Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 22, 2009.

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I do a range of projects related to computer history. I've had a day job over the years, and with a recent layoff, a chance is here to finish a bunch.

My name is Jason Scott.
If you ask me who I am and what I do, I'll tell you I'm a computer historian. And a documentary filmmaker. And a pundit/media critic. And a demoscener. And a rogue archivist.
For a few decades, I've been collecting digital and computer history - documents, machinery, artifacts, software. From this collection, many items have ended up on my site TEXTFILES.COM (http://www.textfiles.com) , which has many hundreds of gigabytes of data, free for download and covering 50 years of computer history. I've also made documentaries, including a film called "BBS: The Documentary" (http://www.bbsdocumentary.com) which produced an 8-episode miniseries from 205 interviews conducted over four years.
My current documentary, "Get Lamp", is about computer text adventures and has also been a few years in the making. (http://www.getlamp.com) I've been spending a lot of my time editing this movie, getting the artifacts for various shots, and preparing for what I hope will be an excellent packaging and presentation of the finished movie.
I've traveled a bit, giving presentations about history and punditry (a collection of some of them is at http://ascii.textfiles.com/speaking), and have appeared on a number of panels, podcasts, TV shows and articles talking about my projects.
I am co-organizer of an north american demoparty called BLOCKPARTY (http://www.demoparty.us) which is a yearly event showcasing creativity in computer art and music.
Most recently, I co-founded a group called Archive Team, which is a set of rogue activist archivists who are working to bring light to the loss of personal data and who have worked to save digital artifacts from a bunch of mediums and websites before they're lost forever. That's at http://www.archiveteam.org.
Throughout all this, I had a day job - computer administration. It paid well, but I paid for it with my health. When my most recent employer and I parted ways, I decided I'd take this time finish some of the bigger projects I've been working on.
I suddenly thought back to Kickstarter and got this crazy idea - what if I simply asked the world and fans to contribute a bit of money towards keeping me somewhat solvent, and give me the opportunity to go full-time with computer history? If I was able to get all these things done over the years, what if I just asked people to subscribe or give me some patronage and in return I fill their free time with cool stuff to look at, learn from, and enjoy?
I chose $25000 because that would remove, summarily, any living costs and basic needs I would have while I was working on my projects. The money will go to keeping me floating while I do these projects; If more than this amount comes in, I will not consider this profit, but a mandate to keep going on projects further. My rough estimate is that $25k will keep me going for at least 3-4 months, and probably longer. That's full-time, constant work on saving computer history, speaking, and presenting.
Naturally, you'll want updates. I promise to provide weekly updates with what I've accomplished for the week, with significant photos, links, and collections of documents you can download. You'll see results almost immediately, and have significant amounts of stuff to browse through for your contribution. Everything I release will be open-licensed, of course.
For rewards, I've come up with a few collected DVDs (with related ISOs) I would make available to people of some of my archives, as both a thank you and a good excuse to properly curate some of the sites and clean up any unfinished parts due to, you got it, lack of free time.
So there's my dream. Are you in?

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  • Pledge $25 or more
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    127 backers

    You'll be listed as one of the benefactors of my sabbatical page, and shown as a patron. You will also be added (if you wish) to an e-mail list that will be notified each Friday of project updates, and links to new material I've brought online, at least 2 days before I otherwise announce it.

  • Pledge $50 or more
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    63 backers

    You'll be listed as one of the benefactors of my sabbatical page, and shown as a patron. You'll also get a compilation of the main TEXTFILES.COM site as well a collection of subsites provided as downloadable links to ISOs.

  • Pledge $100 or more
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    58 backers

    You'll be listed as one of the benefactors of my sabbatical page, and shown as a patron. You'll also get a compilation of the main TEXTFILES.COM site as well a collection of subsites,on 3 DVD-ROMs (estimated) packaged and autographed, as well as links to ISOs of same.

  • Pledge $625 or more
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    0 backers

    Everything offered previously, plus I will come to your location for an evening, play footage/episodes from the BBS Documentary or Get Lamp, and discuss with your group about whatever related subjects you'd like to. Must be reasonable driving distance for a day trip, so I can avoid flight/hotel costs. Presentation length would be variable, probably in the range of 2-3 hours. You'd also get 3 copies of the BBS documentary at the end. You will also get a copy of GET LAMP sent to you. Message me for questions or details.

  • Pledge $750 or more
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    7 backers

    You're listed as a patron, and get sent a hard drive with all of the textfiles.com properties, in either EXT3 or NTFS format. This is roughly a terabyte of content, all yours. I'll gladly autograph it or pose with it if that's your thing. You'll also get a copy of the BBS Documentary and a future copy of GET LAMP when it comes out.

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