Here's my take on the show...
It was great
You want more?
Oh, OK then!
First of all I am gutted I didn't take any pictures
It totally slipped my mind as I was too busy with other stuff....
Oh! Except this one!
Beebmaster looking resplendent in is hand knitted beeb-jumper
I took some flak for wearing a Super Nintendo T-shirt
but hey ho!, there's more than one kind of retro
Oh.... the review...
I arrived a little late having been instructed to nip to the butcher's for some chicken breasts, then I forgot my phone so had to go back home..
I missed Mark's apparently amazing feat of strength and balance, carrying teetering piles of goodies that will be brought up to spec in due course.
**Those chicken breasts cost me the chance of snapping up a few bits I am sure! The sales tables looked like a tornado had just blown through when I got there, but I still managed to bag a few chips including a speech upgrade or 3.
I also grabbed some Torch manuals which will look nice along side the Torch I am sticking on eBay next week
I picked up the Acorn monitor from omx50 (Pete) that I bagged from him a week or two ago - thanks.
I got a bagful of bits from Mark (Retroclinic) - thanks.
I got 2 SWR modules and an IDE cable from Beebmaster - thanks.
I got a load of EPROMS from DaveH (more on this later) - thanks.
I got an UPURS cable/ROM from PaulV - Thanks - OH! wait a minute - he forgot to bring it! *** PAUL I will p.m. you my address in a bit
I got my badge (eventually!) from Arcadian - thanks.
I wore it with pride
commented that he felt 'important' wearing his badge, and I felt just the same way
Once I had settled in and made a few hello's to some people I had met before (Retroclinic, DaveH, DanielJ, Flaxcottage, PaulV, Beebmaster, Flynnjs, Firthmj, jbnbeeb, Sydney, Crowley) and meet some new faces (Tricky and sPhilMainwaring, Arcadian), and I spied a few 'names' JGHarston, AlanD, flibble RobC, and probably more that I cannot bring to mind at this moment
Beebmaster commented to me that he felt more relaxed this year as he wasn't officially exhibiting, so could get out of the spotlight if he wanted. (even though he stayed behind the tables 99% of the time) (the other 1% time was spent making a cup of tea
Jon (Flaxcottage) had a great setup showcasing the educational archive which he kindly gave me a copy - thanks. (No 4Mation obviously
He had rigged up a robot arm that you could control by typing in commands using a language of Jon's own creation
It was rigged through the datacentre's USB capabilities and I believe this is the first time this has been done. (Mark RC seemed to like it)
I had a good 'spot' noticing a copy of Wolfenstein 3D for the Arc shoved in the bottom of a box that I grabbed for Jon as he has been after it for a while
Jonathan Harston seemed to like the robot arm too.
After learning the language for one microsecond, he proceeded to make the robot arm pick up a small packet in its jaws.
I could be wrong, but I think I saw him smile. Just a little one
Special mention must be made to the repair team headed by Jason Flynn.
Working tirelessly from start to finish, they managed to repair 3 Domesday laser players and were working on a 4th when the show closed!!! Absolutely amazing.
"It's not rocket science" Jason said.
Maybe not, but still damned impressive work
I am sure this made RobC's arduous journey from Welsh Wales a little more bearable on the return leg
Well, when I said Jason never stopped working on the machines from start to finish - I am lying - he stopped to solder 2 wires back on to a couple of Solidisk dual DFS boards for me - a wire fell of each of them while I was there!!
He also soldered a leg onto a speech chip that I had just bought - thanks Jason.
The only thing that didn't get fixed as far as I know was an A3000 with terminal damage from a leaky battery
and a RAM/ROM board of Lurkio's that I took along for him, but there just wasn't enough time
**Lurkio - it's a shame you had to babysit mate!! I am sure we could have fetched the little 'un along in a cat box or something?
PaulV was as enthusiastic as ever, showing his A440+++ and fitted Jon his VIDC enhancer to his A3000 after a bit of jiggery pokery.
That A5000 was a bit of a bargain Jon!!
PaulV has the best soldering iron I have seen in quite a while!!!
fetched along his EPROM programming stuff and blew me half a dozen EPROMS for me to test the Solidisk Dual DFS (1770/8271 on one board) that I fetched along.
I knew these were finicky about which ROM works with which board, so Dave blew 'em all
- thanks Dave.
After trying a couple, I got one working (Version 1 board with version 2.00 DFS) but I could not get the version 2 board working - in fact it seemed to be 'killing' the EPROMS???
After Dave had verified an EPROM, I tried it in the beeb, only to get some random characters on screen - giving it back to Dave, it failed the verify - very strange.
I tried this a couple of times then gave up on it
Jason would not approve
Well! I had other things to look at
I had fetched along a Z80 communicator, and clipped on beebmaster's cable, only to find it didn't work
DanielJ plugged his into my beeb and it worked.
After Daniel looked at my board, he noticed the crystal was hanging off - so that's another job for me tomorrow.....
I met Dave (Arcadian) for the first time (I was a bit excited
He forgot the badges again
but nipped off to Brighouse to get them for us all
Dave bought some more stuff to add to his collections and showed off some good stuff including a couple of beeb 'luggables' the likes of which I had never seen before! **visualise something like an Osborne case with a beeb guts in it - someone must have taken a photo surely! **
Sydney had set up his high score station and it got plenty of takers.
I left my attempt until later after I had thoroughly weighed up the opposition.
Hmmm. that flibble looks a bit good...
sPhilMainwaring... good skills......
Right - my turn - Arcadians - terrible!!!!!
I was a bit of an embarrassment
Tricky's daughter Imogen certainly knew her way round the old games - I wonder if dad has anything to do with that?
His "carnivale" game is absolutely excellent!
I was a bit better at that than I was at Arcadians and I put it down to the fact that it is just about arcade perfect in look and responsiveness - well done indeed.
JSnake by jbnbeeb was really good fun - but very unforgiving! it ramps up to turbo mode at 2,500 points and even if you know when it is coming - death isn't far away
All in all I had a fantastic day, and it was a pleasure to mingle with the fellow stardotters
Roll on 2015
Oh, there was a room with some RISC stuff in it. Apparently.