Monday, August 16, 2021

Memories of the Epyx Fast Load Cartridge

Here's an advertisement that was packed in with some vintage computer stuff that Joan and Kaitlyn bought a couple of years ago. 

I remember this well and had my own Epyx Fast Load cartridge plugged into the back of my Commodore 64 in the 1980s. And my recollection is that they definitely made everything faster, back in those days of long loading times that would be unthinkable today. It helped to facilitate playing Ultima IV, Summer Games and California Games (both also from Epyx), Commando, Autoduel, SimCity and other games of that era I had. I don't think, however, that we ever got to the speed level of "leaping gazelle," as the advertising copy states.

Writing extensively about the cartridge on The Silicon Underground, David L. Farquhar explains that it "replaced the Commodore 64’s stock ROM disk loading routine with a more efficient routine that was about five times as fast. The result was that software that normally took three minutes to load often took closer to 30 seconds with the cartridge."

He also notes that the cartridge originally retailed for $34.95 in 1984, which is the equivalent of about $88 today. We spent some ridiculous amounts of money on our 8-bit computing in the 1980s! 

No comments:

Post a Comment