Fast loader

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A fast loader, also called turbo loader or floppy speeder, accelerates the loading of programs. Fast loaders are available for the datasette and the disk drive, and with a simple fast loader on software basis the 5- to 15-fold of the normal loading speed is reached.

For disk drives there are also hardware fast loaders. These are switched either between the serial bus interface (Serial Port) or at the disk drive itself or they are installed with a cartridge at the C64 by the expansion port or user port. A hardware fast loader reads the data from the disk up to about 35 times faster than the normal speed.

However, not all programs are compatible with fast loaders and especially such programs which already contain a fast loader and are read again with a hardware fast loader do not work properly or not at all.

With a higher reading speed more reading mistakes can occurr, so e.g. graphic faults in games, which have been loaded with a fast loader can be explained.

Some cartridges as the Final Cartridge 3 even have a speeder for saving.

See Comparison of fast loaders for a speed comparison of various fast loader/hardware combinations.

A special case of fast loader is the IRQ loader, which is used by games and demos that want to keep running, e.g. to play music and display graphics, while loading in the background.

Overview of hardware fast loaders[edit]

The hardware fast loaders are delivered on circuit boards or chips and have to be built into the home computer and the disk drive.

Name System (F)loppy
(D)atasette
Factor Comment
Dela DOS C64 F ?
Dolphin DOS C64,C128 F ? Versions 2.x for C64 and 3.x for C128, Dolphin DOS Language German, Dolphin DOS 2.0 Language German
Dynamic DOS C64 F ?
FSD System C64,C128 F ?
Exos C64 F ?
Hypra-Load C64 F ?
JiffyDOS C64 F 15 compatible with 1541/71/81 CMD-HD/FD and for VIC-20, C64/128/16, SX-64 and Plus/4
Mach 71 C128 F ?
Pro Speed 71 C128 F ?
P3/128 C128 F ?
Professional-DOS C64,C128 F ? Professional DOS Language German
Prologic DOS Classic C64 F ?
Ross-Drive C64 F ?
Speed-DOS C64 F ?
Turbo Access C64 F ?
Turbo Trans C64 F ? there are versions with a RAM extension
Ultra-Load C64 F ?

Overview of cartridge fast loaders[edit]

Some fast loaders were released as a cartridge for the expansion port.

Name System (F)loppy
(D)atasette
Factor Comment
? C64 F ? Only fast loader
Action Replay C64 F 5,5 Multi-functional cartridge
DELA DOS C64 F ? Only fast loader
Disk-Booster 64 C64 F ? Only fast loader
Epyx FastLoad C64 F 5
WP-W11.png Wikipedia: Epyx_FastLoad
Final Cartridge 3 C64 F / D 6,5 / 10 Multi-functional cartridge, also fast saving
Magic Formel C64 F 11 Multi-functional cartridge
Retro Replay C64 F ? Multi-functional cartridge
Super Snapshot C64 F 5,5 Multi-functional cartridge

Overview of software fast loaders[edit]

A software fast loader is a small program and is loaded and started first, then the actual program is loaded which of course should be considerably bigger than the fast loader.

Name System (F)loppy
(D)atasette
Factor Comment
Accelerator C64 F ? Magic Disk 64, Edition 12/1988
Fast Disk C64 F ? Magic Disk 64, Edition 05/1988
FLOAD C64 F ? Magic Disk 64, Edition 02/1989
Turbo Tape VC 20, C64 D 8
WP-W11.png Wikipedia: Turbo_tape
1581 Speed C64 F 16 Only for 1581
ZAP 1581 C64 F 16 Only for 1581
Gigaload C64 F ?
Heureka-Sprint C64 F 25 64'er Edition 3/87, Listing of the month
Hypratape 64 C64 D ?
Hypraload C64 F ? Only for 1541 with C64
Cyber Loader C64 F 16 Only for 1541 with C64
Speedload C64 F ? Only for 1541 with C64
Mr. Byte C64 F ? Only for 1541 with C64
Most-Access C64 F ? Only for 1541
Ultraload Plus C64 F 8? 64'er Spielesammlung Volume 3
SuperTape D2 C64 D ? INPUT 64, Edition 04/1985
MultiTape I C64 D ? INPUT 64, Edition 05/1986