We’ve seen images of the Amiga ‘Mind Walker’ computer floating about the web for some years, but what is the story of this powerful, strange-looking beast which was not only not made by Commodore, but never went into production?
Did you know that one of the meccas for British retrocomputing fans is in Leicester, England?
The Retro Computer Museum, which opened its new HQ in March 2013 at the Troon Way Business Centre off Humberstone Lane, 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 1960s onwards.
The museum’s main focus is on systems that were in use in the home, rather than big computer systems and mainframes of early computer development. 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. From the famous to the obscure, the rooms at the museum are packed solid with fascinating bygone gadgets, and software from floor to ceiling!
And this museum and its enthusiastic volunteers certainly punch above their weight when it comes to retro events, having made important contributions to the content of Revival 2014 at Dunstall Park, Wolverhampton, and Silicon Dreams at Snibston Discovery Museum, as well as Spectrum @ 30 (at Anglia Ruskin University) and their own series of RCM Gaming Events, for example.
They regularly participate in and run retro gaming and educational events but for the next few weeks their internal events focus is on things which are mostly a little more up-to-date!
Sonic Pi Workshop
This coming Wednesday 27 August, for example, sees a Sonic Pi Workshop running at the Centre, offering those attending the session the chance to explore the open source programming environment Sonic Pi, which is designed to explore and teach programming concepts on the inexpensive British Raspberry Pi computer through the process of creating new sounds. Sounds like fun!
An exciting challenge will be set in the following workshop at the Centre, on Monday 1 September, from 11am-2.30pm, when simulating a real-life investigation, participants are cast in the role of Intelligence Analysts and, using the award-winning IBM i2 Analyst’s Notebook combined with their own brainpower, are asked to solve a fraud case!
Britain’s National Museum of Computing is all set to prove that computer history is fun this Bank Holiday weekend – with a double whammy of retro gaming excitement, daylight stargazing – and more!
The Bletchley Park based charity, which houses and preserves an internationally important collection of historic computers and exhibits dating back to the Second World War, when Bletchley Park (near Milton Keynes) was the top-secret headquarters of Britain’s codebreakers and computer scientists, have been running their daily series of Summer Bytes events and activities since 26 July – but there’s still time to join in the fun before the conclusion of the programme on 2 September.
A little over a week ago a remarkable event took place in Wolverhampton, which turned a racecourse into a Technicolor time machine. And as you might expect, the conference centre at Dunstall Park really did seem bigger on the inside!
The happening in question was Revival 2014, a computer and console games expo with a difference – it might not have looked out of place back in the 1980s or 1990s, for this was something very special – a ‘retro gamer’s’ time warp.
I have to admit to being more than a little retro myself, having started both ‘serious’ computing and gaming back in 1982 at the start of the British home computer boom, and I am glad I spotted an advertisement for this second event in the now-annual series while reading the latest issue of Retro Gamer magazine. I was determined to be there or be square on Saturday 9 August, the first day of the two day show. As it happens I was unable to make it on the Sunday, which is just as well as I would have gotten a soaking due to the rain, but fortunately the Saturday weather was perfect, especially for sitting outside eating lunch in the glorious sunshine.
The event, which filled the racecourse’s foyer, bar and biggest function rooms, was headlined by legendary US computer games designer John Romero, a rockstar-like programmer equally known for his long hair as well as game titles like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Dangerous Dave and Quake to his credit – and he certainly had fans following him around and asking for his autograph all day. He even gave a very interesting and well-received Q&A session about his career and work as part of a packed programme of talks by seminal games makers and journalists from the British scene.
Behind the scenes of Revival 2014, though, the real powers that be were busy corralling computers and gang-mastering arcade games, with the vital assistance of some important partners and exhibitors, not to mention a substantial number of dealers in retro and arcade goodies both esoteric and popular. Continue reading Going retro down in Wolvo→
Welcome to Retrocomputing News, the new online news magazine covering retrocomputing, history of computing and allied subjects, including retro gaming, events and exhibitions, places of interest such as museums, and relevant technology or literature including science fiction, science and robotics.
It’s very early days yet and it will take us time to build up a body of work here – the design of the magazine and its contents will be evolving rapidly, so please do keep coming back to find out how we’re getting on, and tell your friends!
We are not a dedicated gaming and games reviews magazine, there are plenty of excellent magazines and blogs out there that cover that specific scene extremely well. We aim for a more general coverage than that, and will publish primarily news and features. rather than reviews and games hints. But we will cover games news!
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