Saturday 9 April 2016

Adelaide Retro Computing Meeting April 2016

Last night was the April 2016 meeting of the Adelaide Retro Computing Group, and it was our biggest meeting yet!

We decided to move into the larger Hall in the Eastwood Community Centre for future meetings when an opportunity came up to grab it!

The theme for the meeting was Amstrad and Commodore computers, and we saw plenty of them on display at the meeting!

We had not one, but two Commodore SX64 portable computers on display:

Closeup view of the SX64 in action:

On the Amstrad front we were well represented there, with quite a number of Amstrad CPC machines, including this CPC6128.

Paul from Retrospekt brought a number of Amstrad systems in, including a Amstrad 464, 6128, 6128 Plus and GX4000 systems:

Here is the CPC6128 in action:

The Amstrad CPC464 was also up and running:

Paul showing off some games for the Amstrad CPC464:

It was great to see lots of Amstrad equipment on display!

Amstrad external 3" floppy drive on display (note that Amstrad computers used 3" floppy disks, not 3.5" floppy disks, which can be flipped over to access the other side data):

I brought in my Commodore CDTV, which got plenty of interest as few people in Australia ever owned one!

I bought in the Gotek drive and original Amiga 1010 floppy drive and run several demos on the CDTV during the night, although the CDTV's main duty was playing background Amiga music from CD for the meeting itself - Immortal 3 and Lizardking's CD albums if you are curious:

I also ran the Psygnosis demo CD for the CDTV:

Also on the Commodore front we had several Commodore Amiga systems present, including this Amiga 500 with A590 hard disk converted using a SCSI to SD converter that we also saw at the last meeting:

Nathan brought in his Commodore 64 Reloaded computer, which was put inside a brand new transparent remade C64 case. He also made the arcade joysticks himself using proper arcade components and Jaycar kit boxes large enough to house the components:

Close up of the C64 reloaded, with a Chameleon64 attached to the cartridge port:

Here is the C64 reloaded running nicely:

Nathan also brought a repaired C64 board, which was used in his presentation later:

Here is the repaired C64 in action:

Of a lot of interest was the Dub CRT Commodore 64 system presented on the night, brought in by Tim Koch:

In addition to the customised case and keyboard, this machine has several cartridges installed and some very interesting audio functionality using an attached amplifier:

Rear view of the system:

If you are interested, you can listen to (or purchase) Tim Koch's music on his bandcamp page here.

Next was a Amstrad MegaPC, a computer made by Amstrad in the early 1990's that was a Sega Megadrive and a normal 386 PC in the same machine!

Here is a closeup showing the PC side of the machine is active, with the front slider used to switch to/from Sega Megadrive mode:

Sega Megadrive mode:

Loading Megadrive rom images from a special micro sd cartridge with lots of games on it:

Playing Zool on the Amstrad MegaPC:

A Commodore Amiga CD32 was also on display:

Some views from the Hall during the meeting:

The Dub CRT Commodore 64 system continued to get a lot of attention during the meeting:

It was great to see so many people and a lot of interest in Retro systems:

We then moved into the presentation section of the evening, with Paul from Retrospekt doing a presentation all about Amstrad systems and history:

Moving the meeting from the smaller room to the hall really worked out well and even though it costs us more money, it will be the permanent room used for the show from now on:

Paul's presentation was fantastic and very interesting.

Paul showed each of the models in the Amstrad CPC line that he had brought in, and peripherals as well:

The ultra rare CPC6128 plus, never sold in Australia:

Who knew that Amstrad systems had a light pen accessory?

For our second presentation of the night, Nathan Butcher gave an interesting presentation on the Commodore 64, his history with the systems from the Sinclair ZX81, type in programs and Gamebase 64 preservation work he is involved in:

Particularly interesting for me was his coverage of magazine type in programs for the Commodore 64, which he types in as part of his work with Gamebase64 to preserve these programs forever:

Nathan also explained the internals of a Commodore 64, the chips and common failure points:

 It was very interesting, and I am glad to know people like Nathan are making sure that all Commodore 64 programs are being digital preserved for future generations.

George Foumakis than went around the hall and covered the systems on display for all present. We had a lot of people at this meeting!

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Thank you to everyone for attending the meeting, it was a lot of fun. We are looking forward to the next meeting in early May 2016 - hopefully we see you then!


  1. I'm so jealous! We don't seem to have enough Amigans left in the US to have regular meetings like this any more. Annual AmiWest seems to be about all that is still running.

    Do you know where the transparent 64 case came from? Was it a custom, one off job or can they be purchased somewhere?

    Thanks for the great blog!

    1. There are a few, you just need to look in your area and then show up! For example, there are two active monthly Amiga/Commodore meetings on the West Coast in the Bay Area that I know of:

  2. They are from this kickstarter:

    Better view of them on the facebook page:

    Not sure where you can still get them though, the ebay link doesn't have transparent one.

    Would be nice if there is another run. I'm happy with my red and transparent ones. Just waiting on the transparent keys.


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