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Breadbox64: A Twitter Client For Your Commodore 64

| 18 Jun 2009 21:48
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Do you adore your 64 and want to tell the world? Then you need Breadbox64, a Twitter client for the Commodore 64 that lets users take part in the microblogging phenomenon on a computer that's old enough to have children.

You can Twitter from your cellphone, but have you ever wondered if you can Twitter from your C64? The answer is yes, you can, with Breadbox64, a Twitter client developed by electronic engineer Johan Van den Brande that makes use of the MMC Replay cartridge with an RR-Net daughterboard that facilitates the physical connection to the internet. Driving it all is Contiki, an open source operating system for "memory-efficient networked embedded systems."

"With Breadbox64 you can post status messages and view your friends timeline," Van den Brande wrote on his website. "The timeline refreshes every two minutes. After starting you provide your Twitter username and password separated by a colon. After pressing enter, the timeline is retrieved and shown. At the bottom of the screen there is an input field for you to type a status message. Pressing enter will post that message to Twitter."

What's the point? I look at it as rather like Mount Everest: It's there. People who still have a functional Commodore 64 kicking around the house are probably the sort of enthusiast tinkerers to whom a project like this would seem like an absolutely fantastic way to blow an afternoon or two. Remember, too, that there was a time when the C64 wasn't just an early PC, it was magic on your television screen; for some guys, that feeling never completely went away.

Not that I can really relate; this sort of technical jibba-jabba is way beyond me. "RR-Net daughterboard" and "network embedded systems?" I'm still trying to get a grip on Twittering on a real PC, after finally signing up last night. (And you can rest assured that I would never use an opportunity like this to shamelessly plug my newfound Twitification by pointing out that you can follow me simply by clicking this link.) But if you're an old-time Commodore fan with a technical bent, Breadbox64 might be right up your alley.

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