______           _                       __   __
(_____ \         (_)           _         / /  / /
 _____) )___ ___  _  ____ ____| |_      / /_ / /____
|  ____/ ___) _ \| |/ _  ) ___)  _)    / __ \___   _)
| |   | |  | |_| | ( (/ ( (___| |__   ( (__) )  | |
|_|   |_|   \___/| |\____)____)\___)   \____/   |_|
   ______        _                 _          _
  (_____ \      | |               | |        | |
   _____) ) ____| | ___   ____  _ | | ____ _ | |
  (_____ ( / _  ) |/ _ \ / _  |/ || |/ _  ) || |
        | ( (/ /| | |_| ( ( | ( (_| ( (/ ( (_| |
        |_|\____)_|\___/ \_||_|\____|\____)____|

Project 64 Reloaded


It was the year 1995 when Cris Berneburg had a very valuable idea of collecting important documents from the previous era of computing in a "future proof" format and making them publicly available. He created and for about three years tried to keep up to date the very first web pages dedicated to this purpose.

Obviously maintaining the website and updating all the documents is something that requires lots of time and may quickly become a tedious job rather than hobby fun. On 1998-11-15 Cris gave up and handed the project over to Kenneth Crouch. Kenneth seemingly also couldn't devote enough time and after a while, on 1999-09-03, Dean Thompson became the last in the row of maintainers to take the project over. He created a new site where he maintained the archive. But despite sincere efforts, the formula of running a website, which has to be maintained the classic way, always takes a lot of time and energy. More importantly this kind of formula doesn't allow for fast-paced collaboration and updating the documents. Some people have over time accumulated many corrections to the content originating from Dean's web pages. Those ranged from fixes of simple typos/OCR errors up to corrections of real, conceptual fallacies. Unfortunately, for a long time now, those updates are nowhere to be sent.

I don't want to repeat the history circle here and luckily, with the advent of online version control services like Github (and some earlier), things can change. This repository is meant to be publicly available and everyone can clone it, send pull request, etc. I also try to make it "loosely connected" to any person, especially myself. The owner of the repository is an "organisation" (in the sense of Gihub's terminology) called "Project-64" and can have multiple maintainers or can be transferred along with its whole content to another entity with ease. I have also created a — hopefully — more user friendly interface to the project's always latest "master" branch copies. The pages there contain also images of the original covers (restoration of which is another Project 64 Reloaded area of intense activity), allow reading or downloading the always latest versions and may be useful for all not so SCM/git/github savvy people out there. Please note however that while I expect the repository to last, the same cannot be guaranteed about the pages I maintain myself.

Happy reading, referencing and hacking!


Rules and Conventions

Contents format

Textual representations only1 are to be stored and revision-maintained in this repository. Textual formats mean (in order of preference2):

  • text/x-markdown; charset=UTF-8
  • text/plain; charset=UTF-8
  • application/x-tex
  • text/html; charset=UTF-8

Other, non-plain-text based formats or text/rtf; charset=UTF-8 format are currently welcome only for inclusion in the list of documents awaiting to be processed into one of the above listed textual format.

Spelling conflicts resolutions

Whenever the original book, document or source code comment contains an undeniable spelling mistake, it should be corrected. Spelling variant for such correction should be chosen according to the original language of the content. This includes also UK vs. US spelling differences. In other words: if for example the original book was written by British author(s) using British spelling variant, misspelled words should be corrected to the proper, British spelling.

Whenever the original content contains words, which are properly spelled in at least one of the language variants but would be considered misspelled in another one - the original spelling must be preserved. In other words: if for example the original book was written by British author(s) but they spelled some words correctly according only to the US spelling variant, such words must not be changed.

Project 64 headers

The original Project 64 documents contain a header with several important points:

  • The goal of Project 64 is to preserve Commodore 64 related documents in electronic text format that might otherwise cease to exist with the rapid advancement of computer technology and declining interest in 8-bit computers on the part of the general population.
  • Extensive efforts were made to preserve the contents of the original document. However, certain portions, such as diagrams, program listings, and indexes may have been either altered or sacrificed due to the limitations of plain vanilla text. Diagrams may have been eliminated where ASCII-art was not feasible. Program listings may be missing display codes where substitutions were not possible. Tables of contents and indexes may have been changed from page number references to section number references. Please accept our apologies for these limitations, alterations, and possible omissions.
  • The author(s) of the original document and members of Project 64 make no representations about the accuracy or suitability of this material for any purpose. This etext is provided "as-is". Please refer to the warrantee of the original document, if any, that may be included in this etext. No other warranties, express or implied, are made to you as to the etext or any medium it may be on. Neither the author(s) nor the members of Project 64 will assume liability for damages either from the direct or indirect use of this etext or from the distribution of or modification to this etext. Therefore if you read this document or use the information herein you do so at your own risk.

The above points remain valid with one, important change: Project 64 Reloaded is not about Commodore 64 only. We shall try to preserve valuable content pertaining to popular computing of the previous eras in general.

Some documents contain also one more header paragraph about the file format:

  • Document names are limited to the 8.3 file convention of DOS. The first characters of the file name are an abbreviation of the original document name. The version number of the etext follows next. After that a letter may appear to indicate the particular source of the document. Finally, the document is given a .TXT extension.

This one is much more controversial. God only knows how much I detest msdos and its "conventions", which held computer science and the whole industry aback for well over a decade and still keep haunting us even today. I am - however - willing to bury my personal feelings about "8.3 convention of DOS" and its "extensions" (SCNR) for the sake of continuity and consistency. This means that:

  • documents file names will remain limited to 8.3 uppercase characters
  • new documents will adhere to the original file naming specifications (huh - is it really me writing this?) for consistency with the original project. Obviously the letters after the last dot will vary according to the actual, textual format being used. Source code files will be named appropriately too.

The original Project 64 headers currently remain in the files, which were originally created by the first Project 64. New documents will receive "Project 64 Reloaded" headers, with information on the matters covered above.

Version numbering

Versioning is tricky here as we need to deal with both the legacy (including potentially conflicting variants roaming around) and some limitations of the repository platform (git). After many sleepless nights, it's been elected by a one person committee that when it comes to numbering the versions and respective changing of the names of the files, Project 64 Reloaded will respect the following guidelines:

  • version numbers for unaltered documents will remain as they were in the original archive.
  • version numbers of the documents updated within Project 64 Reloaded repository will be bumped by one minor number over the highest previously available and will remain so for its life in the repository, unless structural changes (like adding/removing content relevant sections) are introduced to the files.
  • If an updated version (with a higher version number than the originally used one) is found elsewhere and the changes are merged into the version available here - the version number will be updated accordingly.
  • New documents are given "0.1" version number and "WIP" mark in the version line until all original content is converted. At this point both digits swap their positions and the document drops its "WIP" mark.

A "version line" line in the etext like

MAPC6412.TXT. This replaces MAPC6411.TXT, etext #351# from June 1998.

shall continue to be located inside the header and used to distinguish between the versions as well as make it clear what document in what version, the current one is updated from.

Language of the documents

Unlike Dean I do not exclude a possibility of accepting documents, which originated in languages other than English. Very often original language versions are in fact better than the translations and I would find it rather unfair to deprive people of the possibility to enjoy the content in its original language glory. An example: "Das Große Floppybuch zur 1541", written originally by German authors and translated into English. While the English version (published by Abacus Software under the title "The Anatomy Of The 1541 Drive - A Complete Guide to Using The Commodore Disk Drive") is actually quite good, I still have this kind of feeling that German book is simply better. And no, German language is not my mother tongue.. ;-)

This liberal approach to languages of maintained documents is limited to the original language of the position to be included in the repository! In other words: position originally written in Czech (no, not my mother tongue either) should be accepted in both Czech and English but neither in Russian, nor in German nor in any other language.

Donations / sponsorship

Last and least — if you like the idea beyond the project and want to contribute but have no resources (time, skills, equipment, ...) to be an active participant and contributor to the content, please consider a donation in the form of electronic currency to the project's address. Received donations will be used to help the project by either purchasing additional books, professional services or related equipment, funding the development of interfaces to the content or distributed among active and interested contributors.

For direct donations/sponsorship of items like:

  • copies of rare and valuable books and documents
  • processing equipment (high quality automated scanners, binding equipment)
  • processing software (Top quality, commercial OCR and extensions)

please contact project members through project web pages.

1 - Exceptions are: non-changing, historical binary files, documentation for which is maintained by the project, and small preview files, which depict the main ones in a miniature form.

2 - Source code files - obviously - have to be stored in text/plain format only.