Manual

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Setting Up

Prerequisities

Recommended system requirements.

  • OS: Windows 10/11 (64-bit)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-760 or equivalent AMD CPU
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 1060 3GB / AMD RX 470 4GB or equivalent (DirectX 11 compatible).
  • Resolution: Designed for Full HD 1080p resolution (1920 x 1080).
  • Storage: 2 GB available space

Minimum system requirements are somewhat less than recommended. We don't have enough data to give exact minimum system specifications at this stage of the project. To be on the safe side, verify that your graphics card is capable of modern gaming and that your CPU performance is close enough (>80%) compared to the recommended setup. Breadbox allows you to select lower resolution in case the graphics card performance is not adequate.


Install Breadbox

Breadbox is available on Steam Early Access.

  1. Install Steam client and create your Steam account (if you don't already have it).
  2. Purchase your personal copy of Breadbox using Steam client or from the Steam Store page.
  3. Open your Steam Library and select Breadbox.
  4. Click Install and wait until the installation is finished.
  5. Start the Breadbox and follow the instructions to complete the initial setup tasks.

Initial setup tasks

When you open the Breadbox, it asks you to set up Library locations, select your keyboard layout, and install the emulator.

A short video tutorial about initial setup tasks is available here: Breadbox - Simple Set Up Guide.

Setup Breadbox Library

The breadbox library will contain the collection of software and manuals you wish to use in the simulator. The installation wizard will try to automatically create the Library for you. You can select the base location and subfolder names for different media. If you prefer a different kind of structure you can later change individual media locations in the Simulator View - Settings - Libraries.

Default structure of Breadbox Library:

..\Breadbox Library
  |- c64
  |  |- books
  |  |- cart
  |  |- disk
  |  |- tape
  |- pet
  |  |- books
  |  |- ...
  |- vic20
  |  |- books
  |  |- ...
Keyboard Mappings

To map your PC keyboard keys to the simulated computer keys in the best possible way, you need to select the layout (or the closest match) of your PC keyboard. This selection will be set as default for all the computer models in the simulation. You can later change this in Main Page - Setup or per model in the Simulation View - Settings - Input setting.

Read more about Breadbox Keyboard Mappings and available layouts.

Install emulator

The main page installation wizard will open the emulator installer automatically on the first boot or when it needs to be upgraded. Alternatively, you can find the emulator version and installer from Main Page - Setup.

Open emulator installer

If the installer has not been already opened.

  1. Click SETUP on the Main Page.
  2. Click Setup or Update depending on which is available.

Emulator installer

  1. On the installer window, note the About VICE tab to find out more about the VICE (and VICE IOI) emulator.
  2. To continue into the installation click Next.
  3. Verify the installation path and choose another one if you prefer.
    Note! Please do not include any Windows standard folder (e.g. Program Files) here.
    (Using Windows standard folder would require the application to switch to admin mode. This functionality is not yet implemented, so we recommend you use another path here, for example, the default path.)
  4. Click Install
  5. Wait about a minute for download and unpack to finish.
  6. Installation is ready, when you see a text VICE IOI is intalled together with OK button.
  7. Click OK.


After the installation is done, the emulator integration is immediately active on all Commodore brand computers.

You can now turn ON the computers in the simulator and enjoy the simulation with emulation :)


Updating emulator

When a new improved emulator version is available, the Breadbox will ask you to update the emulator. Just follow the same procedure as described above, in the Install Emulator.


Get Started

Main Menu

Main Menu

The Main Menu shows all the computers available.

The computer simulation will start by clicking on any computer model image. You can also see the specifications of each model by clicking an info icon on the top-right corner of the image.


Setup

The Main Menu contains also a Setup panel. In the Setup panel, you can configure settings related to graphics, change keyboard language area mappings for all simulated computers, and set up the emulator in case you've missed it in some previous steps.

Emulator Setup
Select this if you need to install/re-install the emulator.
Keyboard mapping
Set the keyboard language area setting for all simulated computers here.
Graphics quality
Set the graphics quality to High or Low. High is the default setting, but in case the responsiveness of the UI is slow, you can test if the Low setting is more suitable for your hardware.
Screen resolution
The list contains resolutions available for your hardware and supported by Breadbox. Ideally, you will use your monitor's native resolution or 1920 x 1080 (the default resolution for Breadbox). Then again, in case the Breadbox is a bit heavy for your graphics card, you should try a lower setting to see what works best for you.


PET 2001 Simulator Scene

Simulator View

Simulator View is a virtual desktop that displays a simulation of the selected computer and its peripherals.

You can interact with various items, like diskettes, tapes, switches, and buttons with your mouse. You can also change a camera view to different predefined camera close-ups by pointing to an object or a hotspot and using mouse scroll or mouse buttons to trigger the change. The right mouse button will reset the camera view back to the default state.

Each computer model has a personalized, slightly different simulator view, but they all follow the same UI logic.

Breadbox is designed for fullscreen mode in 16:9 aspect ratio, but the windowed mode is also available. Press F11 to toggle between fullscreen and windowed mode.



Hotspots

In addition to zooming in to different peripherals, the scene contains a few additional hotspots to allow easy access to some important view angles.

C64 back view C64 side view PET back view
Access the hotspots by hovering the mouse cursor close enough.

Powering Up

When the emulator has been set up, you can power up the computers. Use the hotspots on the simulator view to access the power switches. Turn on the computer by clicking the switch. Depending on the model, you need to turn on the monitor as well. You can also use the shortcut power icon on the bottom-left corner of the screen. It will set all the powers on (or off) for you.

Emulator is an independent component, that handles the computer emulation part. In the end, the emulation quality depends on the current state of the emulator in use. In addition to that, there are also many features in the emulator, which are not yet supported in Breadbox integration. Features relevant to simulation may be added later.


Libraries

Floppy Disk Library


Software

Software libraries can contain "image" files of old media formats. The image file contains the content of an entire floppy disk, cassette tape, or cartridge. When you have added files (in supported file format) into your library, they will be accessible in the Breadbox simulator view. Open any library from the left-side navigation icons to see your library content for the selected media format. When the library panel is open you can search the content, create a new blank (tape or disk), or activate any individual image file in the simulator by selecting it. The active content you have selected will be displayed in the simulator as a 3D model of a cartridge, floppy disk, or cassette. You can interact with the selected 3D model in the simulator. Simulated interactions support the most common actions used in the real world, for example, insert/remove disk, insert/eject/play tape, and attach/detach cartridge.


Supported File Formats
  • Floppy disks: D64, G64(Commodore 64)
  • Tape: TAP
  • Cartridge: CRT


Exact file format compatibility also always depends on the underlying emulator.

VIC-20 CRT files have a known issue. Cartridge files with a starting address of A000 are the only ones that currently work. In case you wonder, the starting address is often included in the file name.


Books

You can add manuals, magazines, and other kinds of documents to the book library. The book library supports files in PDF-format. The activated book will be displayed in the simulator view as a 3D model of a book. You can open the active book in your PDF viewer, either by clicking on it in the simulator view or pressing open button in the library. The book cover page will be displayed in the simulator view. The cover page is generated automatically from the first page of the PDF. Cover page is just a regular PNG file with the same name as the original PDF. If you wish to have a different cover page, you can replace the generated PNG file with your image file. The image file should be in PNG-format and have the same name as the related pdf document.


Keyboard Mappings

Computer keyboard layouts are not what they used to be. A standard PC keyboard does not have all the same keys as a retro computer and vice versa. Luckily enough, many keys and symbols are the same and the rest can be linked (mapped) together in quite convenient ways.

Read more about Breadbox Keyboard Mappings and available layouts.

Localization

In case you need to change the keyboard mapping in use, open Main page - Setup and change the keyboard mapping for all computers at once. You can also set the keyboard mapping per model, open the Simulation View - Settings - Input settings and change the keyboard mapping. After the change, you need to exit to Breadbox Main page, before the new keyboard layout is activated on the selected computer.

If you find that none of the current keyboard mappings are suitable for your country, please let us know and we will add it.


Game Controllers

The simulation view contains two simulated joysticks in C-64 and a single joystick in the VIC-20 simulation.

You can link many regular Game Controllers (gamepads and joysticks) or your keyboard numpad to the simulated joystick. The joystick will be interactable in the simulation when linked with a real game controller. The link is created by selecting your game controller as Joystick 1 or 2 controller in the Settings - Input settings. And don't forget, in the simulation view, you also need to connect the correct joystick plug into the simulated computer as well, like in the real computer.

Supported game controllers can be limited. When running the simulated computers, it's up to the emulator whether the game controller is supported or not. As the emulator is not part of the Breadbox, there is a chance that we can not help in the matter. Presumably, all DirectInput-supported controllers will work well enough. See the table Breadbox Game Controller support to see the state of current game controller support and known issues.

In case your game controller is not working properly and it is supported by the emulator (VICE), please contact our support. e.g. support@bitfall.fi Additionally, if your controller is working and it's not mentioned in the supported game controllers table, please tell us.

Numpad as a game controller

You can use the numeric keypad as a game controller with Breadbox. By default, it's already linked to the virtual joystick of the simulator, unless the linked controller has been changed. The easiest way to see if it's linked is to press the numpad keys 4, 5, 6, and 8 and see if the virtual joystick moves. If it's not linked you can configure it in the Settings - Input settings panel. When the linking is working don't forget that the virtual joystick plug needs to be attached to the computer as well. That is done in the simulation view. First, select the joystick by clicking on it or its connector, and then click on the control port on the computer you want to connect it to.

Numpad key configuration:
   
   0 - fire

   8 - up             7  8  9
   4 - left            \ | /
   6 - right         4 - o - 6
   5 - down            / | \
   2 - down           1 2/5 3

Breadbox Game Controller support

Current status of Game Controllers tested with Breadbox

Manufacturer Model Controller name in Breadbox Known issues
Atari Jaguar controller ? Used with a USB adapter
Logitech F310 Gamepad Controller (Gamepad F310)
Microsoft XBOX 360 Controller Controller (XBOX 360 For Windows) DPAD-controls do not work.
retro-bit USB Gamepad USB Gamepad
RetroFun! DB9-USB adapter e4you Retro Fun
Retro Games The C64 Joystick THEC64 Joystick
Retro Games The A500 Controller THEGamepad
Speedlink Competition Pro SPEED-LINK Competition Pro
Speedlink Competition Pro Extra Game Controller for Android
Microsoft XBOX One Controller Controller (Xbox One For Windows) Does not work!
Nintento NES Controller ? Does not work! (Used with a USB adapter)

Games and Software

Breadbox does not include games or software for the simulated computers.

However, there are hundreds and even thousands of classic games, demos, and software available for these computers. Some of them are free and most can be considered abandonware. To find games and software or even manuals, try to search The Internet Archive, for example.

Many developers are still creating new games, demos, and software for these computers. You can usually buy or get new ones in many digital formats. It's also a great way to support the developers who created them.

DIY. You can always create the software yourself, find some manuals, and learn to code. Or look for old computer magazines that have published type-in programs.


Technical Issues

You can find problems in any software, and Breadbox is not an exception. Some problems are straightforward software bugs and we try to fix those ASAP. However many problems are more complex and require deeper analysis before a solution can be found. There can be many layers where the problem lies. For example, the "bug" can be in the original game, corrupted file, computer hardware or OS (mimicked by the emulator), or in the simulator. Or it can be a missing feature, you know, this software is not yet "ready" and so on. And last, it can also be a user error, when the user expects something to work differently than it does.

You can help this software to become better by analyzing the problem and letting us know how it occurs and what is your hardware. You can post the issue in Bugs subforum on Breadbox Steam Community forum or email us at support@bitfall.fi.

In the meantime, see FAQ for some common problems and solutions.