It's been a long wait, but I was finally able to get around to picking myself up a Flyer Internet modem for my C64, made by Retroswitch. If you've never heard of the Flyer, it's very similar to the Comet64, which I've discussed previously, except that along with being an Internet device it also doubles as a disk drive emulator.
You connect the Flyer to your disk drive port, on your C64, either by directly plugging it into the port (like a floppy drive) or connect it in series to another disk drive or printer (again, just like any other disk drive). You can assign the Flyer with any device number, from 8 up through 15, and you access the modem part of the Flyer by using device number 7.
Like the Comet64, you can use the Flyer to connect to on-line storage services, like commodoreserver.com, commodoreonline.com, and cbm8bit.com but unlike the Comet64, you also have the ability to download disk images directly and store them on the Flyer's internal Flash memory. In addition to these on-line services, Retroswitch also provides software that allows you set-up your own disk image server, so you're not dependent on just these resources.
One of the drawbacks of the Comet64 is that currently it doesn't have the ability to run software that relies on multiple file loads from the disk. That is, if there's a game or program that initially loads from the disk, then needs to load a secondary file from disk, it fails because the disk image resides on device #2, not #8 (which almost all multi-load programs assume).
This is not an issue for the Flyer, as you can assign it to run as drive #8. So, any game or program that needs to load a secondary file can do so. Of course, it does require me to have the disk image stored on the Flyer, rather than allowing me to just leaving the program on the server. But this does save me from having to actually extract the disk image back onto a physical floppy disk, which is what I had to do when I just had the Comet64.
However, similarly to the Comet64, the Flyer does allow me to run individual .prg files right from the Internet, without having to store them on the device itself. So, for those programs/games that do not require secondary files to load, the Flyer performs nicely (as does the Comet64).
I'll be playing around with the Flyer over the next little while. Hopefully I can get around to shooting a bit of video to demonstrate the device, here on the Blog.