Well, looks like I've fried part of my parallel port; damn. Pin 11 (busy line) doesn't appear to work anymore. This is probably why I wasn't able to get the C64 to set it - or at least the PC to notice. The plus/4 downloader is now also dead because it also uses that bit; damn. I know the machine and cable are okay as I've currently got the Plus4 plugged into my server and it can upload from there; damn. Although....its VERY odd that only 1 pin has died - I'd have expected the whole thing to go, but since the C64 still happily displays values getting sent TO it, I know its still a little bit alive!
Oh well, this means I'll have to go buy a plug in card - but if I get a dual port, then I can have the C64 and Plus4 both plugged in at once. At least some good has some out of it. I remember reading about doing hardware stuff. You dont just pay with your time while you debug it, you pay with your wallet. Oh so true. Still, it also means my C64 cable is now ready to go....all it needs is a downloader! It should be around twice the speed of the plus4 one which can currently download XeO3 in around 7.5 seconds. 3 seconds, 7 seconds... doesn't really matter I guess - fast is fast.
If I get around to doing my remote debugger, it might be nice to have a proper bidirectional port - even if it is a nibble. When I was doing a playstation debugger with the PSone action replay's I was using a bidirectional serial port on that and it was great, it made its communications very robust. I'm still determained to do a full, proper remote debugger for both the C64 and the Plus4. Theres something very satisfying about debugging on actual hardware. Of course...emulators have some BIG advantages - like being able to debug interupts, being able to stop and view hardware registers at any point...well... pretty much everything! But its still not a real machine your controlling. Oh I dont know...it would just be cool.