Turn your old Commodore VIC-20 into a Twitter machine

Twitter’s popularity has accelerated so quickly in recent months that the 140-character messages seem to be everywhere. You can tweet from your computer wiBrian Jackson, journalistth a myriad of apps, or from any cell phone through a custom-made application or even a text message. You can even Tweet from your Xbox, and a friend recently told me she was checking Twitter in a dream she had. But thanks to the Personal Computer Museum in Brantford, Ont. you can add yet another device to that list (and slightly ethereal) list.

The museum has rigged up a Commodore VIC-20 to tweet. It will do so for the first time ever this Saturday, Feb. 20 at exactly 11 a.m. After that, museum patrons will also get a chance to craft their own 140-character message on the vintage computer.

The program, dubbed TweetVER (Tweeting from a Vintage ComputER), runs from a cassette tape. But even more impressive is the fact that the museum is giving away the software for free, in the open source model. You’ll be able to find it on sometime next week, says Syd Bolton, curator of the museum.

“My hope is that people will take this and make it work for other classic computers,” he says. “Whether it’s the Apple II or the Atari 8-bit, those computers are all capable of it.”

The software was originally only able to send out Tweets, but has been updated to also receive status updates.

So in the near future, there will be even more devices where you can read Twitter updates. These devices just happen to be 25 years old and have a fraction of the processor power as your cell phone.

Brian Jackson
Brian Jackson
Editorial director of IT World Canada. Covering technology as it applies to business users. Multiple COPA award winner and now judge. Paddles a canoe as much as possible.

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