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Connecting anything to anything: How the MuleSoft team got a Commodore 64 to tweet

MuleSoft Commodore Pic

When MuleSoft engineering recently organized a two-day internal hackathon, their team of four:

  • Jeff Harris – Principal Engineer
  • James Hall – Interaction Designer
  • Steven Butt – Senior Software Engineer
  • James Nieper – Senior DevOps Engineer

immediately got to work brainstorming what to build.  Very quickly they gravitated towards creating an interactive IoT installation that would illustrate how MuleSoft’s technology makes it easy to connect the world’s data and devices together in interesting and useful ways. Moreover, MuleSoft also wondered how far they could stretch the limits of connectivity. What if they could connect to something that didn’t have an API ready for them to use? What if they could connect to something that had never been a part of the internet before? That was when MuleSoft decided to try and turn a Commodore 64 into an IoT device!

MuleSoft Commodore Pic 2

The Commodore 64 was introduced in 1982 and was the best selling personal computer in history.  In its day, it was the best gaming machine available, due to its innovative graphics and audio chips.  As great as it was in 1982, there were major limitations MuleSoft knew they had to overcome to bring it into 2016.

MuleSoft Commodore Pic 3

The first problem is, obviously, there is no ethernet port and certainly no WiFi, so how do they connect it to anything?  The second problem was that it has “only” 64KB of RAM, so even if MuleSoft could somehow feed it some Twitter JSON input, they would not even have enough space to store all those bytes, let alone process them!

They wanted the Commodore 64 to display data from various services, like Twitter, real-time weather, and the MuleSoft visitor log. Their goal was to have the Commodore 64 sitting in their lobby, greeting visitors and showing that MuleSoft can truly connect anything.  To make the Commodore 64 into a fully functional IoT device MuleSoft designed a RESTful API to allow it to be controlled from a phone where users can send certain commands such as changing the displayed colors or making it play a sequence of beeps.

To achieve all of this MuleSoft came up with the following reference architecture:

MuleSoft Commodore Pic 4

CLICK HERE to read the full article and find out how MuleSoft’s technology was able to connect a Commodore 64 to Twitter!


To learn more on how Tallan can help deliver a successful integration solution for your cloud and on-premise MuleSoft needs, CLICK HERE.

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