On this page you'll find a handful of programs I always considered to be in that "must-have" category. Click on any of the links below for a direct download of the desired file.
One of my favorite classic programs is Mark Dickenson's Stereo SID Player, which handles Compute!'s Music System files and the various add-on files that go with them. These .mus/.str/etc. files are quite common, however aren't as popular as they were several years ago. Mark's final release of ther program was version 10.3. I have since modified it to add more addressing options and fix a couple of bugs. As such, it gets a new version number - 10.5. This update also supercedes my previous $D700-hacked version. StereoPlayer 10.5 can be found here as a D64 image or a D81 image. If you're curious about the inner workings of the program, grab the ZIPped source code archive. If you'd rather grab version 10.3, click here.
Sound Studio 128 v3.8 is a program which I wrote many moons ago, to allow you to play *.WAV sound files, as well as play and record Commodore 64 *.RAW 4-bit files. This program requires a C128 or 128-D, an 80 column display, and an REU up to 1MB. This program is public domain, contrary to what I wrote in the intro screen.
Need a good .RAW player for the C64? Here is DigiPlayer v3.1, also written by Mark Dickenson. This one will play Amiga IFFs, Macintosh sound files, PC .WAV files (load as Mac), and of course C64 RAW files. This program supports but doesn't require an REU, however it has some restrictions on REU usage. Loads and plays more formats than my old Sound Studio player.
Here's another must-have for the C64: the Software Automatic Mouth or "SAM". This is a speech synthesizer intended to make your C64 able to speak English, and it does a pretty good job. Works on a stock C64, no expansions of any kind are needed. Sound is sent through the SID chip.
Modems aren't as popular as they once were, but if you need a decent terminal program, one of the better ones for the C64 is Novaterm. It supports pretty much all the standard interfaces, drives, etc. You can download version 10R2 from this link or from Errol's page, or you can grab the various pieces that make up version 9.6: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Super CPU RAM driver.
A while back I released a small 1-page C-64 demo, simply called "Fire". It's your basic 40x24 fire plasma with a simple scroller. Download it HERE. Just LOAD the file and RUN to start it, press SPACE to reset the computer. HERE is the source code, in Ace Assembler format.
I also created a very simple, no-frills VDC bitmapped-text demo. The main "driver" code creates a 640x200 bitmap with 8x8 color cells, on which it prints text similar to the C128's screen editor or a terminal program. It supports full per-character background and foreground color control, underlined text, "inverse" colors (i.e. Ctrl-9/Ctrl-0), variable margins like the C128 screen editor's "window" functions, and flashing via an interrupt-driven attribute map flipping routine. The "demo" bit uses this "driver" code to read and display whatever sequential file you point it to, unformatted, with rotating color settings. Click HERE to download the program files and source code.
For a long time, Canon has made some pretty good bubblejet printers. Back in 1998, Maurice Randall wrote a document describing how to make the newer ones work on a Commodore. Here is that document, Load Your Canon.