64NIC+ Review

Jim Brain at go4retro.com is selling network cartridges at a nice price. I got mine a couple of days ago.

The 64NIC+ is a C64/C128 cartridge that enables your computer to access the network/internet.

Front side of 64NIC+

The network adapter is in a standard cartridge size, with two optional items, the transparent casing and the rotating switch. The casing speaks for itself, as the rotary switch needs some explaining. Before explaining about the switch I need to tell about the eprom socket. As almost any older nic it has an socket for a rom, this rom can be a standard 27cXX eprom with 8-256kB, or pin compatible eeproms like 29c010 and 29c020. The cartridge can address 8 or 16kb of this rom. It’s here the rotary switch comes in. With the switch you can manually select which bank you need accessing. The rom is good for a rom that can boot on the network, or contain driver code. It would be awesome if someone made some rom files that contains this, rendering boot from a diskette unneccessary.

The NIC comes with 4 switches, i.e. turn on/off rom, or be a cartridge in C64 or C128 mode. The description page has more info about this. The 64NIC+ is a 10Mbit RR-Net compatible card which benefits of many of the software applications written for that. Let me just say once and for all, it works with WarpCopy64.

If you compare this product with the RR-Net you can say that it’s more sturdy as it’s a complete cartrige, making it quite sturdy, even without the case.

Jim has compiled a pretty nice diskette image with loads of network utilities. The Diskette comes with WarpCopy64 v0.6 and Contiki.

The cartridge can co-exists with some other cartridges in a multi cartridge connector. Though there haven’t been any official tests on which, so it’s just to try.

This is a pretty decent product, if you have network needs for your C64 this is the item to get.

64NIC+ is an OpenSource project

WarpCopy64 is a diskette transfer utility that displays bad blocks and is very fast, 22sec pr side when no errors occur.

Contiki is a desktop like applikation from where you can have telnet access, let the C64 be a webserver and more.

More info, buy it here, diskette image with tools.

Conclusion: Though It could use some finished ROM images, and/or utility cartridge images to be plugged in to the rom socket, the cartridge is still an awesome product. I’ll give it 4 stars.

Review by Tomse 12th Nov. 2012



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