Freeze Frame

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Many thanks to Draven @ lemon64 for his massive manual and photo contribution here!
NOTE: Freeze Frame MK2.A is BROKEN - took us 10 years to see that :) - such a rarely used thing with a complete missing bank :(
Freeze Frame Screenshots
Freeze Frame Screenshots
Technical Info
ROM FF1-FF3: 8 kbyte
Lazer/FM: 32 kbyte
RAM None
Hardware features FF1-FF3: 1 Button Freeze

Lazer/FM: 1 Button Freeze

1 Button Reset
Manual PDF: 03 pages FF1 english

JPG: 02 pages FF1 english scan
PDF: 05 pages FF3b english
TXT: FF3b english
PDF: 06 pages Lazer english
PDF: 06 pages Freeze Machine english
PDF: 06 pages Freeze Machine german
TXT: FM1 english
JPG: 01 page FF Util Disk 2.0 english Instructions

PDF: 03 pages FM Util Disk 3.0 english/german Instructions
CRT ID FF1: 45
FF2+/Lazer/FM: 46
Programming See Tech Section
Freeze Frame MK2
The Freeze Frame (FF) was written by Angus Ager and the hardware produced and distributed by the UK based company Evesham Micros (wikipedia:Evesham_Technology) which was fomerly known as Micro Centre. There were several versions of the Freeze Frame from MK.I to MK.IV (which for better readability will go by MK1 to MK4 here to avoid roman numbers). The Frame series was later joined with the Lazer utility cartridge (released as MK4 and Freeze Frame Lazer) but quickly went to become Freeze Machine practically being MK5 and Lazer 2 as the packaging subtitles.

A different Freeze Frame cartridge is described and pictured on a lemon64 forum thread. The cartridge shown there is a hardcopy cartridge to dump the screen to an attached printer. From the same thread it reads that until Freeze Frame MK3B the cartridge came without reset button and only the Freeze button was present.

The sole purpose of the cartridge is to aid in creating backups of software. The backups are saved to disk or tape whereas disk saving allows to choose on wether reloading shall happen fastload supported or not. The Freeze Frame series came up with a few files on the disk an autostarting boot up program included. Later versions (starting likely with Freeze Machine) allowed single file saving of the backups. We can not exactly tell currently when the fast loading capabilities were introduced into the basic extension but FF4 may be a good guess. Up until then the cartridge only served as backup device with few added functions to clear the ram, format and directory disks and transfer files from tape to disk. FIXME MK4 ROM avail now - needs checking

Freeze Machine is a quite obscure cartridge. It has two modes which can be toggled by pressing reset on the power up screen (the manual and screens suggest so) and toggles between FASTLOAD UTILITIES and LAZER UTILITIES. The lower and upper 16kb of the cartridge consist of much of the same code (as (website down) has found before us) and while a quick glance revealed there is a Fast Format and a Converter on the Lazer side no apparent changes are seen on the Fastload side. To the defense of the cartridge one could say that there are some unusual routines implemented such as patching routines to patch tape games to disk but such things cannot be taken into account. (The implementation of this feature as well as of the Game Killer feature appears odd - nobody should attempt to patch a packed program automatically even on a high success rate.) On the release of MK4 the makers decided to largely enhance their cartridge and in the end even joined "functionality" of another series but at no point thought about extending the C64 functionality the way the competition went. Apart from the most basic things frozen programs cannot be instantly restarted, a monitor was not included and not even simple basic utilities are provided. Quite a disappointment for an overall 32kb ROM.

Freeze Machine/Lazer opened
We cannot currently judge all of the F.F. Utility Disk contents but at least "Number 2" just contains a couple of patching programs for common games and loaders.

Notes

Check the Freeze Frame category which contains a few more adverts, reviews and hardware photos.

Freeze Frame/Machine's original producer Evesham Micros was a UK based company. This advert (taken from the Lemon64 gallery) shows that there were production runs in (South) Australia as well and the binary package reveals that a text string was changed to match MICRO ACCESSORIES OF SA. Whether the copyright holder Softcell licensed the ROM to these two companies and how the author was involved in all this is unknown. If you can supply additional information, please let us know!

Freeze Frame MK1 Advert
Freeze Frame MK1 Advert
Freeze Frame MK2 Advert
Freeze Frame MK2 Advert

Tech

The VICE project page has on freezeframe.c:

Evesham Micros "Freeze Frame"

  - 8k ROM

  - reading io1 (the software uses de00 only it seems)
    - switches to 8k game mode
    - ROM is mapped to 8000

  - reading io2 (the software uses df00 only it seems)
    - disables cartridge ROM

  - reset
     - enables 8K game mode
     - ROM bank is mapped to 8000

  - freeze
     - enables ultimax mode
     - ROM is mapped to 8000
     - ROM is mapped to E000

The VICE project page also has freezemachine.c but emulation seems borked so far.

    FIXME: this implementation is based on vague guesses on how the hardware
           really works. remaining problems are:
           - fastloader fails


    Evesham Micros "Freeze Frame MK4"

    - 2 Buttons (Freeze, Reset)
    - 16k ROM


    Evesham Micros "Freeze Machine"

    - 2 Buttons (Freeze, Reset)
    - 7474, 74163, 2 * 7400, 7402
    - 32k ROM, splitted into 2 16K parts of which 2 8k banks are used at once

    - reading io1 (the software uses de00 only it seems)
      - switches to 16k game mode
      - ROM bank 0 (2) is mapped to 8000
      - ROM bank 1 (3) is mapped to A000

    - reading io2 (the software uses df00 only it seems)
      - disables cartridge ROM

    - reset
      - enables 8K game mode
      - toggles a flipflop which selects wether the upper or lower part of the
        32k ROM is selected. (Freeze Machine only)
      - ROM bank 0 (2) is mapped to 8000

    - freeze
      - enables ultimax mode
      - ROM bank 0 (2) is mapped to 8000
      - ROM bank 0 (2) is mapped to E000

Missing

  • FF MK1-4 more ROM dumps
  • Freeze Frame MK3B v1 1986 original dump. The packaged binary is a hack taken from CSDb release #185287 of which the hacker doesn't provide the original dump. Even on request :( Sigh.
  • Freeze Frame MK2a 1985 complete working dump. The existing dump is missing the second 8k
  • PDF Manual Scans of any of the cartridges
  • F.F. Utility Disk V1.0. V2.1 and V3.0
  • Freeze Frame schematics (MK1/2 still missing.)

Binaries

Freeze_Frame_binaries_rr.c64.org_2021-02.rar contains just the C64 binaries:

  • Freeze Frame MK1 1985 two slightly different .bin and .crt files
  • Freeze Frame MK1 Blueberry clone dump .bin and .crt file
  • Freeze Frame MK2a 1985 .bin and .crt file BROKEN!
  • Freeze Frame MK3b 1986 v1 and v2 .bin file and .crt file
  • Freeze Frame MK4 1987 .bin and .crt file
  • Freeze Frame Lazer 1987 .bin and .crt file (MK5 naming by us)
  • Freeze Machine 1987 v1 two more slightly different .bin and .crt files
  • Freeze Machine 1987 v2 two more slightly different .bin and .crt files (one dubbed v2plus due to plus signs in the name. Tt seems plain v2 was later though)
  • Freeze Frame Compactor by Les Allen (filename says V2 - program does not, instead memory has: "Try and write your own software & not rip mine off EVESHAM MICROS")
  • Freeze Frame Loading Kit by Angus Ager (has two versions - "normal" and for "1570 (drives)")


Freeze_Frame_all_rr.c64.org_2021-02.rar contains:


Thanks to GRG, GenerationCBM, kaosOverride, Zer0-X and HOK for several missing dumps. Special thanks to MaD ][/SSP for the MK1 Blueberry clone dump!

Freeze Frame MK3B Advert
Freeze Frame MK3B Advert
Freeze Machine schematics
Freeze Machine schematics by Unseen
Freeze Machine Advert
Freeze Machine Advert
File:Freeze Frame Utility Disk v2.0 Instructions.jpg
Freeze Frame Utility Disk 2.0 Instructions


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