Sunday, 16 October 2016

Adelaide Retro Computing Group Meeting October 2016

This month's Adelaide Retro Computing Group meeting was held on 14th October and had a BASIC programming theme, where people were encouraged to bring along a BASIC program they had written for the event. 


For the event I brought along my new Amiga 1200, and my Commodore 64C with 1541 Ultimate II and WiFi user port module I planned to demonstrate during the event. More on this later on.


We ended up with plenty of AMOS Basic (Amiga) and C64 Basic entries and it was a great night!

We had this rather special TRS-80 system that George brought in, which of course was busy during the evening as the BASIC programming got into full swing!


Aron brought along his Amiga 500 with converted A590 using a SCSI2SD converter to show off his rather excellent AMOS basic game he wrote called Grav Wars:


Here is the game in action:


Here is the source art file for the game itself:


Here is the AMOS Basic source code for Grav Wars in AMOS Professional 2 on the Amiga 500:


 Alexis brought in this amazing BASIC game he wrote on the C64 the previous night for this event, called Retrocycle - quick bicycle racing game for 2 players:


Here is Alexis putting the game through it's paces! The source code in C64 Basic is on the printed sheet to the left.


Close up photo showing the program was written especially for our Adelaide Retro Computing Group event - wonderful to see this game at the meeting!


Nathan brought in his custom limited edition blue cased C64, with a Basic port of a text adventure game called "Search for the Ruby Chalice" from 1982, ported from a Tandy Coco! He also knocked out an interesting boot loading screen for the game with greeting to the attendees of the event! Thanks for this contribution!


Also added the C64 during the evening was a Page box expansion, with cartridge and user port scanner expansions, being shown off by the Jane M Jones on the night:




Retro goodness - a tape load of the text adventure game on the C64:


Coding in Basic certainly was fun, and we all helped each other out where we could to get things up and running - here Nathan and George are working on a BASIC program on the TRS-80.


Later on the TRS-80 was running text based Mandelbrot generation, coded in BASIC:


We also had a Commodore SX64 brought in, with another BASIC program in development on the night:



Here is the end product, a simple but interesting rotating colour screen and text program in BASIC:


Theo brought along his Epson portable to do some BASIC programming on the night as well:


Here is Theo hard at work:


Luke also brought along an Amiga 1200 with 030 accelerator:


Luke was playing around with AMOS Basic as well, playing mod songs using BASIC:


Luke and I had discussed running a null modem serial link between our two Amiga 1200's for the event, so we could play serial link games - here is the link and Lotus 2 running 2 player serial link up:


This setup was fun and I forgot how much fun Lotus 2 is played like this!


For a local South Australian connection, look no further than this rather special C64, using a C64 case made in South Australia, and running a special hardware modification made in South Australia by Micro Accessories of SA for the 1541 disk drive - it makes it load programs 25x faster than normal speed! It uses a special DolphinDOS 2.0 on power on:



Here is a close up of the modified 1541 disk drive internals with the extra board added. This connected to the user port on the C64, and was switchable to use the normal serial port connection as well. I then saw a demonstration of the difference loading floppy disks using the new hardware and the speed up is amazing.

Here is the machine running some C64 scene demos during the night:


On the subject of the C64 I also brought in a C64C as mentioned earlier. I had no time to program in BASIC for the event, but did a short (not very interesting) program anyway:


What was interesting though is the new WiFi module that plugs into the user port. This module allows the C64 to connect to WiFi access points, and acts as a modem for the C64 to connect to Bulletin Board systems (BBS) via internet gateways! How cool!


Here is my C64C using my iPhone 7 as a WiFi access point during the meeting, connected using Striketerm 2014 on the C64 (loaded on the 1541 ultimate II) to Cottonwood BBS in the USA. As per the below screenshot, the BBS itself also runs on a C64!


I was blown away with just how easy it was to get a C64 online, and to be able to relive a great memory from the 1980's and early 1990's with BBS's being so popular, on all Retro systems of the period:



Here is a close shot of the WiFi Module connected to the user port. This unit I purchased on Ebay from a AUG Amiga user in Melbourne.


Modern expansions like the 1541 Ultimate II (with it's disk image, cartridge image and tape image with adapter support) and the WiFi module show how modern add-on's for Retro computing can greatly improve the experience of using a real C64.


Also during the evening I had the Amiga CD32 set up with the projector, showing the preview I was given recently of a new game for it called Catacomb 3D which I reviewed on this blog here.

People were impressed how well it ran on the CD32:


An Amiga 2000 was also brought in but I missed getting a photo of it - sorry!

As usual the meeting was a lot of fun and I want to thank everyone who came along, and especially those that went to the effort of creating BASIC programs on the night! We can't wait for the next meeting!

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for showing off Catacomb 3D!

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  2. Nice modem ;) if the person who owns that wants a case let me know. I am the culprit that put it together

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    Replies
    1. Yes I would love to have a case for it! Please email me at epsilon1975 at gmail.com with how I can! :-)

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