What is the TFE and was is it good for?
The TFE is a fully functional design of an Ethernet cartridge for the
Commodore 64. A TFE cartridge makes it possible to connect the C64 to
a local area Ethernet network, or a broadband connection such as a
cable modem or an ADSL modem.
Will the TFE be avaliable and how much will it cost?
We're sorry, but we have no plans to start manufacturing TFE
cartridges. We made this mostly to "scratch an itch" - we knew it was
possible to do an Ethernet cartridge for the C64. Still, nobody had
done it, so we just had to do it!
Our design is freely avaliable however and anyone is free to build a
TFE for own use or to start manufacturing them and sell. We have only
produced two prototype cards, mostly for our own use (and for running
How much work is needed to produce a TFE cartridge?
The TFE itself is quite simple as it only consists of three parts: the
a 74LS139 decoder and a custom circuit board. The custom circuit board
is the hardest to craft because it cannot be bought ready-made. It
might be possible to hook up the components on a prototype board,
How much money is needed to produce a TFE cartridge?
The compontent cost is dominated by the EmbeddedEthernet board which
is sold for $70. The 74LS139 decoder costs around $1. To that the
cost of producing the circuit board must be added.
Was the C64 server ever blasted off the net by the Slashdot-effect?
When a link to a web site appears on the front page of the popular
news site Slashdot, the web site
often brought down by the sheer amount of viewers that visit the
link. When a web server is brought down this way, it is said to have
been "Slashdotted". This is known as the "Slashdot-effect".
Our C64 web server was never brought down, but because of the large
amount of traffic it had to handle it could be a bit hard to reach at
A lot of people seem to think that our server should have crashed
because of the extreme load it was exposed to when mentioned on the
popular news site Slashdot.org. This belief probably is based on the
fact that Linux or BSD based servers may crash when overloaded. The
problem in those cases is that such systems seldom are tested for
overload situations. For instance, a Linux system that is overloadad
might use up all avaliable kernel memory which ultimately leads to
system failure. Similarly, BSD systems may run out of mbufs, rendering
the system unreachable.
In contrast, our C64 server is very easy to overload and has therefore
been extensively tested under such conditions. An example of this is the frontpage of the server which in
most cases overwhelms the memory of the Ethernet chip, forcing it to
drop one of the packets. The resulting retransmission can actually be
seen as the lower frame usually takes longer to show up.
It is thus fair to say that because our C64 is overloaded by just one
client, it is quite used to handle overload situations :-)
$Date: 2002/07/20 10:04:20 $