Auto-load programs from a USB memory stick using the File Loader function.
Instructions for THEC64 Mini and THEC64 (Carousel mode)
Please note that these instructions always assume that the latest available firmware is installed on THEC64 Mini or THEC64. For the purpose of these instructions, THEC64 Mini and THEC64 are referred to as ‘THEC64 device’.
Using the File Loader function and a FAT32 (with MBR) formatted USB memory stick, THEC64 device can auto-load programs from various virtual file formats. Supported formats include:
Disk files: D64, G64, D81, D82
Tape files: T64, TAP
Cartridge files: CRT
Stand-alone program files: PRG, P00
To make file browsing and selection less arduous, the File Loader has a display limit of 256 files and/or folders per-folder, including the root of the memory stick.
In the absence of customised file loading by using flags in filenames or CJM text configuration files, THEC64 device applies default settings to any supported files found on a USB memory stick:
- The ‘Fast loader’ option speeds up loading times for programs that use the C64’s standard loading routines (tape or disk). Disable the option by pressing button C on the joystick before loading
- The ‘Faster disk access’ option specifically loads .d64 virtual disk files faster, but some programs or file types won’t load unless this functionality is disabled by using the slower but more authentic accurate drive mode. See Filename flags and CJM files for further information
- The primary joystick is set to port 2. The secondary joystick is set to port 1 only if a second joystick is connected before loading the program from USB. For VIC 20 programs (THEC64 only), port 1 is the default and port 2 is not available
- The type of computer chosen to load the program is based on whether THEC64 Mini firmware is North American (an NTSC C64 is chosen) and running at 60hz or European (a PAL C64 is chosen), running at 50Hz. On the full-size THEC64, it is based upon the Video output setting (60Hz or 50Hz) and what type of computer is current set as the default. Note that this does not affect the HDMI output
- No program-specific functions map to the joystick buttons other than the standard directions and the FIRE and MENU buttons
Many programs auto-load fine using the above default settings. If your program does not, or you wish to change the configuration, please see Filename flags and CJM files.
The full-size THEC64 users can alternatively use Media access in Classic mode to load these files, but the types of file and the default settings are the same, whether using File loader or Media access. See THEC64 User Manual for full details.
Using the File Loader
Whilst viewing the GAMES CAROUSEL, insert a USB memory stick that contains supported C64 files into an available USB port. After a few seconds, an icon appears beneath the GAMES CAROUSEL to confirm the USB memory stick is connected.
Highlight the USB icon and press FIRE. The FILE LOADER screen lists any supported files and folders stored in the root of the USB memory stick. Note that file extensions (for example, D64, TAP, CRT), flags added to filenames (for example _TP) and CJM files (for example, c64-disk.cjm) are NOT shown in the list on the File Loader screen.
Highlight a file and press FIRE. The selected file auto-loads and runs. How long it takes to load will vary based upon the type of file and the settings used to load it.
To browse folders, move the highlight over a folder and press FIRE. The contents of the sub-folder appear. A folder that is empty or does not contain any other folders or supported C64 files will display ‘No files found’.
When inside a folder on the USB memory stick, press button A on the joystick to move out of the current folder. Alternatively, push LEFT to come out of a folder when on the far left side of the File Loader list.
The C64 Fast Loader is on by default, speeding up loading times for any programs that use the computer’s internal loading routine. For those programs that do not load if the fast loader is on, press button C on the joystick (a red X appears over the Fast Loader icon) before you press FIRE to load. This turns the Fast loader off.
Note that the faster disk access function remains on unless you specifically turn it off via filename flags or a CJM file. See Filename flags and CJM files for full details.
Save/Load from USB
When loading a program file from a USB memory stick, the Save/Load state function saves and loads on the USB memory stick rather than on THEC64 device. You have four slots to save to per program.
Save files are stored inside a folder on the USB memory stick called .THEC64SAVE. Inside that folder are sub-folders that contain your saves. For example, .THEC64SAVES\c64-disk\ contains saved files for a virtual disk file called ‘c64-disk’.
BASIC and accessing a USB memory stick
Please note that the only file stored on a USB stick that can be loaded directly when running BASIC on THEC64 Mini is a disk image with the filename THEC64-drive8.d64. Please visit programming-in-c64-basic and faq for further details on BASIC and THEC64-drive8.d64 file.