A mini-meetup yesterday

A few of the members here were able to meet in real life yesterday - @hoglet lent his lab space, and we spent quite some time chatting about retrocomputing and then went for a curry.

@drogon brought in a few projects-in-progress and treasured possessions, and @hoglet demonstrated some of his recent projects. Much fractal calculation occurred, in Basic, in C, and in FPGA. @drogon’s Enigma board (not an Enigma-E) was of particular interest to me and to @Revaldinho. His Ruby board running BBC Basic on a 65C02 at 16MHz was also of great interest.

Not seen here, Rob brought in his recently-acquired Acorn Communicator and we had a poke about to try to understand the machine. It has a BBC Basic, probably a port or rewrite for the 65816, but probably limited to a 64k memory area. Further exploration needed! One useful bit of synergy was that we could use @hoglet’s HDMI adapter dongle project to get a very stable picture on the LCD - this particular Communicator can drive a CRT but something about the signal is not friendly to LCDs.

Maybe some other members here live in reasonable travelling distance of each other and could meet up in real life?


I’m very jealous! It sounds like a fantastic time.

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We’re very lucky to live in reasonable distance and to share similar perspectives on retro computing. Other than me and @Revaldinho who met at work, or after work, we found each other online, at stardot and 6502.org, and have shared discussions and projects there.

There’s also a bit of a precedent, in that most of us have been to at least one ABUG meetup, which is what Stardot calls them, which are weekend events with usually a couple of dozen attendees. They are very friendly, supportive, and cooperative events. These days there’s even a micro-ABUG in Canada with just two attendees - that too says something about scale!

ABUGs are almost 100% Acorn-centric, unsurprisingly. It would be good to have something much broader and more inclusive, although my preference would be for it not to be primarily a retro gaming event. Perhaps call it something like a retrothon™ and headline programming, fixing, extending, and creating music and art on 8 bit and 16 bit machines. Or perhaps just concentrate on BASIC? Everyone’s heard of that.

(Forums often give people a way to describe their location in their profile - that can help a mini-meetup to self-organise. In the case of Stardot, they even had a thread to collect locations into an annotated map.)

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I did get a friend to come over and help me get one of my PDP-11s off the ground. It’s always more fun to retrocompute with company!

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Hee hee. It’s true, it was an invitation-only event. There’s a Stardot meetup at the CCH in Cambridge soon, although it is fully booked. One could turn up and chat with people, probably, although strictly there’s no more room in the room, so don’t tell anyone I sent you. Perhaps next time I have in mind a personal visit to TNMoC or CCH, I’ll think to say so in advance. I expect to visit the Science Museum later this year, although there’s no specifically retrocomputing element to that. I think the BESM-6 and CDC 6600 are still on display. As might be the one and only gold-plated BBC Micro.

I’ve never been to the Living Computer Museum in Seattle or the Computer History Museum in Mountain View but they’d surely be good places to hold a meetup.

Well if I ever do manage to get out to the Computer History Museum I’ll get to meet a bunch of the people I follow on youtube!

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(I don’t mean to imply that everyone here hails from the UK or the US, of course! Traffic data suggests interest here from Germany, France, Czechia, Finland, Spain, Brazil, Canada, Argentina, Italy, Serbia, Austria, Netherlands, Australia, China… and of course Singapore. Who knows how much of it is from enthusiasts around the world. Lots of it, I hope!)
(Edit: and Norway! And Poland, and Russia, and Japan, and Ireland, and Sweden, and Denmark…)