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Vintage Computers Any vintage computer systems, calculators, video games etc., but with an emphasis on 1980s and earlier equipment.

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Old 6th Nov 2022, 2:53 pm   #41
Timbucus
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Default Re: Retro Computer Festival 5th/6th Nov 2022

We had five minutes Phil_G and I so we rigged the joystick interface - you have to unplug or the uploader struggles - extra capacitance?

But it makes smashing the 99 limit easy on invaders!

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Old 6th Nov 2022, 4:22 pm   #42
SiriusHardware
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Default Re: Retro Computer Festival 5th/6th Nov 2022

Possibly, if you have the uploader 'tuned' for the shortest possible keypresses which still work reliably then even a small amount of extra capacitance could make a difference by rounding off the corners of the keypad scanning signals a bit.

Used in the original way, the job of the joystick was just to deliver static on or off voltages to the joystick interface input so the effect of any cable capacitance would be negligible.

You seem to have found a workaround anyway, but we may have to look to increasing the score from two digits to three if there is any code space left for the code required to do that.
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Old 6th Nov 2022, 10:05 pm   #43
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Default Re: Retro Computer Festival 5th/6th Nov 2022

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbucus View Post
We had five minutes Phil_G and I so we rigged the joystick interface - you have to unplug or the uploader struggles - extra capacitance?

But it makes smashing the 99 limit easy on invaders!
Ah that’s great. Yes, definitely need that 3rd digit on the score. It shouldn’t need too many bytes as using the BCD add instructions simplifies things. I was in 2 minds as to how to draw the invaders during game set up. I went for a text string but nested loops may save some bytes.
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Old 6th Nov 2022, 10:52 pm   #44
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Default Re: Retro Computer Festival 5th/6th Nov 2022

What a brilliant weekend, so much to take in...
Great to physically meet up with long-time net-mates, even the big names were pleasantly approachable and it seemed no-one tired of explaining the same piece of kit for the umpeenth time over! Especially nice to finally meet Tim the Welsh Wizard, Realtime, Colin, Spencer (RC2014), Neal & John (Nascom) Doug Rice and many more names I'll remember after I click 'Post'

All the favourite retro chips were represented in one way or another, several SC/MPs, Chris & Daves 6800s, a 2650, loads of 6502s and of course Z80s & 8080s, I but I was particularly taken by the Gigatron, I'd heard of this TTL computer but didnt realise what a neat & capable little machine it was. Throughout the show the technical level of the homebrewed equipment was just astonishing.

I wasnt really an exhibitor as such but I took a few bits & bobs, the Aitken SC/MP running Kitbug via a Tandy 100 terminal, the little 6802 playing nought-&-crosses, a PICL flashing its LEDs, the Elf sending morse code, the Southern Cross Z80 built only last week, and the Japanese 1802 board running Adventureland. All run from batteries to avoid hogging the mains sockets!

Back home now and my brain is still buzzing, so much to take in. Brilliant.
Cheers all and thanks again to Tim for looking after a retro-fair first-timer!
Phil

Last edited by Phil__G; 6th Nov 2022 at 10:59 pm.
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Old 6th Nov 2022, 10:57 pm   #45
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Default Re: Retro Computer Festival 5th/6th Nov 2022

I am home safe as well so thanks to Phil for the assist on the stand ( he saved me a few times allowing consumption of a cup of tea while he did explain duty) and I can only echo his thanks to all the forum members who we got to catch up with and who took the time to talk to us both and let us endlessly enthuse about our pet projects!
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Old 7th Nov 2022, 1:10 am   #46
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Default Re: Retro Computer Festival 5th/6th Nov 2022

Well after only discovering this was taking place, after ChrisOddy mentioned it to me around midday on Saturday, I ended up going there on Sunday - after last going there in Sep 2019. And it was good to meet & talk to some of you (Timbucus, Phil_G NealCrook and maybe some others I saw are also on here).

Quite a few MK14's there, and the odd Introkit (Although I've not noticed an Introkit in CfCH's display. And I don't recall seeing one at TNMoC, last time I went there (2019?), that was mentioned earlier in this thread.

After discovering from a couple of people, that they didn't know about Introkits with a proper thin 2-layer Interconnection-PCB for the extra Keyboard-Display circuitry, to avoid having to wire-wrap it all, I've took some photos of mine and will post this separately for info. I can't recall if I ever found any Nat.Semi. documentation on this PCB - I do recall finding the instructions to add the interface via wire-wrapping, and showing where to position the parts.

I had thought that the SCRUMPI may have been one of the first British computers, and was surprised to find that the NASCOM was as old as 1977. But it was even more surprising to discover the Newbear 77/68 I'd never hear of before, and with a 77/68 marked CPU, rather than the 6800 it was a (Presumably licensed) copy / 2nd source of.
I did recently buy a 'The Computers that Made Britain - The Home Computer Revolution of the 1980's' book, that does mention the MK14 from the late 70's, but SCRUMPI, NASCOM etc - Although Apple's, IBM's and Commodore's do feature).
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Old 7th Nov 2022, 2:10 am   #47
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Default Re: Retro Computer Festival 5th/6th Nov 2022

Went on Saturday and met Timbucus for the first time, plus Pamphonica demonstrating his HP plotters with another forum member Chris. This was my first visit to the centre. There was a massive amount of vintage computers crammed into a unit on an industrial estate. Nearly all were set up and working. Quite a lot of the computers were ones I recognised, had used or owned in the past, a few are in my collection, but plenty of them were new to me. Here's a selection.

Nintendo Family Computer with keyboard and disk drive, plus Philips Videopac G7200 with built-in monitor, both were game consoles that could be used as computers.

Various school classroom computers from the 80s being used by much younger museum visitors, a display of Tandy TRS-80 computers and near clones (Dragon 32), Pamphonica's plotters, a recreation of a late 1970s office with CBM Pet computer and portable monochrome TV showing old Granada Television programme clips and adverts. Also in the 70s office (not pictured) a Sanyo Betacord piano-key VCR, Pye flip clock radio, ashtray and a touch-tone Statesman style telephone (wrong decade?).

More to follow ...
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Old 7th Nov 2022, 2:38 am   #48
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Default Re: Retro Computer Festival 5th/6th Nov 2022

Some more pictures:

Rediffusion ROCC online shopping system, claimed to be the first in the world (1984) enabled groceries from Tesco to be ordered from home.

Memotech MTX512 and Sinclair QL computers.

More 80s classic computers - Mattel Aquarius and ZX Spectrum with Prism VTX5000 modem.

Amstrad PPC640 portable PC running a BBS (bulletin board system) the forerunner to forums like this one.

Timex Sinclair computers sold outside the UK.
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Old 7th Nov 2022, 12:35 pm   #49
Phil__G
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Default Re: Retro Computer Festival 5th/6th Nov 2022

Here is Timbucus at the show playing Realtime's 'Space Invaders' on the SoC MK14 via an Atari joystick hastily wired to the keypad matrix

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFI_XQRYK-A
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Old 7th Nov 2022, 6:03 pm   #50
SiriusHardware
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Default Re: Retro Computer Festival 5th/6th Nov 2022

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottishColin View Post
I was wondering where you found that MK14 logo from?
If you mean the one which looks like a stylised / simplified / monochrome image of the MK14 manual cover (upper right in Tim's reflection in post #36), Tim or I might be able to lay hands on that one but it is quite a coarse image (64 x 64 pixels) as it was originally drawn to be displayed on an MK14 VDU.

If you mean the overall design on the shirt with the four sub - images, it's probably easiest to get a copy of that from Tim.

If you are really looking to 3D-print some MK14 themed coasters, maybe consider one like this which is just a square section cropped from the 'cover art' of the MK14 manual.
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Old 7th Nov 2022, 6:26 pm   #51
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Default Re: Retro Computer Festival 5th/6th Nov 2022

Phil__G thanks for posting that. The joystick really brings the game to life. Are we going to see MK14 joysticks on the market anytime soon? The JS-14 perhaps
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil__G View Post
Here is Timbucus at the show playing Realtime's 'Space Invaders' on the SoC MK14 via an Atari joystick hastily wired to the keypad matrix

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFI_XQRYK-A
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Old 7th Nov 2022, 10:36 pm   #52
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Default Re: Retro Computer Festival 5th/6th Nov 2022

I think I may have one of those Joystick patch-board interfaces for the Spectrum, which had the full QWERTY layout of header sockets and flying plug leads to map the functions to - Rather than various Spectrum Joystick interfaces, that mapped direct to the cursor keys, instead of Kempston 'IN 31' standard. An MK14 one should be a bit simpler, with rather less keys to map to.
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Old 8th Nov 2022, 8:08 am   #53
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Default Re: Retro Computer Festival 5th/6th Nov 2022

I can't do graduated colours, but I reckon these look quite good.

Colin.
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Old 8th Nov 2022, 8:39 am   #54
SiriusHardware
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Default Re: Retro Computer Festival 5th/6th Nov 2022

Already a design classic!
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Old 8th Nov 2022, 9:38 am   #55
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Default Re: Retro Computer Festival 5th/6th Nov 2022

I don't really know how to offer these on this site, but would anyone like the MK14 coasters/beermats?

It would be nice for me to give something back to all those that have helped (and I'm sure will continue to help me). Think of it as an early Christmas present.

Colin.
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Old 8th Nov 2022, 10:25 am   #56
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Default Re: Retro Computer Festival 5th/6th Nov 2022

I would love one or two of these but I would expect to pay at least the cost of the filament, which I am sure doesn't grow on trees. It's a shame you didn't have a few of these ready before the retro festival, if you could have put a few Tim's way I'm sure they would have been popular souvenirs for visitors to his stall.

I take it these are similar to the Commodore ones you did a while back - essentially plastic / wipeable surface, so much more like a coaster than a beermat, though equally able to support the weight of a beer glass? (still using my Commodore ones, by the way).

This is one way in which the CfCH is missing a trick actually, the range of stock available from its shop is really very limited and doesn't really try to take advantage of brand rivalry / brand loyalty which is very ingrained in retro techie people - I reckon they could do well with a range of T-shirts and other items with brand logos like Sinclair, Commodore, Atari, Acorn, Dragon, IBM, etc - they only do one T-shirt, the design of which I find very underwhelming. Granted they don't have a lot of space in which to stock an Athena-esque off the peg range but, being techie people, maybe they could come up with a scheme where they can print the design of your choice (on your size) while you wait, so they'd only have to stock plain black T-shirts in a few popular sizes.
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Old 8th Nov 2022, 9:16 pm   #57
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Default Re: Retro Computer Festival 5th/6th Nov 2022

Yea the coasters look really nice - count me in.

As regards the patch system for the joystick from AGF and COMCON ( https://programbytes48k.wordpress.co...ystick-comcon/ ) - I did think that that would be the ideal approach for the MK14 one but, adding complexity where some small software tweaks may be more appropriate... the simplicity of the up down left right on the keyboard with 2 as fire in the middle seems simple.

I will certainly adapt MINEFIELD now as I had to tweak it for SOC VDU from the PE VDU anyway.

The issue with the T-Shirts in the Museum is most of the logos are now under the control of one or two individuals who aggressively control the trademarks - as is their right under the rules having re-registered them when they lapsed. The Sinclair one is of course now with Disney after the purchase of Sky and why the Next team are unable to sell any merchandise as the licence was for the computer only.
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Old 8th Nov 2022, 9:29 pm   #58
SiriusHardware
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Default Re: Retro Computer Festival 5th/6th Nov 2022

Groan, of course, rights issues raising their ugly head again.

It occurs to me that we could maybe (where possible) pay Colin for the coasters in MK14 parts - for example I'd be happy to swap a pair of programmed PROMs (cost to me, about £3 each when I bought them) for two coasters. That seems like a fair trade to me, Colin makes something I can't make for myself and I make him something he can't make for himself.
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Old 8th Nov 2022, 9:43 pm   #59
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Default Re: Retro Computer Festival 5th/6th Nov 2022

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottishColin View Post
would anyone like the MK14 coasters/beermats?
Colin.
Put me down for a pair please. They will definitely brighten up the workbench.
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Old 8th Nov 2022, 9:59 pm   #60
ScottishColin
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Default Re: Retro Computer Festival 5th/6th Nov 2022

I'll keep watching this thread - the printer is fully occupied printing Christmas Trees right now so I'll let you all know when I've got to the coasters.

I think a fair price would be £1 per coaster plus P&P - please anyone let me know if that's not going to work for you.

Sirius - you've got mail.

Colin.
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