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1. Overview

Please read the section WARNINGS at the end of this document before proceeding. Improper use of the cable adapters (XA1541, XU1541, XUM1541) may damage your drives or the cables themselves.

The popular Commodore 8-bit home-computers like the C-64 and the VIC-20 are using a custom serial bus to talk to attached devices (disk drive, printer). This proprietary serial bus protocol is not natively supported by modern hard- or software.

opencbm provides an interface to this so-called IEC bus at the level of simple TALK and LISTEN commands, similar to the one provided by the Commodore kernel routines. Additionally, some higher and lower level bus control is available as well, allowing for full control of the bus.

The CBM serial devices are connected to the PC either to the parallel port via an XM1541 or XA1541 cable and, optionally, an XP1541 or XP1571 add-on cable. Alternatively, more modern USB cable solutions like XU1541 or XUM1541 (a.k.a. ZoomFloppy) are supported. For cables, cf. cable.

opencbm has a plugin concept which allows to additionally add custom build cables.

opencbm can be used on PCs on Linux and Windows (all cables). Additioanlly, USB based cables are supported on FreeBSD and on Mac OS X.

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