Hardware and more...

The Final Cartridge III

The Final Cartridge III is a great extension for the C64/C128. It plugs into the Expansion port and tunes up the C64 quite a bit!

The main features are a very good speed loader, useful additional BASIC commands, reset button and a freezer. The whole software is stored in 64KB ROM.

When you turn the C64 on, a graphical desktop appears. You can do disk operations here, you have a note pad, a calculator and an alarm clock. In BASIC mode you can easily scroll forward and backward through your program without the LIST command, you can renumber the program and, for debugging, you can trace the program while running. The function keys are assigned with the most used disk commands. F7 lists the directory without erasing the program in memory, F5 loads a program, F3 is RUN and F1 is LIST. F2 starts the machine language monitor.

The RESET button is a hard reset button, much better and faster than the common soft reset (the one you can easily build yourself).

The FREEZE button engages the freezer. As the name says, you can freeze a running program. Then you can do several things. You can save the actual state to disk, so you can, for example, easily continue playing a game later. You can also turn off sprite collision, add autofire or do a print screen.

In my opinion, the Final Cartridge III makes the C64 life a lot easier. ;-)

This one I got for Christmas 1987 or 1988, I can't remember exactly. It has two 256kBit PROMs.

This one is two months older, but I got it together with the brown C64 in July 2001 from the flea market. Interestingly it has only one memory chip, a 512kBit EPROM.