What is this "CD Project" all about?
What we are doing is gathering up pictures of all the Vic20 items we
can find. We are putting all the individual pictures onto a CD-ROM. We plan
to add HTML code so that you can view what is on the disk, as if the CD itself
was a giant web site full of Vic20 pictures. This will essentially
be the virtual equivalent of a museum dedicated to the
Vic20 home computer. Click here if you want
to read more about the history and philosophy of the project.
What do you plan to include on the CD?
Pictures of Vic20 items are going to be the bulk of what is on the CD.
Any texts we find that we feel would be helpful or interesting to Vic20
collectors or historians, will also be included. There will most likely not
be any VIC-20 software on the CD, except for the few things
that are LEGAL to include. There are already some
programs that are legal to include, and we will
endeavor to locate others. So that everyone can see what we are
doing, as we are working on this, we keep lists that you can view here. You
can see what items have been contributed so far,
item-by-item, or you can get a quick summary
that shows what we do have, compared to what we still want to find.
When will the CD be ready?
When it is ready. Not before then. ;-)
You have to remember that this is a non-profit project, being
run by unpaid volunteers. We have lives. If we have other things
to do that are higher on our personal priority lists, then we
will put this project aside for awhile. If we just do not
feel like working on this or any other project at some particular time,
we have the right to just "say no". But progress is
being made, and we believe the end result will be
a quality product that fans of this system will genuinely enjoy.
Here is the bad news: Certain things have held the project
back. One of these was Ward (me) taking a year's
vacation away from video games in general, because I was seriously
close to burning out completely if I kept forcing myself to
work all the time. (See
news section.) A few other
prominent VIC-20 collectors apparently had similar feelings, and
some have dropped out of the "scene" altogether over the years. We've
all learned that balance is a necessary thing!
Here is the good news: None of the work we did before
has been lost. As of July 2000 there is 373 megabytes of stored
pictures on Ward's hard drive. Ward owns a
CD-ROM burner now, along with a quality color
printer, so liner artwork and duplication of the master
disk will not be a problem. We also have gotten in a number
of things we did not initially expect we would ever have access to, so
the project itself has expanded a bit beyond the original plans, too.
How much will this CD cost?
The plan all along has been for this to be a strictly
non-profit project, done as a "labor of love". We'll have to
see how things turn out, when it gets closer to the time
when the CD is ready for sale to others.
Some people are telling me that they would not mind if we tagged
on a tiny "profit" margin, above the actual costs to
make this product. If we do, it would only be a token
amount, since we've invested hundreds of hours of unpaid labor
and I'net time to make this CD.
Why use HTML?
Software to "browse the web" is cheap and standardized. (Mostly.) A
number of retrogaming projects have successfully used HTML code to make their
CD's both easy to view and to be compatible with the widest range of computers.
Anyone with a web browser and a computer to run that on, will be
able to view the images on our CD-ROM.
Who is involved in this project?
The person that runs this web site (Ward Shrake) is the head honcho.
It was his idea to do this project. A number of
others have voluntarily helped the project along. I thank them for
their help, and I hope others appreciate our work.
Will I be paid if I contribute to
Maybe with "fame" and
warm, fuzzy feelings but definitely not with money.
All contributors are doing this for the love of the subject
matter, not the promise of financial gain.
(That includes me.) Remember, the plan is that this is
a non-profit effort. Where then would the money come from?
You can't get blood out of a turnip, no matter
how hard you squeeze it! If I was treating this
project like a business instead of the hobby
it is, I would be the first in line with my
Even when I put out my Vic20 "cart list" way back
in 1995, I have taken pains to
credit others who've helped us. When
the final CD is ready to go, lists similar to these will be included
on the CD itself, to reward contributors. But no money
will be paid to any person. (In case anyone
wonders, the "staff" designation is largely
honorary. Anyone who contributes to any large degree is
allowed input, but Ward makes the
final decisions, as it was his project to begin with,
and he is putting out more time and money
than anyone else. Any person listed as "staff" did
a heck of a lot for the project.)
Will you be giving out free CD's when this is all
No. Again, remember that this is a non-profit venture. No
profits equal no money to pay for giving anything away.
If that makes sense to you,
great. If not, then
read this. Either way, please don't ask for "free" copies.
There is no such thing. Somebody has to pay
for them, and it certainly won't be the people that worked so hard to
One thing I am considering doing is putting
all of the graphics used for the liner artwork
and so on, on the CD itself. This would allow
anyone with a decent printer to make up more copies on their
own. The problem here is quality control, but if
it looks like we can give people a decent
product that they can easily duplicate for their
friends, etc, that may be a good thing? Keep in
mind the idea that since we are preservationists, that we
want this available decades from now.
Will this project infringe on anyone's
We certainly hope not. The plan at this point is to only include
the software that we know is "legal" because we've been given permission
by the copyright holders or original authors to release it.
As a hard-working historian and a person
concerned with preservation, I would like to include
the entire software library. But doing that could create problems.
We intend to honor both the spirit and the letter of all
applicable copyright laws, as best we know them. Many people
are very confused as to exactly what copyright means, what
it protects, and so on. The exact text can be
read on the internet, to see it for yourself. Hopefully,
this will eliminate much confusion. (Title 17 of the
United States Code is the
language of the law. A key part of the United State's
copyright laws is a principle that is commonly called
"fair use". See Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 107 to find out
all about "Fair use". You can read that section simply by
Basically, what that says is that as long as we behave reasonably, a
project like ours is entirely legal whether or not the
owners of various copyrights decide to give us permission to
use their stuff. If you read the guidelines for
"fair use" of a copyrighted material, this project fits perfectly.
It is a non-profit undertaking, it is
primarily a scholarly effort, and if anything, it may
even raise the value of the actual artifacts. Also, we
are "copying" only a tiny part of any one item; for instance, the
cover of a magazine instead of the entire magazine itself. All
in all, no reasonable persons should be offended? And if things
stay consistent, many of the people that created this computer,
its software and its history were happy to see it being
preserved. (See the "starter
kit" section for more info on that, as well as the
And in closing ....
There is a saying I like a lot. It
basically states that you always
have three things to choose from (speed, quality
and price) but you can only pick any two. In this
particular case, we
are already planning on keeping the cost
extremely low and the quality high, so speed is going to suffer.
So I will say this once again... please be patient! OK?
I'm not trying to be rude or mean or whatever;
I'd rather say it twice here, up front, than a hundred
times later on.