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I just bought an old Commodore 64 from a used electronics store. There was a box of cassettes next to it so I grabbed a handful, only to find out now that they all say "VIC 20" on them. Will the Commodore 64 play VIC 20 software?

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Wasn't it called VC-20? EDIT: Only in Germany... Oh. –  sinni800 May 26 '12 at 22:46
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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I used to have both (and a C16 as well). Most Vic20 software will run on a C64 without problems (though I only had a few Vic20 games).

If you're having problems with the tapes, that's a common problem, demagnetize the head, you may even need to realign the head, but rather don't tamper with it until you're sure that's the problem (most C64 repairs were casette-players that the users tried to tune without knowledge of how that actually worked).

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Oh ok cool thanks, I'll give it a try then. It looks like the VIC-20 cassettes I ended up with have a flange that prevents 'em from going into my Commodore tape player, but I payed $1.00 each, so I might as well file one off and see what happens... thanks! –  Chris May 27 '12 at 4:44
    
The tape player for C64, Vic-20 and C16 were identical and interchangeable. The tapes were normal cassette tapes that could be used for recording and playing music. Does the player have a label or so with "1530 Datasette" or something similar? –  Louis Somers May 28 '12 at 7:41
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(disclaimer: never used any of those machines, this is from searching around)

They might not be completely compatible, because the design of the machines is different. Judging from this:

Because the VIC and the PET use completely different memory maps, PEEK and POKE commands were not compatible and because the VIC had only a 22 character screen while the original PET's had 40 character screens, only VERY rudimentary Basic 2.0 software would function on both machines. However, the VIC-20 was generally peripheral compatible with most Commodore 64 devices.

and this:

The C64 and VIC also use the same disk/tape format, however, you can NOT run C64 software on a VIC, nor can you run VIC software on a C64.

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No, it won't work as the hardware is different. They use the same type CPU (although the 6510 in the C64 is a modified 6502, but still compatible). The graphics chip in the VIC 20 (which is more rudimentary than the C64's) doubles as a sound chip, while the C64 has its own dedicated and more advanced sound chip. And as mentioned above, memory adress and peripheral address locations on the two are completely different.

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