Feeds

'Ultimate nerd chick’ prompts C64 clone cancellation

Project Bread Bin... binned

Mobile application security vulnerability report

A damning tweet from one Jeri Ellsworth, described by a Register reader as “the ultimate Commodore 64 nerd chick”, has put the mockers on Project Bread Bin, one retro-tech fan’s dream to build a cut-price Commodore 64-compatible computer in a keyboard case.

Earlier this week, C64 fan Daniel Biehl called out to the crowd to request $150,000 to fund the device’s development.

But following harsh criticism by snooty soldering-iron wielders on electronics forums, which in turn led to Ellsworth’s put-down, Biehl has now cancelled the project.

Pledges made will be refunded, though since the poor lad had only managed to drum up a handful of supporters that won’t be difficult.

But why should one lass’s tweet make such a difference? Ellsworth, it turns out, is something of a celebrity among hardware hackers and of Commodore 64 fans in particular.

In 2002, she co-designed the C-One, a motherboard based on a 6502-compatible CPU and a set of field-programmable gate array (FPGA) chips which can be loaded with code to emulate the Commodore 64’s dedicated logic.

On the back of the C-One, Ellsworth was hired in 2004 to build the C64 Direct-to-TV, a joystick that hooked up to a TV to play 30 pre-loaded C64 games. She’s been tinkering with various kinds of C64-related hardware ever since and now has something of a cult following among makerboys, including Biehl, according to the Project Bread Bin site.

Ellsworth’s tweets damned Biehl’s project first as “naïve” and later as a “scam” - a verdict he says he found “heartbreaking”. No chance of a date now, we fear...

Reflecting on the week’s events, Biehl writes: “In hindsight I can see where I’ve screwed up in putting this project together. I’ve made mistakes and I admit it.” But he denies the project was a swindle.

As other, less disparaging commenters have noted, Biehl asked for $150,000 without any real idea as to how much hiring hardware developers and moulding experts to create protoypes would cost, something he tacitly admitted on the project’s web page. Perhaps, they say, he should have checked all this out before asking for contributors’ cash.

But it’s not at all uncommon for enthusiasm to shoulder past calm reason. Where someone is calling for funding for their dream device, others are responding to the call - rushing to be an emptor and forgetting the caveat - while other folk just hurl invective on forums. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.