How to load a .PRG file in VICE
Usually you’d attach a disk image to the VICE emulator and load one of several files from your virtual disk. Occasionally though you’ll come across single files ending in .PRG – those are the files that are contained on a disk image.
Remember those weird three letter abbreviations on the right hand side when you list your floppy directory?
Those are the extensions of single files (there’s PRG, SEQ, USR and REL), and the actual file name appears on the left.
VICE can attach disk images, but it can also display lose files we may have stored in a directory. All we need to do is tell VICE where that directory is and it will make it accessible to the virtual machine.
To do this, start your favourite emulator and head over to Settings – Peripheral Settings. Next pick the drive you’d like to attach the directory to (say Drive 8) and tick the box that reads “Use IEC Device”. Now pick the desired directory and you’re all set!
This will turn the entire directory into a disk image on the fly. Now you can list whatever is in said directory either with DIRECTORY or LOAD”$”,8 followed by LIST. Load and run your .PRG as you usually would.
This works fine on the C64 and C128 emulators. The Plus/4 seems to have a problem with this approach as of VICE version 2.4.