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Python codecs for CBM PETSCII and Screencode encodings

Project description


The cbmcodecs2 package provides a number of encodings for handling text from Commodore 8-bit systems. Much of the credit for this package must go to Linus Walleij of Triad, as these codecs were built from his PETSCII to Unicode mappings which can be found at The screencodes codec was created by hand later and borrows from them.

This package is an updated fork of the original cbmcodecs package, which now seems unmaintained.

Requires Python 3.x


Easiest is to install the latest version directly from Pypi :

pip install cbmcodecs2


Currently there are four codecs defined for variations of the PETSCII encoding:


The English version of the Commodore 64 mixed-case character set


The English version of the Commodore 64 upper-case/graphics character set


The Japanese version of the VIC-1001 Latin upper-case/graphics character set


The Japanese version of the VIC-1001 Latin upper-case/katakana character set


The English version of the VIC-20 mixed-case character set


The English version of the VIC-20 upper-case/graphics character set

There are two codecs defined to handle the Screencode (POKE) encoding:


Mixed-case mapping to screencodes (POKE) used by the Commodore 64 and Vic20


Upper-case/graphics mapping to screencodes (POKE) used by the Commodore 64 and Vic20

Simply import the cbmcodecs2 package and you will then be able to use them as with any of the encodings from the standard library:

import cbmcodecs2

with open('file.seq', encoding='petscii_c64en_lc') as f:
    for line in f:


As with the original PETSCII to Unicode mapping files, the cbmcodecs2 package is Licensed under the GNU GPL Version 2, see the LICENSE.txt file for the full text.

Unicode symbols used

Aside from the regular alphanumerics and symbols, the unicode mapping uses the following unicode block drawing and other symbols to mimic a bunch of PETSCII characters:

£ π ✓ ← ↑ ─ │ ┌ ┐ └ ┘ ├ ┤ ┬ ┴ ┼ ╭ ╮ ╯ ╰ ╱ ╲ ╳ ▁ ▂ ▃ ▄ ▌ ▍ ▎ ▏ ▒ ▔ ▕ ▖ ▗ ▘ ▚ ▝ ○ ● ◤ ◥ ♠ ♣ ♥ ♦


Linus Walleij - Original C64 and VIC-20 mappings

Dan Johnson - Translation of C64 & VIC-20 mappings to python codecs

Irmen de Jong - Screencode mappings, bug fixes and unit tests. Updated to cbmcodecs2 package.

Simon Rowe - box drawing character improvements and Japanese VIC-1001 codecs.

Project details

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