REVIVAL Solstice 2016 – a resounding success!

View from the stage at REVIVAL Solstice 2016 - click to enlarge
View from the stage at REVIVAL Solstice 2016 – click to enlarge

Veteran retro gaming/arcade show organisers Revival Retro Events returned to take the retro scene by storm once again last weekend, after a break from major events since 2014.

Breaking new ground with a brand-new venue for the show, the event took place for the first time in the spacious Stadium Suite at the Banks’s Stadium (previously known as Bescot Stadium) – the home of Walsall Football Club in the West Midlands!

After a smaller comeback event last November in Wolverhampton, this year REVIVAL executed a mighty return to the scene with the aptly titled REVIVAL Solstice 2016 on 30-31 July.

Loads of fun and excitement on cab or computer!
Loads of fun and excitement on cab or computer!

Bringing back all the attractions of their previous fun-packed summer exhibitions, the latest show included:

  • Over 100 playable retro consoles and computers
  • Over 50 classic video arcade machines and pinball machines
  • On-stage competitions run by the Retro Lords, and prizes (including a Sinclair ZX Spectrum +3 donated by sponsors Retro Computing News!)
  • A selection of traders offering various retro collectables
  • The return of the guest talks panels and new gamer’s theatre
  • Reasonably priced, fully licensed bar and gamer’s snack bar
  • serving hot and cold food
Pinball wizards at REVIVAL Solstice 2016
Pinball wizards at REVIVAL Solstice 2016

The venue had the advantage of not being far from the M6 and right on the doorstep of Bescot Stadium Railway Station, although it’s fair to say the location caused a little confusion with some drivers finding it not so easy to locate as they thought.

One of the Retro Lords running a contest on stage
One of the Retro Lords running a contest on stage

But with hundreds attending on each day of the weekend, it’s clear that retro fans had more than enough to encourage them to beat a path to Bescot for more REVIVAL retro fun!

One of the several wheelers and dealers at REVIVAL
One of the several wheelers and dealers at REVIVAL

And our editor and publisher Stuart Williams, who spent the Saturday there in retro heaven, couldn’t agree more – and he came on the bus from Bloxwich!

Steve Turner (left), founder of Graftgold, being interviewed by Dean Swain
Steve Turner (left), founder of Graftgold, being interviewed by Dean Swain

He and many others attending found the talks/interviews organised by Retro Asylum particularly interesting, and was well pleased to be able to chat personally to Henrique Olifiers, who is bringing the new Sinclair ZX Spectrum Next project to the UK together with his colleagues from Brazil.

Henrique Olifiers shows off a Spectrum Next development kit board!
Henrique Olifiers shows off a Spectrum Next development kit board!

In fact, it was a great weekend to see rare and peculiar devices, and apart from the Spectrum Next prototype board and development kit which Henrique showed off proudly, there was a Dragon to be discovered – an ultra-rare Welsh GEC Dragon Professional prototype, of which apparently not more than 10 survive!

A Dragpn Professional - the rarest machine at REVIVAL Solstice 2016!
A Dragpn Professional – the rarest machine at REVIVAL Solstice 2016!

Stuart even had a chance to get the word from the horse’s mouth about the Coleco Chameleon retro games console fiasco earlier this year, when he was introduced at REVIVAL to Scott Schreiber of one of the USA’s top podcasts, Retro Gaming Roundup, who had brought a mockup of the infamous original mockup console…

Jim Bagley chats to the guys from Retro Gaming Roundup who brought a "mockup" of the unfortunate Coleco Chameleon...
Jim Bagley chats to the guys from Retro Gaming Roundup who brought a “mockup” of the unfortunate Coleco Chameleon…
A Chameleon by name, if not by nature...
A Chameleon by name, if not by nature…

Stuart also had the chance to chat and buy a couple of CD’s from Aidy (aka Adrian Killens), frontman of Cambridge-based and retro-inspired The British IBM band, who produce great music, by the way!

Will the real Aidy please stand up?
Will the real Aidy please stand up?
Epilog

Yesterday, organiser and head honcho of REVIVAL Retro Events Craig Turner, who was definitely in need of a well-earned rest by the end of the weekend, as were all of his volunteer team, had the following to say:

“After a good 8 months of blood, sweat and tears, REVIVAL Solstice 2016 was held last weekend and what a stormer it was – close to a thousand people descended on Banks’s Stadium over this sunny July end and helped us celebrate a return to proper scale after missing the calendar last year!

“We are just finishing unpacking our stuff, off-loading our casualties and testing our new pick-ups I’m sure, and will be taking a short holiday now whilst you all recover and the team thinks about our next move for a future REVIVAL event.

Game programming legend Jim Bagley being interviewed by Dean Swain
Game programming legend Jim Bagley being interviewed by Dean Swain

“Paul, Dean and Steve of Retro Asylum did a superb job of managing the Gamer’s Theatre this year and although Paul Rose had to drop out for health reasons, the other panels went ahead and were all incredibly popular. These included Jim Bagley’s past and current work in pushing system limits for game porting, Archer MacLean’s history in bringing the arcade experience home and Steve Turner’s insight into 8-bit development and publishing obstacles.

“Proof that retro is still undergoing a resurgence came with Henrique Olifiers and the first public appearance and hardware demonstration of the prototype ZX Spectrum Next, and we broke new UK event ground with a successful live video Q+A with Twin Galaxies founder Walter Day over in America, giving insight into his history and future plans for some involvement in the UK scene!

A Spectrum Next prototype board built by Victor Trucco
A Spectrum Next prototype board built by Victor Trucco

“Huge thanks to our organising team and assistants, plus props to everyone who assisted with equipment pledges, our traders, technical advice and more in the run up to the event, as well as our sponsors and supporters who help make this happen!

“For now, big thanks to the team: Bec Turner, Lee Turner, Haidee Turner, Emily Turner, Danny Heaton, Kate Frost, Courtney Frost, Simon Hardy, Kieren Hawken, Duncan Hawken, Duncan Woodward, Paul Little, Gareth Kennerley, Graeme Kennerley, Roger Cantor, Alexis Crowley, Mike Lees, Vinny Patel, Steve Pagett, Lawrence Quayle, Bobby Dixon, Spencer Guest, Rich Spowart, plus exhibitors like Tom Charnock,Mike James, Aidy and of course our talks hosts at Retro Asylum Paul Davies, Dean Swain and Steve Erikson plus guys like Chris, Chris, Chris (so many!), Andy, Martin, Steve, Beau, Kev, Jamie, Ashley, all our special guests and the venue for putting it all together for you guys to enjoy!”

The Retro Asylum podcast from the event is now available online via the following link:

http://castaway.media/retroasylum/2016/08/03/episode-146-revival-solstice-2016/

When Craig and the gang decide what they’re doing next, Retro Computing News will be sure to do our best to let you know what’s happening, dudes!

More photos

Meanwhile why not check out our online photo album of these and more selected images tahen by Stuart Williams last Saturday, on Flickr:

A Dragpn Professional - the rarest machine at REVIVAL Solstice 2016 - 1

Vintage Computer Festival West is back!

Vintage Computer Festival West is returning for its 11th iteration this coming weekend (Aug. 6-7, 2016) at the amazing Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, USA.

Back from a 9-year hiatus, the event is now being organised as part of the non-profit Vintage Computer Federation, a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organisation existing for, and led by, computer history hobbyists. The Federation evolved in autumn 2015 “from the DNA of related groups”.

Vintage Computer Festival West XI logo
Click to enlarge

The festival runs from Saturday, 9:30am-6:00pm, to Sunday, 9:00am-5:30pm.

Hands-on exhibits will be presented on Saturday and Sunday. You’ll find demos of 1960s minicomputers, 1970s homebrew systems, 1980s eight-bitters, and a few oddities. Some exhibits contain pristine original machines, while others focus on unique modern hacks, and everything in between.

Celebration Apple I

CharityBuzz are auctioning what may be the rarest Apple-1 in existence. Come see it at the show!

Early Amiga

There will also apparently be an Amiga 1000 with serial number 1 on show!

Consignment room

Vintage Computer Festivals are not flea/swap events, however the organisers are offering a consignment room.

Tickets/More information

Tickets are available now.  To book and for more details of the event including food etc, see the event web page – click on the link below.

http://vcfed.org/wp/festivals/vintage-computer-festival-west-xi/

REVIVAL Solstice 2016 retro event almost here!

Revival Solstice 2016 Floor Plan - click to enlarge
Revival Solstice 2016 Floor Plan – click to enlarge

Veteran retro gaming/arcade event organisers, Revival Retro Events, are almost ready to take the scene by storm once again, with REVIVAL Solstice 2016  due to take place over the weekend of 30-31 July at a completely new venue for the show, the Banks’s Stadium (previously known as Bescot Stadium) – the home of Walsall Football Club in the West Midlands!

After the event’s successful, albeit somewhat smaller, comeback event Winter Warmer 2015, last November, and previous big event successes, REVIVAL once again returns to large scale this summer with the aptly titled REVIVAL Solstice 2016.

New show plan
Arcade days all over again at REVIVAL 2014!
Arcade days all over again at REVIVAL 2014!

This new event marks the start of a new show plan for future REVIVAL events organised by the RRE team, headed up by Craig Turner, and brings back all the attractions of their previous fun-packed summer exhibitions.

This year’s event features already include:

  • Over 100 playable retro consoles and computers
  • Over 50 classic video arcade machines and pinball machines
  • On-stage competitions and prizes
  • A larger selection of traders offering various retro collectables
  • The return of the guest talks panels and new gamer’s theatre
  • Reasonably priced, fully licensed bar and gamer’s snack bar serving hot and cold food
  • New large summer venue for up to 1000 visitors per day
  • Easy transport access from M6 J9 and J10 and the Bescot Stadium railway station between Birmingham and Walsall.
  • Choice of nearby hotels with direct rail and bus links to the venue
The hunt is on for that retro holy grail at REVIVAL 2014...
The hunt is on for that retro holy grail at REVIVAL 2014…
Arcade antics

One huge pull for REVIVAL Solstice 2016 is those beauties of the golden age many of us first cut our gaming teeth on – the arcade machines! Here is a quick list of confirmed machines that have been pledged to the event from private collectors, with more to come!

  • Gorf
  • Area 51
  • Ridge Racer
  • Golden Axe
  • OutRun
  • Phoenix
  • Fix It Felix
  • Turbo OutRun
  • Neo-Geo
  • Killer Instinct
  • Space Firebird
  • Donkey Kong
  • Final Fight
  • Space Launcher
  • Puzzle Bobble
  • Gyruss
  • X-Men
  • Sheriff
  • Hang On
  • Qix
  • Hyper Street Fighter 2
  • Racing Hero
  • DoDonPachi
  • OutRun 2
  • Nintendo ‘Red Tent’ Vs. System
  • Ms. Pac-Man
  • Street Fighter 3 3rd Strike
  • The Simpsons
  • Atari Video Pinball
  • Centipede
  • Sega Rally
  • Terra Cresta

Plenty of favourites there, and there’ll be plenty of multigame machines to find those obscure and hidden gems you’d long forgotten!

Event page

The organisers have set up an event page via their  Facebook page and e-tickets are on sale directly from their ticket merchant here: https://www.tickettailor.com/ch…/view-event/…/47596/chk/069b

Tickets are priced at £12 per day/£20 for a weekend for adults, and concessional tickets at £6 per day/£10 for a weekend for children (12 or under), disabled users and their assistants.

And there’s more

Head honcho of REVIVAL, Craig Turner of Turnarcades, said:

“Thanks to the popularity and support shown by the attendees and contributors of our warm-up event, the team are once again in a position to bring back all the popular features of our previous full scale events as we always wanted to.

“This means that more contributors will be involved to bring you more playable systems, more games, more arcades, more pinball, more unique show experiences, new guests, more competitions, more traders, more stuff to buy and more prizes!

“This new event is intended to be complemented by a new size Winter event called ‘Equinox’, so be sure you join us this Summer and enjoy that excellent REVIVAL atmosphere to make sure it can happen!”

If anyone is interested in making any pledges, getting involved (the event is mostly volunteer-supported), or are interesting in sponsoring or having a trade spot at the event, you are invited to message the organisers through Facebook, or e-mail Craig Turner direct at turnarcades@hotmail.co.uk or via enquiries@revivalretroevents.com

More info

Full event information is posted on the official website at www.revivalretroevents.co.uk and key information is also posted on the organisers’ Facebook page.

For more about the venue, check out their website.

Sponsoring the show

Retro Computing News is proud to be one of the official sponsors of REVIVAL Solstice 2016, providing a competition prize of a Sinclair ZX Spectrum +3 home computer! We’ll also be covering the event and you may find our editor Stuart Williams, who will be representing Retro Computing News, on our table there.

RCN Sponsors

LATEST INFO

We’ll be be issuing more announcements before the event, including more about special industry guests, but to catch up on the latest, check out posts on the special event Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1568884490091807/?active_tab=posts

 

 

Mastertronic tribute book Kickstarter goes live

The Mastertronic Archives

A project to produce books detailing the history of Mastertronic budget computer games has gone live on Kickstarter.

Founded in 1983 by Martin Alper, Frank Herman and Alan Sharam, British company Mastertronic went on to become one of the UK’s biggest home video game publishers of the 1980s.

The company’s marketing strategy of putting games on shelves at the low price of just £1.99, when most other games sold from £4.99, resulted in booming sales and massive profits for the London-based company.

The Kickstarter appeal aims to produce both a standard volume and an enhanced collector’s volume detailing the history of these games.

The project is being organised by publishers Player One Books of Canberra, Australia. The books are unofficial publications.

Standard edition

First up is the Standard Edition 256 page hardcover book covering all of the Mastertronic £1.99 releases including game reviews, game credits, screen shots, cover images and more.

Collector’s Edition

The special 512 page Collector’s Edition includes everything in the Standard Edition, PLUS an additional 256 pages featuring game reviews, game credits, screen shots, cover images and more of the other Mastertronic labels such as M.A.D., Americana, Rebound, Rack-It, etc PLUS the unique disk releases.

“199 RANGE” limited collector’s edition

The “199 Range” Limited Collector’s Edition pledge includes the “199 Range” 512 page Collector’s Edition featuring a unique cover design, PLUS a signed and numbered “199 Range” bookplate, PLUS a 128 page Cover Art Gallery book featuring a range of game covers including commentary by select original cover artists, PLUS a limited edition “199 Range” USB cassette, featuring a custom “199 Range” inspired hand numbered inlay, and containing a 512 page PDF copy of the The Mastertronic Archives Collector’s Edition, and a 128 page PDF copy of the cover gallery book PLUS a set of limited edition postcards.

Funding options are shown in Australian dollars on the Kickstarter site, not to be confused with US dollars.

Around the globe

UK and EU backers: Books will be shipped from within the UK to minimise shipping costs and delivery times.  North America backers: Books will be shipped from within North America to minimise shipping costs and delivery times.  Australian backers: Books will be shipped from within Australia to minimise shipping costs and delivery times.

Further details

For further details of the books and other aspects of the project, including perks and current funding status, check out the Kickstarter page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/15723376/the-mastertronic-archives

As well as the Kickstarter, Player One Books can also be contacted via Twitter: https://twitter.com/player1books

So long, and thanks for all the Macs…

Douglas Adams with Mac 128k and electric guitar
Douglas Adams with Mac 128k and electric guitar

Today is Towel Day, when fans of Douglas Adams and The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy in particular celebrate his life and work all around the world, but especially here in England.

Douglas Noel Adams (11 March 1952 – 11 May 2001) was an English author,scriptwriter, essayist, humorist, satirist and dramatist.

He is best known as the author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which originated in 1978 as a BBC radio comedy before developing into a “trilogy” of five books that sold more than 15 million copies in his lifetime and generated a television series, several stage plays, comics, a computer game, and in 2005 a feature film. Adams’s contribution to UK radio is commemorated in The Radio Academy’s Hall of Fame.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Adams also wrote Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (1987) and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (1988), and co-wrote The Meaning of Liff (1983),The Deeper Meaning of Liff (1990), Last Chance to See (1990), and three stories for the television series Doctor Who; he also served as script editor for the show’s seventeenth season in 1979. A posthumous collection of his works, including an unfinished novel, was published as The Salmon of Doubt in 2002.

Adams was known as an advocate for environmentalism and conservation, as a lover of fast cars, cameras, technological innovation and the Apple Macintosh, and as a “devout atheist”.

Computer games and projects
The Infocom version of The Hitchhiker's Guid to the Galaxy was available on many computers
The Infocom version of The Hitchhiker’s Guid to the Galaxy was available on many computers

Douglas Adams created an interactive fiction version of HHGTG with Steve Meretzky from Infocom in 1984. In 1986 he participated in a week-long brainstorming session with the Lucasfilm Games team for the game Labyrinth. Later he was also involved in creating Bureaucracy (also by Infocom, but not based on any book; Adams wrote it as a parody of events in his own life).

Starship Titanic - the adventure game
Starship Titanic – the adventure game

Adams was a founder-director and Chief Fantasist of The Digital Village, a digital media and Internet company with which he created Starship Titanic, a Codie Award-winning and BAFTA-nominated adventure game, which was published in 1998 by Simon & Schuster. Terry Jones wrote the accompanying book, entitled Douglas Adams Starship Titanic, since Adams was too busy with the computer game to do both. In April 1999, Adams initiated the h2g2 collaborative writing project, an experimental attempt at making The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy a reality, and at harnessing the collective brainpower of the internet community. It found a new home at BBC Online in 2001.

In 1990 Adams wrote and presented a television documentary programme Hyperland, which featured Tom Baker of Doctor Who fame as a “software agent” (similar to the assistant pictured in Apple’s Knowledge Navigator video of future concepts from 1987), and interviews with Ted Nelson, the co-inventor of hypertext and the person who coined the term. Although Adams did not invent hypertext, he was an early adopter and advocate of it. This was the same year that Tim Berners-Lee used the idea of hypertext in his HTML.

So long, and thanks for all the Macs
The DEC Rainbow 100
The DEC Rainbow 100

Having survived being an early user of the DEC Rainbow, Apricot, BBC Micro and the Cambridge Z88, Douglas was introduced to the Apple Macintosh 128k in 1984, and never looked back.  He became a massive Mac enthusiast and owned numerous models over the years; those which are known to have been used by him have been listed in a very interesting article on Low End Mac:

  • Mac 128K
  • Mac Plus (at least 2)
  • Mac SE
  • Mac II
  • Mac IIcx
  • Mac SE/30
  • Mac IIci
  • Mac IIfx
  • Quadra 950
  • PowerBook Duo
  • PowerBook 5300
  • Power Mac G3 (at least 2)
  • iMac (at least2)
  • PowerBook G3
  • Power Mac G4
  • Power Mac G4 Cube
Douglas Adams' Macintosh IIfx (pic courtesy Phil Beesley)
Douglas Adams’ Macintosh IIfx (pic courtesy Phil Beesley)

One of Douglas’s favourite computers, the once incredibly expensive Macintosh IIfx, came to light in 2003, and features in a remarkable blog post by the present owner, Phil Beesley.

Douglas Adams' Macintosh SE_30 (pic courtesy Centre for Computing History)
Douglas Adams’ Macintosh SE_30 (pic courtesy Centre for Computing History)

Another, a Macintosh SE/30, has most recently come to light via retro computing enthusiast Andy Taylor, who acquired it and has now donated it to the Centre for Computing History in Cambridge, England where it is will be preserved for posterity. Andy talks about this on his Retrocomputers.eu blog.

HAPPY TOWEL DAY – and remember, DON’T PANIC!

 

 

Part text courtesy Wikipedia, list courtesy Low End Mac..

Top British gaming publishers recognised with blue plaque

The proposed plaque.
The proposed plaque.

One of the UK’s most prolific home computer gaming publishers of the 1980s-90s is to be honoured by Ludlow Civic Society  in the now-defunct company’s ‘birthplace’, Ludlow, with a special blue heritage plaque!

Newsfield Publications Ltd, usually referred to simply as Newsfield, was founded by Roger Kean, Franco Frey and Oliver Frey in 1983. Based in the market town of Ludlow in Shropshire, England, Newsfield is most famed for publishing a number of popular computer game magazines from the mid-1980s to early-1990s.

Crash Magazine issue 1
Crash Magazine issue 1

Newsfield’s home computer/gaming magazines included:

  • Crash (focusing on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum)
  • Zzap!64 (covering the Commodore 64)
  • Amtix! (a short-lived Amstrad CPC publication)
  • The Games Machine (a multi-format games mag)
  • Raze (rebranded from The Games Machine and focused on Japanese consoles)
  • Complete Computer Entertainment Guide (a multi-format, quarterly magazine)
Zzap!64 issue 1
Zzap!64 issue 1

This line-up was over time supplemented by a number of less successful magazines covering role-playing games, film, horror and youth culture – for more general info, see Wikipedia’s Newsfield article.

Newsfield HQ

Newfield’s headquarters between 1984-1989 was the upper three floors of number 2, King Street, a place of pilgrimage for avid 8-bit retrogamers even today. This is where the plaque will be fixed for posterity.

Importance of gaming industry

The plaque also effectively recognises the importance of the rise of the 8- and 16-bit games market in the 1980s and 90s and subsequently of retrogaming today.

It is hoped that some kind of unveiling of the plaque will be held in the near future so that fans of Newsfield’s seminal magazines can come from far and wide to view it.

Plaque icture courtesy of Roger Kean.

Revived Amiga group has a (boing) ball!

Entrance to Swindon Makerspace
Entrance to Swindon Makerspace
Computer clubs are sadly rare as hen’s teeth these days, unlike the heyday of the UK home computing revolution in the 1980s-90s, so it’s great to receive a report from Robert Hazelby about the phoenix-like return to the scene of a once-thriving group focusing on the ever-popular Commodore Amiga! 
The revived and refreshed South West Amiga Group – aka SWAG – met for the first time in fifteen years a little over a week ago, on Saturday 7th May 2016, getting together to party like it’s the 1980s all over again. Robert tells all:

The seeds of the first SWAG meeting of the new era were sown back in January of this year when Amiga user Brian Hedley created a thread over on the English Amiga Board, asking if there was a group of Amiga users in the South West of the country. If there wasn’t, would anyone be interested in forming one and helping to set up a meeting?

Fellow Amiga users Steve Netting and myself responded, and in February we three met in a Swindon pub to chat about all things Amiga and to discuss the possibility/viability of organising a meeting.

By the end of the evening, it was decided that the meeting idea was worth pursuing, with the thought that at the very worst three Amiga users would meet up later in the year for an afternoon of Amiga gaming, tinkering and repairing.

Blast from the past

The other decision made that evening was to resurrect the old SWAG name. The South West Amiga Group held its last meeting way back in 2001 and sadly folded in 2004. In its active years, the members held regular sessions, and each meeting was well attended.

After numerous enquiries, a venue was chosen – the new Makerspace in Swindon, which was due to open the first weekend in May. The members there were happy to have us, and so, on Saturday 7th May, SWAG rose from the ashes and began a new era.

It’s alive!
Amigas galore to explore! (pic Steve Netting)
Amigas galore to explore! (pic Steve Netting)

The afternoon ran from noon until 4pm, and during that time, approximately a dozen Amiga users turned up. The majority of attendees brought kit with them, and as such we had an amazing collection of Amiga and other computer systems. The line-up included:

  • Expanded Amiga 1200 (68030 @ 50mhz, Indivision 2, 32megs RAM, Hard Drive, Network Card
  • Expanded Amiga 600 (ACA620 and A604n)
  • Amiga 500 with 512K RAM expansion and Gotek
  • A laptop running UAE
  • Raspberry Pi 3 running UAE for all
  • 2008 MacBook used for streaming demos to the plasma screen and for storing an Amiga TOSEC
  • AmigaOne 500
  • Amiga 1200 for repairing
The game was afoot
Deep thought (pic Steve Netting)
Deep thought (pic Steve Netting)

Gamers were well catered for, with some excellent four-player sessions of Hudson Soft’s Dyna Blaster (Bomberman), Acid’s racer Skidmarks and Team 17’s platformer Superfrog. Numerous other titles from down the years were also fired-up, with one attendee completing Turrican from start to finish in what he declared was his fastest ever run.

The Raspberry Pi 3 did a fantastic job of emulating classic Amiga hardware, with a number of children present glued to Lemmings as a result. The speed of the mouse took a little getting used to, though – it was rather twitchy!

A new generation of Amigans sees off a few Lemmings with a Pi (pic Steve Netting)
A new generation of Amigans sees off a few Lemmings with a Pi (pic Steve Netting)

 

The Macbook was mainly used for streaming a selection of Amiga demos from the recent Revision 2016 demo competition, along with a number of repeated showings of the forthcoming “Amiga Works” documentary by Paul Bridger. When it wasn’t streaming video it was used to transfer files from the Amiga TOSEC to pen drive and then on to an Amiga.

There can be only One
The future of Amiga? (pic Steve Netting)
The future of Amiga? (pic Steve Netting)

The AmigaOne 500 was undoubtedly the star of the afternoon when it came to hardware specs. Facebook user Amiga Richard had been kind enough to bring his prized possession along, and throughout the afternoon gave guided tours around the system, answering questions put to him by fellow attendees.

The final system was Amiga Richard’s faulty Amiga 1200, which initially failed to display a picture or boot. A dismantling later, the removal of a rogue screw which didn’t seem to actually belong to the system, and the 1200 was back up and running once more. Success!

End to a perfect day

By 4pm the computers had all been packed up, and the last of those who had attended were making their way home. What had started as a thread over on the English Amiga Board and a subsequent meeting in a pub, had turned into a fantastic afternoon of classic gaming, tech and general retro chit chat.

Feedback from those who came along was glowing, and as such a second SWAG meeting, to take place on Saturday 17th September, also at The Makerspace, Swindon, is already being planned. More details will be posted on the SWAG Facebook group as they are available:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/southwestamiga/

See also the group’s new website:

http://www.southwestamiga.org.uk/

If you’re an Amiga fan in the south west, why not come and see if SWAG is your bag?

Robert Hazelby

Photos

Where credited, pictures shown here have been kindly provided courtesy of Steve Netting. More can be viewed by following this link.

RCN to exhibit in Shakespeare country

King Edward VI School
King Edward VI School

For the second year running, Retro Computing News will be attending the Recursion computer fair on Saturday 2 July 2016 in Stratford-upon-Avon, England.

But this time around, we’ll be an exhibitor – at William Shakespeare’s very own school!

RECURSION 2015  from above - general view
RECURSION 2015 from above – general view

We’ve been invited along by the event organisers at the historic King Edward Vi School, where the legendary English playwright was educated, and will have a table in the ‘history of computing’ section (see below) of this fantastic, free and fun-packed digital day out dedicated to computer science and computing in education, industry and leisure.

The Levi Fox Hall, King Edward Vi School
The Levi Fox Hall, King Edward Vi School

Last year, over 500 students, parents and members of the public visited the fair in the Levi Fox Hall of the school, and the organisers are looking to expand the range of exhibits and activities further this year. There will be stands from local businesses, universities and other schools. A number of stands and activities will make use of small-board computers such as the Raspberry Pi, Micro:Bit and Arduino.

At Recursion 2015, Tom Williamson showed off his historic BBC Micro's as well as his self-built Ident computer case containing a Raspberry Pi
At Recursion 2015, Tom Williamson showed off his historic BBC Micro’s as well as his self-built Ident computer case containing a Raspberry Pi
History of computing
Andy Spencer (right) and his Retro Computer Museum team at Recursion 2015
Andy Spencer (right) and his Retro Computer Museum team at Recursion 2015

In addition, the fair will offer a community-led ‘history of computing’ section, where local user groups and aficionados of “classic” and “retro” computing can get together and share their passion for everything from a ZX80 to an Amiga 1200.

Those attending Recursion 2015 were rewarded with a buzzing, vibrant and diverse event for computer fans of all interests, not only gaming, with a great retro component.  This year’s fair, which opens at 11am, promises to be an equally exciting event and one that should both promote and celebrate the industry and enthuse the next generation of British Computer Scientists and Engineers.

See you there?

Recursion is a show of a kind which has been rarely seen since the 1990s, and we’re only too delighted to give it our full support!  Retro Computing News’s editor and publisher, Stuart Williams, will be setting out our stall at Recursion 2016, and will be there to talk to any and everyone about our magazine site and retro computing in general, as well as covering the event for RCN.

A 360 degree panorama from a corner of the hall in 2015 - click to enlarge
A 360 degree panorama from a corner of the hall in 2015 – click to enlarge

As we receive more detailed information about this year’s fair, we’ll pass it on in these pages, meanwhile, why not check out our feature on Recursion 2015 to get an idea of what you can look forward to?

See:  https://retrocomputingnews.com/2015/07/07/recursion-2015-repeats-success-in-stratford/

For more info as it is posted, also see the event website:

http://www.recursioncomputerfair.co.uk/

WE HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!

computer history, retro gaming and computing today

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,125 other followers