Commodore 128’s 80 column mode in VICE


For those in a hurry: type F9, then x when x128 starts to activate its 80-column mode. Does this count as part three in my Commodore 128 series? Let’s say so!

Screenshot showing x128 with the Commodore 128 easter egg in 80-column mode from the emulated VDC.

VICE is an excellent and well-maintained 8-bit Commodore emulator. It’s how I learned how to use Commodore computers before taking the plunge into real hardware, and I still use it to write BASIC code and test downloaded software. It can emulate Commodore disk drives, datasettes, Geo-RAM expansion cartridges, and that famous catch-all of much more!

The x128 executable starts an emulated Commodore 128, with separate windows for the 40 column VIC-II output, and 80-column for the VDC. I wanted to use the 80-column mode, but couldn’t figure out how to activate it given my MacBook Pro doesn’t exactly have a 40-80 column toggle switch like my real hardware does! Pressing F9 then x gave me a blinking cursor on the 80-column output.

I intend to write a longer post specifically about its C128 features, and maybe delve a bit into the TED side of the fence too with the Plus/4.

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and IaaS engineer in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person in bios. Wait, not BIOS… my brain should be EFI by now.

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