About this project
Printed on thick 130gr/m² matt paper, hardback, A5 size (148x210mm), about 220-240 pages. It will include the names of all the backers. The PDF version will be sent to the backers of the book once it has gone to print.
The book is described in more detail below.
Cartridge cards set
A full set of all the Commodore game and utilities cartridge covers printed on heavy paper (350gr/m²), postcard size (10x15cm), with a sleeve box.
On the back there will be some information about the cartridge.
There are 37 VIC-19xx series (the full set, leaving out the Japanese versions that only had a generic box) and 7 VIC-1xxx series cartridges (see index below) for a total of 44 cards.
One bookmark will be free with the book, but if you want the full set you can get it by adding €9 to your pledge and sending me a message (see the "Add-ons" section below for more information). They will be digitally printed on thick paper, 5cm x 15cm in size, on one side.
The images are taken from the following games: 1) Draw Poker 2) The Count 3) Voodoo Castle 4) Pirate's Cove 5) Superslot 6) Adventureland 7) Star Battle 8) Jupiter Lander 9) Road Race. Number 10 is inspired by the VIC 1001 / early US VIC 20 packaging.
(All gone!) One copy of the book in English + one copy of Chris Wilkins The History of Ocean Software (paperback), both signed by the author
If you missed the Ocean book this is your chance to get both!
Limited to 10 copies.
(All gone!) One copy of the book in English + one copy of Koen De Brabander's 8-bit Kids - Growing up with the Commodore 64 ("8-BIT STICKY HARDBACKER" reward), both signed by the author
Limited to 10 copies.
Add-ons are an unofficial but very common way to add more rewards to your pledge, because Kickstarter only permits one pledge per backer.
So, instead of creating endless reward combinations (e.g. 1 book + 2 card sets, 3 copies of the book, 2 books + 2 card sets, and so on), you just increase your pledge and send me a message so I can take note. I will cover additional shipping expenses at no cost.
- Additional books: add €29 each
- Additional signed book: add €39 each
- Signed copy: add €10
- Additional cartridge card sets: add €19 each
- Full bookmarks set: add €9 each
Please start by choosing the "nearest" pledge to your needs. Examples:
- You want one book and two card sets (USA shipping) → choose the “One copy of the book plus one cartridge card set” reward at €48 + €23 shipping, for a total of €71; add €29 to the total by pledging €100, then send me a message about the additional book.
- You want one signed book and one card set (UK shipping) → choose the “One copy of the book plus one cartridge card set” reward at €48 + €14 shipping, for a total of €62; add €10 to the total by pledging €72, then send me a message about the signed copy.
Remember that you can always increase your pledge, even if you've already pledged for a reward. For more info check this FAQ.
✔︎ € 10,000 Kickstarter goal reached! The book is funded.
✔︎ € 12,000* The book will be printed on even thicker 150gr/m² paper
✔︎ € 12,750* The cover will feature UV varnish on the keys for a cool matt/glossy contrast effect.
✔︎ € 13,000* One VIC 20 themed bookmark will be added to the book. You will choose yours at the end of the campaign.
✔︎ € 13,500* A VIC 20 themed sticker will be added.
✔︎ € 14,000* One folded A3 poster will be added. It will feature an exclusive photo not in the book.
✔︎ € 14,500* One more folded A3 poster will be added. It will feature a photo from the book.
✔︎ € 15,500* Two more folded A3 posters (4 posters total) will be added.
✔︎ € 16,500 8 more pages will be added to the book: two pages for each Commodore cassette 6 pack.
* these stretch goals will be added to the physical copy of the book. Backers of the pdf version won't receive any physical item.
Commodore VIC 20: A Visual History is a book about the computer that made Commodore enter the home market, with all its early peripherals. The VIC 20 was the first colour home computer to cost less than $300, the first to sell one million units, the first to have a modem for under $100, and the first approach to personal computing for a whole generation.
Many books celebrate the even more successful Commodore 64, but I felt that its little brother deserved some attention too.
“A visual history” doesn't mean that there won't be any text: every chapter will have an introduction, and there will be some contributions by the VIC launch team (known as the VIC Commandos).
The first half of the book will show all the VIC models and revisions, from the Japanese VIC 1001 to the cost-reduced VIC 20 sold worldwide; there will be pictures of all the peripherals that Commodore released for this computer such as drives, printers, the VICmodem, expansions, joysticks and paddles.
Here's a mock-up of a few pages; the graphic layout of theese pages and the cover are designed by my long time friend and partner at work Raffaele Lodolo, a graphic designer with 25 years experience. Content and graphic layout are not yet definitive.
The second half of the book will present all the Commodore games on cartridge, with cover scans, descriptions and screenshots.
A few games will feature a double page image, with all the text patiently removed in Photoshop to reveal the beauty of the original illustration.
The scans will be professionally color corrected to remove the ink fading and the yellowing of the cardboard (all the games are more than 30 years old); every scratch will be removed to present the covers in their original splendour.
This is a rough index of all that you will find in the book.
- VIC 1001
- Early NTSC VIC 20
- Early PAL VIC 20
- Cost reduced VIC 20
- Motherboard (all the main ICs explained)
- VIC 1010 Expansion Module
- VIC 1020 Expansion Chassis
- VIC 1515 Printer
- VIC 1525 Printer
- VIC 1540 and 1541 Floppy drives
- C2N Cassette Unit
- C2N Datassette
- Paddles and joysticks
- User Manual - A friendly computer guide
- Programmer’s reference guide
- An introduction to BASIC
- 3/8/16K RAM
- RS232C Interface
- Super expander
- Programmer’s Aid
- VICMon / Machine language monitor
- Star Battle
- Pac-Man / Jelly Monsters
- Super Alien
- Jupiter Lander
- Draw Poker
- Road Race
- Radar Rat Race
- The Sky is Falling
- Mole Attack
- Raid on Fort Knox
- Pirate's Cove
- Mission Impossible
- The Count
- Voodoo Castle
- Sargon II Chess
- Super Smash
- Cosmic Cruncher
- Omega Race
- Money Wars
- Cosmic Jailbreak
- Home Babysitter
- Personal Finance
- Visible Solar System
- Garden Wars
- Speed Math & Bingo Math
- Commodore Artist
- Sea Wolf
- Tooth Invaders
- Star Post
- Number Nabber, Shape Grabber
I have 20 years of professional experience in using Photoshop, so you can rest assured that every image will be thoroughly crafted to the best possible quality. I've been using QuarkXpress and then Adobe InDesign – both are professional publishing software – for the same number of years.
All the original RGB scans will be optimized for four-colour process printing, so as an example the original silver ink will be isolated and converted to a neutral gray to avoid colour dominants. The scans will be descreened to minimize the moire effect. Where possible, black elements such as text will be isolated and converted to a real 100% black (RGB conversion to CMYK for printing can't do that automatically).
As for the pictures, I own a Canon DSLR and an external Metz flash. You can see the quality of my shots on my site oldcomputr.com.
The size of the book will be A5: it's 148mm x 210mm, about 5.83in x 8.27in; it's half an A4 sheet or roughly half US letter. It will hardback, printed on thick 130gr/m² matt paper by a local printing house.
The teaser video
Someone called it the “iTeaser”... because I announced the "new" wonder computer of the 80s from Commodore with the style the iDevices are presented to the public in the last years. I think the result is quite funny, so here it is if you missed it.
I want to thank all the people who helped me to spread the word about the book and the Kickstarter campaign. I can't list you all because I should list most of the backers - you'll be in the book :-)
RETRO VIDEO GAMER A retro hub for reviews, news, homebrew news and guides.
RETRO GAMESMASTER A site about all things retro, with reviews, interviews and news.
CLIQUIST A team of writers that are passionate about games and the potential of crowdfunding.
Risks and challenges
Collecting and restoring computers has been my passion since 1994. I possess most of the items that will be in the book, and for the few that I don't have, I have plenty of acquaintances that can lend them to me.
For this project I don't depend on external resources except for the printing, so if the project gets funded there are no foreseeable risks.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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