Saturday, 12 March 2016

Adelaide Retro Computing Meeting - March 2016

On Friday evening (March 11) we had our monthly Adelaide Retro Computing Group meeting, featuring Apple vintage computers and plenty of other Retro Amiga systems, Amstrad, Atari Jaguar and more!


This meeting was our first meeting at our new venue - Eastwood Community Centre, located South East in Adelaide, not far from the City Centre.


We had an interesting variety of hardware present, with the focus naturally on Apple hardware as it was the main theme, but plenty of other systems running too.

Looking first at the Vintage Apple computers on display, we had an Apple II, Apple Macintosh Plus and Apple Macintosh Colour Classic:


I fired up some games on the Colour Classic, which I very much want to buy - this is a cool machine:



Plenty of lively discussions about all things Apple:


A close up of the Apple II internals as the case was taken off so we could take a look:




There was also a Apple IIc with SDCard reader, and a Clamshell iMac G3 laptop:


Here is some close up photos of the sd card reader on the Apple II:



There was also a lampshade iMac G4 with PowerPC processor - these are a very interesting design and I am glad to say I have one of these at home too:


An Apple Mac Classic (non colour screen) was also running at the meeting. It was great to see so many Apple machines:


 My own contribution to the Apple themed evening was my new MIST FPGA system, which can emulate a number of different retro systems via SDCard loaded cores and virtual hard disk files and floppies. It can switch cores instantly via onscreen display on demand. There was a lot of interest in this machine.

I had setup the Apple Macintosh Plus core to run on the MIST - I even worked on setting up the virtual hard disk file on the MIST with System 6.0.5 while at the meeting:





The MIST is not limited to running Apple Mac Plus system of course, it can run lots of systems all from the same SDCard - here is MiniMIG AGA Amiga A1200 which I ran a few demos on during the evening:



I also showed the Commodore 64 core, Atari ST and Atari 2600 cores running on the MIST.


I fielded many questions about this very interesting system.


 Speaking of interesting systems, we also had a variety of non-Apple hardware running at the meeting. Here is a Commodore Vic 20 running Doom!



You can see the memory expansion and sd2iec cartridge connected on the Vic20 to load games:


Next to the Vic20, a nicely upgraded Amiga 600 was also running, with ACA620 accelerator, CF hard disk, and memory expansion with WiFi PCMCIA card:



On this Amiga 600 a large cooling fan has been fitted as apparently it runs quite hot. Here is the internals:



There was also an Amiga A590 being looked at:
   

Also running was an Amstrad CPC464 that Paul brought in, using a USB floppy disk loader expansion:



This remake of Bubble Bobble for the CPC was done in 2014:


The Amstrad certainly got plenty of attention with some interesting new games being shown running, and people (including me) quickly joined in to play it:



Closeup of the usb disk loader:

We even had a KCS Power PC expansion (IBM PC) for the Amiga 500 trapdoor slot, brought in for display - it was my first time to see one of these cards:


Close up of the card:


Our first presentation for the evening was from Martin Crockett about the Apple I computer, and the recent work to build a replica Apple I system from a PCB.


The details he shared about the Apple I history, and the example boards and components (even a Steve Wozniak signed Apple I Manual) was very interesting indeed:


Handouts prepared for the presentation contained a lot of interesting information about the Apple I.

Also shown around were the original and remade Apple I PCB:




Here is the work in progress PCB, being worked on by by Martin.


Our audience was enjoying the presentation, with lots of technical information about the challenges of building the systems with old/new components being presented:



After this presentation was finished, an Atari Jaguar was brought out as part of the second presentation of the evening. Having never seen one of these before (with the CD drive attachment too), I was glad to see it:




Marcus Schmerl from RetroSpekt did the second presentation of the evening, talking about the Retro educational titles university research he is working on, to document the history of educational title development in Australia.


Some examples of educational titles he has found so far (written in Australia):


Marcus also covered information about Retrospekt group and their activities in the Retro community. He finished with covering lots of information about the Atari Jaguar and it's very healthy home-brew scene, and run some games to show us what the Jaguar can do!

 
 The meeting was a lot of fun and I was very glad to see so many people come with running systems to show. It has inspired me to do more with Vintage Macs - I really want to get a Colour Classic now:


I can't wait for the next meeting in April 2016! Hope to see you there then!


2 comments:

  1. Epsilon - Thank you for this easy to read and well photographed blog post. Jeremy from Canberra

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  2. Seems like an amazing event! Thanks for these photographs. I am a fan of such things. Want to attend a similar event at local event space Chicago. Will keep an eye on upcoming events back here and will try attending it.

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