I've decided to cancel the project. It seems someone who is very public and someone who I admire has publically pronounced the whole thing a scam. I cannot compete with publicity like that. Since I do admire this person this is heartbreaking.
I'm not angry at anybody for their tweets because in hindsight I can see where I've screwed up in putting this project together. I've made mistakes and I admit it. I just wish people would have contacted me to see what's up before making public statements.
I've refunded the money to the people who've contributed. You should have it in a few business days. If you don't let me know and I'll see what the hold up is.
The idea of a retro-computer that doesn't require technical skills such as electronic engineering or programming skills or special equipment to put them together is still a dream of mine. Maybe somebody else will take up the mantle and carry on with it. Maybe I'll find a more conducive way to do it.
To all the people who did email me with positive feedback and cool suggestions I do thank you for the support that I got.
Welcome To Project Bread Bin
The Commodore 64 was ubiquitous in the 80s. For many it was a gateway to adventure with one of the many games that was created for it, for others it was a canvas to produce unique and stylized art or music and for others it helped launch their careers.
Project Bread Bin is an effort to create a Commodore 64 compatible computer so that people may once again enjoy that awesome computer. It will be a computer in a keyboard, just as the original Commodore 64 was, that will work straight out of the box.
Please note that due to Trademark issues it will not be called a Commodore 64, C64 or use the familiar "bread bin" style case or the "64c" style case.
Project Bread Bin will include the following features:
- Be as close to 100% backwards compatible with all Commodore 64 software.
- Be able to attach and use any peripheral that was made for the Commodore 64.
- Be able to tell if it is running NTSC or PAL software and adjust itself automatically.
- Be able to connect to a modern display device or monitor as well as having the traditional "audio and video out" so you can play the game and record the game play footage at the same time.
- Be able to use a Micro SD card to store software.
- Have the ability to connect to a Local Area Network or the Internet.
- Have the familiar keyboard with the Petscii icons printed on them.
- Be under $100 USD.
A Little About Me
My name is Daniel Biehl and I'm a retro computer enthusiast, amateur programmer and hobbyist electrical enthusiast. The idea for project Bread Bin came to me when I was trying to build an X1541 based cable. I was getting frustrated trying to find the plans for the "right" cable that could be used with my computer. The problem was my computer is a newer one and does not have a serial or parallel port. I would have to use USB or find another way to transfer files between my Commodore 64 and my computer.
That's when it occured to me. With all the successful crowd funding going on for games and other technology why doesn't somebody use that to bring back these older computers but with a few modern conviences. After a few days of thinking about this I figured if I wanted this to happen then I'd need to be the one to do it.
Of course I can not do it myself. I don't have the technical skills to recreate the 8-bit Commodore 64 with the additional improvements in a reasonable amount of time. That is why I'm doing this campaign. Those who contribute will get a first run Commodore 64 compatible computer by helping me getting the things made.
What We Need & What You Get
In order to do this I'll need to raise $150,000. I will need to hire a firm to design the electronics and do so in a reasonable amount of time. I will also need to have the case designed too. In doing research on this I've discovered that each prototype that is made will have to be paid for and if you need more than one prototype the costs can add up quite a bit.
Other hidden costs that have shown up are the fees that IndieGoGo will take and what ever the U.S. Government will take in taxes. Also I'll have to pay for help to keep on top of the group of people who have contributed to the campaign so that they will get their perks in a timely and orderly manner.
For Early Adopters
The price for the computer is $75 which will fullfill the goal of being under $100. But, as a special perk for early adopters there will be a handful of machines that will go for $60. That's $15 off of the price. There will be a limited number of coupons for that price too for those who want to get a computer but don't mind ordering it later. See perks listed on the side for more details.
What If I Don't Reach The Funding Goal?
You might notice that I'm using the flexible funding option. That means if I don't raise all the money for the project I'll get the partial funding. If this happens then I'll use the available money to fund building the protoypes and getting the case design work for as far as the available money will go. Then, I'll create another campaign highlighting the prototype and attempt to raise more money to finish the project.
This project is very important for me. I really want there to be a proper replacement for my aging Commodore 64 and I'm pretty sure there are other people in the retro computing and gaming scene that feels the same way.
- Backwards compatibility.
- Being able to use peripherals built for the machine.
- Ability to detect NTSC/PAL software (where applicable)
- Ability to connect to modern display devices as well as an audio/video out option.
- Ability to us a Micro SD Card to store data.
- Ability to connect to a Local Area Network and the Internet.
- Familiar keyboard.
- Low cost (under $100 USD). Please note that if we do get to the 16-bit computers (Amiga, Atari ST, Apple ][GS) that the prices will most likely be a bit higher so we can afford to build the machines and license any software that would come with it.
Spread The Word
It's understandable that not everybody may want to participate in this campaign financially. If that's the case with you then please consider spreading the word. There are tools available for you to do that and it is greatly appreciated!
You can reach me at the below email address. Just put “Interview or Questions” in the header.