64erThe 64’er magazine masthead

This article is debunking TMR’s debunk at

TMR has basically said that the impressive, technical, German magazine 64’er was totally irrelevant because it was in German and not even available in Britain in 1984-1985.

pauly64’er Editor Michael Pauly wearing a cravat

Editor Michael Pauly appeared in pictures accompanying his Editorials in 1984 wearing a cravat, so as suggested in the Doctor Who spin off series “Torchwood”, I can’t help wondering if he was a time traveller who came back in time from the future, after visiting the early 20th century where he wore cravats. After getting addicted to cravats, he may have travelled back in time to the 1980’s to improve the situation for Commodore 64 owners, using his knowledge of 32 bit, 64 bit, or 128 bit computers.

TopolinoB4C64A cover of “Topolino”, the first non English language magazine I read

I pointed out that I thought the lack of availability of 64’er magazine in Britain was due to “language censorship and lack of distribution”. There were actually subscriptions to various magazines available through a company I can’t remember the name of, but who dealt with magazine publishers on the Continent, such as Arnoldo Mondadori in Italy, as well as with other companies who organised the subscriptions, such as DPV (Deutsche Presse Vertrieb) now available on . I was reading a Walt Disney comic published in Britain, when they suddenly published a reader’s letter about some Walt Disney magazines from Italy called “Topolino” (nowadays on ) and from Germany called “Micky Maus” (currently on ). I was very interested in these and I even managed to get one or two issues of “Topolino” from a newsagent in a London tube station, but it was very hit and miss. Later, my Dad managed to get subscriptions set up for me. After visiting their office, my Dad brought home a sample issue of the more well known French magazine “Pilote” , but I didn’t know what to make of it, so never got a subscription to it. It seems the magazine “Pilote” had a quite long run, with weekly, as well as monthly versions. It featured comic strips of characters including Asterix, Achille Talon, and Blueberry. As for “Topolino”, they actually created some of their own characters, such as “Paperinik”, which was Donald Duck as a super hero, later published as “Super Duck” in English language versions. Of course, this was years before I got a Commodore 64 and I hadn’t actually heard the titles of any C64 magazines published in Germany. I didn’t know there was any point me trying to get hold of them either, so I just pored over the official Commodore books, as well as British Commodore magazines, but it was far worse than trying to do geometry!

pilotecoverA cover from “Pilote” magazine, featuring a spoof of “The Avengers” TV series

Of course, I wasn’t talking about shipping 64’er magazine “around the World”, just a bit further than it was already distributed to. “Micky Maus” magazine even had cover prices for the USA and Canada. A magazine distribution company called COMAG could have distributed 64’er magazine, but they seemed to mainly distribute US magazines. I think that London would have been the most likely place it could have been made available, especially newsagents in tube stations, and the main railway stations, such as Victoria, Charing Cross, Kings Cross, Liverpool Street, Waterloo, and London Bridge. Other good locations would have been Foyles bookshop, and Hampstead, because a seller of live bootleg tapes from there told me “They’re mainly German or Jewish round here”.

A truly amazing couple of POKEs and a SYS call were published in 64’er issue 08/84 on P105, in a section called “Tips & Tricks”. This was by someone called Michael Keukert, who showed how to position the C64 text cursor VERTICALLY, as well as horizontally, which almost every other computer could do from BASIC without resorting to POKEs, or extracting cursor down control codes from a string. This command sequence is…

POKE 214,(line):POKE 211,(column):SYS 58640:PRINT”TEXT”

I’ve tested this on my C128 in C64 mode and it works! Here’s a short demo of this, where I even managed to program a simple scroller!

10 PRINT CHR$(147):FOR X=1 TO 21:Y=14
40 PRINT CHR$(147):FOR X=21 TO 1 STEP -1:FOR Y=28 TO 0 STEP -1
50 POKE 214,X:POKE 211,Y:SYS 58640:PRINT”SCROLLER!! “
70 PRINT CHR$(147)
80 FOR T=1 TO 100
90 X=INT(RND(1)*28):Y=INT(RND(1)*21)
100 POKE 214,X:POKE 211,Y:SYS 58640:PRINT” “;:PRINT”I GET AROUND! “;
110 NEXT T
120 PRINT CHR$(147)

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find the 64’er POKEs which didn’t turn off the ROMs in the C128 in C64 mode, but one suggested by TMR some time ago for the C64 was the Assembly Language equivalent to POKE 1,53. I’ve now found out that POKE 1,53 sometimes does and sometimes doesn’t work. If you type POKE 1,53 immediately after starting up in C64 mode, then the screen freezes, and the “READY.” prompt doesn’t reappear, but if you first of all give the roundabout DIRECTORY substitute command LOAD”$”,8 , or load a BASIC program first, then POKE 1,53 doesn’t work!

The magazine 64’er actually published the 1541 disk drive fast loader Hypra Load, so it had a lot of publicity, but I don’t remember similar listings in any Commodore 64 magazine I read. Of course, I couldn’t have used them because I didn’t own a disk drive. Later on, in their issue 01/85 they published some extensions and improvements to Hypra Load, including ways of transferring it to cartridge or even making it part of an improved C64 OS on a replacement ROM!

A short program I adapted from a 64’er SIN curve program draws a straight line across the screen in BASIC V2. I never ever managed to adapt the Commodore 64 Programmers’ Reference Guide program which drew series of dots as a SIN curve to do anything else except SIN curves, obviously because that program was as clear as mud! Here’s my line drawing program based on the 64’er SIN curve program. It seems the main change is in line 90, where my REM indicates a function I’ve deleted.

10 POKE 52,255:POKE 52,31:POKE 55,255:POKE 56,31
20 ZF=0:HF=6:F=16*ZF+HF
30 DEF FN A(X)=50*SIN(X/30)+100
40 PRINT CHR$(147)
50 POKE 53265,PEEK(53265) OR 32
60 POKE 53272,PEEK(53272) OR 8
70 B=8192:FOR I=0 TO 7999:POKE B+I,0:NEXT I
80 FOR I=1024 TO 2023:POKE I,F:NEXT I
90 FOR X=0 TO 319:Y=100:REM FN A(X)
100 BY=(X AND 504)+40*(Y AND 248)+(Y AND 7):BI=7-(X AND 7)
120 GET A$:IF A$=”” THEN 120
130 POKE 53272,PEEK(53272) AND (255-8)
140 POKE 53265,PEEK(53265) AND (255-32)
150 PRINT CHR$(147)

At the moment, there’s an archive of 64’er magazine disks available on , so if you’re interested in seeing for yourself how amazing their program listings were, download the disk images from there ASAP. Some of programs have partly English text, while others are totally in German, so here’s some vocabulary for you, from some early program listings they published. In this list German characters aren’t used, because they weren’t used in the original listings, but normally ae = ä , oe = ö , ue = ü , and sometimes ss = ß . 64’er magazine published some programs which gave the C64 a German character set and my German model C128 has a key that switches into a German character set, which even works in C64 mode, though.

Abbruch – break or cancel
abspeichern – to save
Abwaerts – down
Aendern – to alter
Anfang – beginning
Anpassung – adaptation or conversion
Anwendung – application program
Aufwaerts – up
Ausgabe – output
Ausstieg – quit
Befehl – command, order
besetzen – fill, or occupy
Basis – (military) base
Bildschirm – monitor or TV
Datei – file
Datenverwaltung – data processing
Disziplin – (sporting) event type
Drucker – printer
Eingabe – input
eingeben – to input
einlesen – to read in or load
Erde – Earth
erfasst – got or found
Ergebnisse – results
Erweiterung – upgrade
Existiert bereits eine Datei auf der Diskette? (J/N) – Is there already a file on the disk? (Y/N)
Feindliche – enemy
Fehler – error
fertigmachen – to prepare, arrange, or sort out
Fortgeschrittene – advanced
Fortsetzung – continuation
Frauen – women
Geburtsjahr – year of birth
Geburtsmonat – month of birth
Geburtstag – birthday
Gruppe – group
Hausnummer – number in street
Heimat – home area, or region
Klavier – music keyboard
Kontrolle – check
lenken – to steer
links – left
loeschen – to delete
Maenner – men
moeglich – possible
Name – surname
Nicht moeglicher Zug – impossible/illegal move
Noch einmal? – Another go?
Nr. des Ergebnisses fuer Korrektur – No. of result to be corrected
ohne – without
passen – to fit or suit
postiert – positioned
Postleitzahl – post code
Profi – professional
rechts – right
Richtung – direction
Schatzsucher – treasure hunter
Schutz -protection or defence
Schwierigkeitsgrad – level of difficulty
Sparen – to save money
Speicher – RAM
Speichern – to save data
Speicherzelle – memory location
Steuerung – game controls
Strasse – street
suchen – to seek or search for
Suchkriterium – search criteria
Tastatur – keyboard (with keys and numbers, not music keyboard)
Taste druecken – press a key
Tastenabfrage – key press detection
Telefonnummer – telephone number (after dialling code or area code)
Textverarbeitung – word processing
Titelbild – title screen
Treiber – driver (for printer)
unmoeglich – impossible
Verein – team
Vergleich – comparison
vernichten – to destroy
verteidigen – to defend
Vertreter – representative
Verwalten – to organise or administer
Verwendung – to use or apply
Vorname – Christian name/first name
Vorwahl – dialling code, area code
Waehlen – to choose, select
Weltall – outer space
welche – which
Wert – value
Wohnort – town or city
Wollen Sie neu eingeben? (J/N) – Would you like to input any more? (Y/N)
Wurde schon eingegeben! – Already inputted!
Zahlen – numbers
Zeile – line (of text)
Zwischenergebniss – interim result

Posted May 5, 2014 by C64hater in Uncategorized


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  1. Offtopic: For your series about drawing a line in C64 I have write a few BASIC lines to do the job you request.

    But I don’t know where to put is as you have write a lot of articles about line and BASIC issue. Please, in wich article do you want I post it?


    • I didn’t notice this message from you before, because I thought I would also receive any comments via gmail. I’ve just found my most recent article about drawing lines on the Commodore 64, which was . You could post your line drawing routine there, then I could point it out under a new post about replying to comments. If you don’t want to do this, then you could wait for me to write and post “DRAWING THE LINE (PART 4)”, which I hope will be in the near future. This will feature a screen showing how the first C64 graphics program I typed in from “Your 64” in 1984 crashed, leaving a just a series of coloured squares on the graphics screen as an error message!

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