Category Archives: Retro Computing

Live from Recursion 2017!

Recursion 2017 - The Levi Fox Hall, King Edward VI School
Recursion 2017 – The Levi Fox Hall, King Edward VI School

Today we’re at the Recursion 2017 computer science fair, which is held every year at King Edward VI School in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. And this post is being edited and uploaded live from the fair!

Apart from having a great affinity with educational computing the school just happens to be the school which William Shakespeare studied at in his early years!

The Retro Computing News table at Recursion 2017
The Retro Computing News table at Recursion 2017

Apart from the cracking educational computing and maker exhibits at Recursion, there’s a fantastic range of exhibits and activities for retro gaming and retro computing fans.

In fact, this post is being typed in between the Retro Computing Museum section and a load of other retro displays, anything from Acorn to Amiga, Sinclair to Commodore or AROS to RISCOS. There’s even a digital planetarium, robotics and much more!

For more posts today, watch our social media:

https://www.facebook.com/retrocompnews

We might even have a spot of Facebook Live video…

We’d like to thank King Edward VI School and event organizer Richard Barfoot for the invitation to have a table here, what a great event this is!

For more information about Recursion 2017 and the school, follow this link:  http://www.recursioncomputerfair.co.uk/index.html

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Live Retro Comedy Night at computer museum to raise cancer funds

Live Retro Comedy Night

Cambridge’s popular Centre for Computing History is running a very special event on Saturday 4 March 2017 to help raise funds towards the support of treatment for Matthew Dons, a self-confessed British geek who is suffering from  cancer.

Matthew was unexpectedly diagnosed in July 2016 with advanced and aggressive bowel cancer, aged just 36. His family and friends are raising funds for immunotherapy treatment to give him more precious time with his wife and two small children. Matthew loves playing games with his children on his Amiga emulator and teaching them to code on the Raspberry Pi.

The Centre, located in Rene Court, Coldhams Road, says of the event:

A one-off night of mirth!! Join us for geeky comedy featuring videogames, VHS covers, 80s nostalgia, the supernatural, computing history and movies.

Proceeds from this event will support The Centre for Computing History as well as Matthew’s cancer treatment fund. Special thanks go to Raspberry Pi for helping with promotion, and the comedians who have all generously waived their performance fees.

Host for the evening is Paul Rose, aka “Mr Biffo”, writer and creator of the legendary teletext video games magazine, Digitiser. Now primarily working in TV, Paul still writes about games at www.digitiser2000.com and is creating his first crowd-funded online series, Mr Biffo’s Found Footage.

Laughter line-up

The all-star comic line-up features:

Stuart Ashen One of the UK’s most popular YouTube acts, what Stuart doesn’t know about Poundland, obscure video games and Pop Stations isn’t worth knowing. He wrote and starred in the successful movie Ashens and the Quest for the Game Child and is known for his dry wit, incisive commentary and neat beard. He is also the author of Terrible Old Games You’ve Probably Never Heard Of.

Paul Gannon Paul has written for a whole host of well-known Radio 4 comedy shows. He produces the weird and wonderful podcast CheapShow as well as the YouTube channel Barshens starring Stuart Ashen and and Barry Lewis (My Virgin Kitchen). He was also a zombie in Shaun of the Dead, which was likely typecasting.

Ash Frith Standup Ash can be seen in comedy clubs all over the UK. Currently supporting Christian O’Connell on his standup tour. Ash is a regular guest on RadioX and Absolute Radio.

Iszi Lawrence Iszi is a smart, sharp and hilarious comedian described as ‘as adept with an anecdote as she is with a one-liner’ and ‘on-the-spot funny’ by The Herald. She also hosts the hugely popular Sunday Supplement and Z List Dead List Podcasts.

Richard Sandling The king of pop culture comedy, with a passion for cinema of all sorts. He has appeared across theatre, film and TV, turning up in the BBC’s The Catherine Tate Show, Miranda and Channel 4’s Peep Show.

Times and tickets

The show will begin at 7pm and last for around 90 minutes. Advance tickets are just £10 each for this unique opportunity to see such an eclectic pool of comic talent. The Centre will be open to ticket holders from 6pm to 10pm to allow you to enjoy the exhibits and test your gaming skills on their consoles and arcade machines. Drinks will be available from a fully licensed bar provided by Lord Conrad’s Brewery.

Due to the nature of the event, the organisers recommend that all attendees should be over 15.

Find out more

For further info and to buy advance tickets at £10 each, see:

http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/43146/Live-Retro-Comedy-Night-Saturday-4th-March-2017/

Spaces are limited, so booking is required to secure your place. Payment is taken by PayPal immediately. Please print a copy of the receipt that is displayed at the end of the payment process and bring it with you as your e-ticket. Any remaining tickets will be available on the door for £12 each (cash or card payment).

Find out about the Centre for Computing History:

http://www.computinghistory.org.uk

Top retro gaming event returns to Walsall

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

Last July saw veteran retro gaming/arcade show organisers Revival Retro Events make a  triumphant return to the retro scene at a brand-new venue following a break from major events since 2014.

Breaking new ground  for the show,  and for Walsall, REVIVAL Solstice 2016 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! And thanks to a massive amount of hard work and enthusiasm from the REVIVAL RETRO EVENTS team, numerous keen volunteers and all concerned, the event was a resounding success.

This year

Fast forward to 2017 and the latest hot-off-the-press news for retro gaming and computing fans is that the organiser of the event, Craig Turner of REVIVAL RETRO EVENTS and Turnarcades fame, has just announced this year’s follow-up to the Solstice show – REVIVAL: The Rivals 2017 – and is already in the process of confirming its many exciting features!

The Facebook event page for REVIVAL: The Rivals 2017, which this year is over Saturday 20 – Sunday 21 May,  10am-4pm, is now up and, eager to  keep things fresh in retro, Craig and his team are once again mixing it up, and as the name suggests, ‘The Rivals’ is the keynote, with this latest show focusing on the competition and challenge of retro gaming! From the classic home computer and console company rivalries of the past, right through to head-to-head competition, this event will have all you love about a REVIVAL event plus the following special features:

  • Embrace competition – Any old-school gamer will likely have grown up with the best gaming TV, and in his first gaming event presence since leaving Sky in 1998, Gamesmaster and Games World commentator, reviewer, co-host and pro gamer Dave ‘The Games Animal’ Perry will be in attendance to talk about his history and take part in the Retro Lords’ on-stage competition and antics!
  • Side-by-side system rivalries to directly compare ports – Spectrum vs. Commodore, Nintendo vs. Sega, Apple vs. IBM, they all sparked playground arguments – put your case forward and compare!
  • Multiplayer madness – real fun and real competition can only be had face to face with your friends, and all the best multiplayer experiences from tournament fighters to 4/8-player arcade and sports games will be laid out test your skills.
  • Link-ups and crossovers – many multiplayer experiences eluded the average gamer, so get the chance to go head to head over LAN on 486 PC’s, cable up those Gameboys for 4-way play, Lap friends at the wheel in Daytona, or even play Frankenstein combos like the ST and Amiga system link games!
  • Test your skills – There will be more competitions this time with some very special prizes being awarded for the best of the best from speed runners to fighting game masters.

All this, plus MORE arcade, MORE pinball, MORE traders and MORE special guests!

This is is REVIVAL RETRO EVENTS’ 4th year, and whether you’ve been before or not, you can be sure to find a whole lot of fun and excitement waiting for you – as well as a bucketload of nostalgia and retro goodness – so be sure to get yourselves along for the unmatched REVIVAL atmosphere – it’s always a top weekend!

Meet Retro Computing News

Retro Computing News will be covering the event over both days, and we’ll not only have a table there but we’re also sponsoring the show again with a special competition prize (TBA)!  So why not drop by when you’re there, and say hi to our editor and publisher, Stuart Williams?

In the meantime, watch out for more updates about REVIVAL: The Rivals 2017 as soon we have them. And check out our feature on last year’s show here to see the kind of thing you’ll be missing if you don’t come along in May: REVIVAL Solstice 2016

Tickets

Advance tickets are available online now: https://www.tickettailor.com/ch…/view-event/…/70469/chk/31dd

Further information

For more information, check out the organisers’ website:

http://www.revivalretroevents.co.uk/

Also their Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/RevivalRetroEvents/

and the event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/835782656559780/

You can also download the event flyer by clicking on the image below for an enlarged jpeg:

revival-the-rivals-2017-flyer-click-to-download

Graphics courtesy Revival Retro Events

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

Continue reading REVIVAL Solstice 2016 retro event almost here!

RCN sponsors REVIVAL Solstice 2016 in Walsall

RCN sponsorship banner

We’re delighted to confirm that Retro Computing News is sponsoring the upcoming REVIVAL Solstice 2016 retro gaming, retro computing and arcade show in Walsall, England! Taking place over 30-31 July 2016, the event sees REVIVAL back at its big event best, with a huge range of gaming and computing plus dealers, competitions and special guest talks.  Moreover this year, the big show, previously held at Wolverhampton Racecourse, is moving to Bescot Stadium, aka Banks’s Stadium, the home of Walsall Football Club, which is easily accessible by road and by railway, with its own station nearby!

We’ll also be covering the event, and taking a table there so our editor and publisher Stuart Williams can chat to anyone who’d like to know more about our online magazine and maybe give us their own news for possible publication!

Retro goodies sprouting in the arcade hall at REVIVAL 2014
Retro goodies sprouting in the arcade hall at REVIVAL 2014
Speccy sponsorship

More good news for anyone attending is that we’re sponsoring this fantastic event by providing a classic Sinclair ZX Spectrum +3 home games computer as a prize for one of the many retrogaming competitions that will be taking place over the weekend!

REVIVAL is the largest and best true dedicated retrogaming event in the UK, and their return to large scale is definitely the one you won’t want to miss!

Arcade days all over again at REVIVAL 2014!
Arcade days all over again at REVIVAL 2014!
What’s happenin’

The show is now filling to the rafters, says organiser Craig Turner of Turnarcades fame, with all the best retro gaming exhibits you love, and plenty more besides! Solstice 2016 will have:

  • 35+ arcade machines
  • 15+ pinball machines
  • 100+ playable consoles and computers
  • Retro Asylum’s talks arena and gamer’s theatre
  • Special guest appearances with live Q+A sessions
  • The Retro Lords’ stage show and competition area
  • A great selection of retro related traders and exhibitors
  • Retro Gaming Roundup’s retro gaming lounge
  • The Dreamcast Junkyard’s Sega zone
  • The ‘Cutting Room Floor’ zone, filled with playable rare/unreleased/prototype systems and games
  • Large screen, multiplayer gaming setups
  • Portable gaming zone, featuring handhelds to tabletop curiosities
  • Homebrew retrogaming development showcases
  • Fully licenced bar and pinball cafe
  • Early admission and discounted traders for REVIVAL membership card holders
  • Late opening for exhibitors and membership card holders
The hunt is on for that retro holy grail at REVIVAL 2014...
The hunt is on for that retro holy grail at REVIVAL 2014
Guest announcements

REVIVAL are about to start full public advertising and will also be announcing their confirmed guests in the coming weeks, so be sure to grab your tickets and book the best hotels NOW before they all go! It’s going to be an amazing weekend with the much-loved REVIVAL atmosphere, so make sure you get along to this one!

Just part of the 2015 REVIVAL Winter Warmer
Just part of the 2015 REVIVAL Winter Warmer
Poster

Download the poster in jpeg format by clicking on this image:

REVIVAL Solstice 2016 poster
Click on image for larger version
Event tickets

Buy your tickets and membership cards here while you still can:

https://www.tickettailor.com/ch…/view-event/…/47596/chk/069b

More details

For further info, visit the REVIVAL website and to keep up with the latest announcements, why not Like their Facebook page, as well as the show’s dedicated Facebook event page now!

WE HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!

REVIVAL retro event set fair for summer!

Last year's REVIVAL Winter Warmer team, organisers and volunteers
Last year’s REVIVAL Winter Warmer team, organisers and volunteers

This year’s latest show for UK retro gaming and computing fans has been quietly (so far!) announced on the Facebook page of the organisers, Revival Retro Events.

And REVIVAL Solstice 2016 is all set 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…
Event page

The organisers have already set up an event page is now up via their  Facebook page and e-tickets are now 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 will soon be posted on the official website at www.revivalretroevents.co.uk and key information will also be posted on the organisers’ Facebook page.

For more about the venue, check out their website.

Needless to say, our editor Stuart Williams will be covering both days for Retro Computing News, and we hope to be promoting the site there.

 

Retro Computer Museum opening celebrates move

A tiny fraction of the collections at the RCM in Leicester (pic Retro Computer Museum)
A tiny fraction of the collections at the RCM in Leicester (pic Retro Computer Museum)

A popular Leicester museum specialising in the history of computing has moved – and is celebrating with a special Open Weekend this Saturday and Sunday!

The move, which is something of a ‘quantum leap’ for both the Retro Computer Museum and its staff alike, is to more spacious premises nearby, and reflects the success of the fast-growing establishment, whose volunteers are often to be seen showing off some of the stars of the Museum’s collections at retro events up and down the UK.

Entrance to the Troon Way Business Centre (pic RCM)
Entrance to the Troon Way Business Centre (pic RCM)

The Museum, which transferred its vast number of exhibits, plus furniture, equipment and storage, from its previous accommodation at the Troon Way Business Centre in January, now has more room to breathe at Unit A of the Humberstone Lane centre – thanks to the sterling efforts of volunteer staff and supporters.

Congratulations – and celebrations

Congratulations are therefore now due – and to celebrate the move, the Museum is holding an OPEN WEEKEND on Saturday 6th – Sunday 7th February 2016, from 10am-6.30pm.

Curator and Museum organiser Andy Spencer said about the event:

“Just pop along any time and say hello! This weekend  is completely free and on us. Yep! You read that correctly. There will be over 40 systems all ready to play on and use – no restrictions! Why not bring the family? – surely there is something here for everybody. All the classics – fully playable! We look forward to welcoming you!”

RCM Open Weekend handbill - click to enlarge
RCM Open Weekend handbill – click to enlarge
Well worth your support
Andy Spencer (right) and his Retro Computer Museum team brought a critical mass of historic home computers and consoles to Recursion 2015
Andy Spencer (right) and his Retro Computer Museum team brought a critical mass of historic home computers and consoles to Recursion 2015

The Retro Computer Museum is a registered charity dedicated to the benefit of the public for the preservation, display and public experience of computer and console systems from the 1960’s onwards.

Their main focus is on systems that were in use in the home, rather than big computer systems and mainframes of early computer development. Accordingly, they have systems ranging from the early Pong consoles through the Sega and Nintendo console wars and the home computers of the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64s and Amigas.

The RCM aims to provide Retro Gaming and Computing events and access to retro computer equipment for educational visits and tours. The Retro Computer Museum has held seven Retro Gaming events of its own to date, including partnership events with Snibston Discovery Museum. The Retro Computer Museum has also made appearances including the 2010 Vintage Computer Festival in Bletchley Park, Recursion 2015 and participating in the 2010 EuroCon event in Manchester with a line-up of British computers.

The Museum is a fascinating and friendly place, and a worthy cause for your donations of old hardware, software, books – and perhaps a little cash to help keep things going! So if you really do enjoy yourself there this weekend (and we’re sure you will) a donation to the museum would be greatly appreciated – but is not compulsory.

Contact

The Museum’s full address and contact details are:

Unit A, Troon Way Business Centre,
Humberstone Lane, Leicester LE4 9HA
Mobile: 07519 816 283

Email: info@retrocomputermuseum.co.uk
Web: www.retrocomputermuseum.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RetroComputerMuseum/

Registered Charity No. 1146912

West Midlands Amstrad User Group revived on Facebook

Advert for the Amstrad CPC464, first of the range
Advert for the Amstrad CPC464, first of the range

One of the most popular 1980’s clubs for English Amstrad computer owners has risen from its dusty tomb like the star of Amsoft’s legendary ‘Oh Mummy’ game and sprung back into life this week – as the new West Midlands Amstrad User Facebook Group!

The original pre-internet West Midlands Amstrad User Group was a brand-specific computer club which was based in Walsall, West Midlands, but the new online group is purely virtual at the moment, and is hoping to attract any Amstrad-using retro computer hobbyists and/or professionals from the West Midlands region who may be interested in interacting online today.

The W.M.A.U.G., as it was, operated between September 1985-1990, holding meetings in Walsall with 100 members by 1986, and from 1990 as a multi-computer brand club, the Serious Micro User Group, until 1997.  The editor of Retro Computing News, Stuart Williams, founded the group and was its Secretary throughout that period.

W.M.A.U.G. the Facebook group

The launch of the new Facebook group is intended both as a tribute to the original W.M.A.U.G. and as a meeting place for present day Amstrad retro computing enthusiasts living in or from the region, and has been prompted by Stuart’s recent return to Amstrad ownership (see picture, top), as well as the discovery of an anniversary notice about the club in a copy of Amtix! magazine from December 1986 – plus a nudge from a fellow member of the ‘Amstrad 4Ever’ Facebook group!

Stuart WIlliams said “Since many people don’t have the time to get together on a regular basis in person these days, this new group will hopefully be a useful way for people to celebrate the good old days of computer clubs by meeting virtually, and chatting/exchanging info/obtaining advice about their past computer exploits and memories and their retro computing hobby today, with a shared regional focus. I hope you think that this might be useful to you!”

The group can be found by searching on Facebook for West Midlands Amstrad User FB Group or by clicking on the following direct link:

West Midlands Amstrad User FB Group

Advert for the Amstrad PCW8256 CP/M based computer
Advert for the Amstrad PCW8256 CP/M based computer

Membership coverage

This group is specifically aimed at people in or from the West Midlands of England. That includes the boroughs and cities of Walsall, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandell, Solihull, Coventry and the towns and villages within those boroughs. Relevant traders or makers of Amstrad-related equipment, software or books are also welcome to join the group.

Here’s a map of the region: https://upload.wikimedia.org/…/1/11/West_Midlands_County.png

If this does not apply to you, then two other excellent Facebook groups, ‘Amstrad 4Ever’ and ‘Amstrad CPC 464’ are also available, and are highly recommended.

Meetups

Naturally, there’s always a possibility of meeting out there in the real world, perhaps via meetups at relevant events, but that’s something for the future, if there’s enough interest.

Advert for the Amstrad CPC6128
Advert for the Amstrad CPC6128

Work in progress

The new group, says Stuart, is very much a work in progress, and will take time to build up, assuming there is sufficient interest to make it viable, so it may be quiet for a while. But anyone interested should feel free to pipe up in the meantime – members will only get out of the group as much as they put in, like most things in life!

If this sounds like the group for you, why not check it out?

See: https://www.facebook.com/groups/WestMidsAmstradUserGroup/