Frodo for PalmOS

Here's the current manual, for what it is worth.

How to get games into the emulator

Use the supplied "Pippin" java program. It should run if you double-click the Pippin.bat batch file, or by just double-clicking in the MacOSX version. If all else fails, you can run it with "java -jar pippin.jar" .

Pippin will display an "In" and an "Out" column. Drag files (.d64, .t64, zipped .d64/.t64 or entire directories) into the in area. Alternatively use the "Open" menu item. Files will be parsed, converted, and added to the output side. Converted? Yes, .d64 (disk images, 160 kB) that contain a sole file will be converted into .t64 (<60 kB).

Push the "Make pdb" button, or choose the corresponding menu item. Double-click the resulting .pdb to transfer it to your palm device.

How to run an imported game

Launch Frodo. Your .pdb will automatically be assimilated into the "main database". Choose "File Manager" from the menu, and you will se your games. Select one and press "Load".

Your game is now treated as if it was a disk inserted into the first 1541 device (unit 8). The BASIC in Frodo has been altered slightly to give you some help in the next step.

  • Press 'F7' to perform a "LOAD "$",8", then type LIST (F1) to display disk contents.
  • Press 'F5' to print "LOAD ". Just add '*' and return and most programs will load.
  • Press 'F3' to RUN a loaded program.
  • Press 'F1' to perform a BASIC list.
The keyboard

The keyboard emulation is based on Graffiti events, as well as the on-screen keyboard. Just write a character with your pen and it will be passed to the C=64. The emulation will stutter in the meantime, because writing with the pen blocks the processor.

If you have a device with a real keyboard, that should work just as well. Since Palm in their wisdom have decided that there is no such thing as a key *up* event, I'm forced to guess as to if a specific key is being held down. I assume that a key is realeased ~1/2 of a second after is it pressed. This means that games that rely on a key being held down won't work very well. Sorry.

For those non-existant keys, like Commodore or Run/Stop, use your pen on the on-screen keyboard. The Commodore and Left Shift keys of the onscreen keyboard are both "sticky". If you tap them, they will be considered to be depressed until you tap them again. The keyboard graphics will change to reflect the characters that will be printed in shifted/"commodored" mode.


By default, key 1 ("Date book" on most devices) is assigned to the fire button. Joystick directions are indicated by using the pen on the little TAC-2, what I call "JoyPen" mode.

Use the "Joystick" preference form to select other modes. The "Large" JoyPen mode uses the entire 320x320 area for joystick detection. Be warned that this mode currently interfers with the onscreen keyboard.

You can also set the joystick directions to any *hardware* key. Hardware keys are keys such as "Date Book", "To Do", "HotSync", "Power". In the "Joystick" form, select one of the "Set" buttons. In the resulting dialog, *HOLD* your desired key while tapping "OK".


C=64 graphics should look good by default on any device, and I am very interested if the BASIC screen looks mangled to you on first startup. Please drop a note in the forums, stating your device and which 16-color mode it defaulted to.

If by chance Frodo looks strange on your device, go to "Graphics and Sound" options. First, try the other 16 color mode. Then try 256 color direct, then the "compatible" 256 color buffered mode. If those all fail, I definitely want to hear about it.


The 1541 disk-drive was quite a monster. It had its own RAM and a processor comparable to the main computer's. Some times, this was taken advantage of. Speed loaders and such relied on reprogramming the 1541. Such programs will only work if you turn on the "Detailed 1541 emulation" option under "Obscure Options".

Unfortunately, that's hidden right now, because the 1541 CPU emulation simply DOES NOT WORK. Sorry.

VFS (Expansion memory)

.pdb's packaged with Pippin can be dropped into the directory "/Palm/programs/Frodo/" on your expansion card, and they will be scanned for files just like the main DB. I'm currently working on supporting single .d64/.t64 files, and saving to the VFS.


Johan Forsberg, Frodo porter. Logo