, you TOTALLY should. There are a lot of imaginative people with a ton of amazing, brilliant, or just plain zany creations. It’s very cool stuff.

And speaking of Maker Faire – if you’re around NYC this weekend (Sept 25th and 26th), or are within driving distance, you’re in luck! The New York Hall of Science in Queens will be hosting this awesome event. Still on the fence? Well – time to hop off, because Jeff Brace and the gang at MARCH. (Mid Atlantic Retro Computing Hobbyists) will be demonstrating, amongst other retro goodness, Shredz64. If you haven’t tried it in person yet, now’s your chance.

So enjoy the explosion of engineering this weekend, and get your retro on while you’re at it!

Shredz64 at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo

Just a heads up, if you’re around the Portland, OR area this weekend (September 18-19), stop by the Portland Retro Gaming Expo. Not only does it promise to have TONS of retro games, hardware, and general awesomeness to play and buy, but the Commodore Computer Club and Users Group of Vancouver, WA will be at the Expo demonstrating Shredz64 and the PSX64 in action! They’ll also have lots of other Commodore goodness to check out.

The expo is located at:

Portland Crowne Plaza
1441 NE 2nd Avenue
Portland, OR
503-233-2401

And full details can be obtained on the website. Personally I’m very jealous of everyone who gets to attend, I wish I could be there myself – it looks like its going to be a blast! Check it out if you can!

PSX64 – Rev B (ATmega168) Firmware Update

Since no boards with the ATmega168 have been shipped out, this shouldn’t affect anyone, but if you happened to build your own board in the last few days and used firmware 1.1b for it – you’ll want to update it to 1.2b found here.

The ATmega168 appears to access its flash memory at a different speed (perhaps due to increased size), which slowed down macro playback to a noticeable degree. This firmware updates the playback speed to put it back in line with the ATmega8.

Again, this firmware is only for the ATmega168, so if you bought your board, you won’t need this firmware.

PSX64 – New MCU (and Firmware)

For whatever reason, Digikey and Mouser’s supply of the Atmega8-16 MCU is completely out of stock. I’ve seen differing reports whether this chip is End-Of-Life’d, but that certainly seems like it might be the case – neither site indicates that a future stock will be available. With this in mind, all new PSX64s produced will be using the Atmega168 instead. Really, this will functionally make no difference. The 168 can run faster and has more memory, but I’m driving it with the same 16 MHz crystal and with the same code. And luckily, the two chips are pin compatible, so no rework of the PCB is necessary.

The Atmega168 does have different fuses and slightly different architecture, and the firmware needed to be recompiled. I made a PSX64 with the ATmega168 tonight, and recompiled the firmware, and life is good. If you’re building a new board with an ATmega168, or (in the future) need to reflash your PSX64, the new revision B firmware is available here. (i.e. psx64fw11.hex is version 1.1 for the ATmega8, and psx64fw11b.hex is version 1.1 for the ATmega168).

Shredz64 – New Disk Labels

I decided to spruce up the hand written labels with a little MS Word mail merge label action. Not the fanciest in the world, but a little nicer looking!

Shredz64 – Video of New Bonus Track “Still Alive (Portal Credits)”

With Valve releasing Portal 2 fairly soon, and after realizing a SID version of “Still Alive (Portal Credits)” existed, I realized I had no choice but to make it a bonus track and post a video of it in action.

This and all tracks are available at Synthetic Dreams.

(PS – If you haven’t played Portal yet – go and do it now. It’s a fantastic game, and a fantastic ending song.)

Shredz64 – New Disk Images and Firmware Posted

For those who want to download the NTSC or PAL version of Shredz64, I updated the disk images available online to include the latest track selection.

Additionally, the link on the blog to the PSX64 firmware now points to version 1.1, the latest update which incorporates the macro and speed fixes. For archival purposes, I’ve left 1.0 and 1.0a in the download directory as well.

Also, hopefully another new track soon, maybe even this weekend!