Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 38 / JULY 1983 / PAGE 10

VIC Memory Loss Cure

When using programmable characters, you lose some of your present memory. Is there any way to regain that memory without turning off the VIC?

Brian Gaetjens

Yes, and it can be done with a few easy POKEs. The most common way that memory is reserved for programmable characters is by POKEing locations 51 and 52 (the "pointer" for string storage in RAM), and locations 55 and 56 (the pointer for the limit, or "top," of memory). In the unexpanded VIC, the most common way to reserve character set space is to: POKE 51,0: POKE 55,0: POKE 52,28: POKE 56,28. This will reserve, or partition off, 512 bytes (enough for 64 programmable characters) at the top of BASIC RAM, leaving the programmer with 3069 bytes for BASIC programs. To reset the VIC to its original parameters, type: POKE 51,0: POKE 52,30: POKE 55,0: POKE 56,30. This will restore the VIC to its original configuration, and give you 3581 bytes for BASIC programming.