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Pictures from Seattle's Classic Gaming Weekend 73

Cyberroach has pictures from last week's Classic Gaming Weekend in Seattle. The pictures include an "Obsolete Media Festival" with a guy who makes music with an Atari 2600, Commodore C64, and a dot-matrix printer; old hardware from the NorthWest Classic Gaming Enthusiasts' Meeting; and the 6th Annual Atari Championship.
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Pictures from Seattle's Classic Gaming Weekend

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  • 403.9 (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 22, 2003 @09:29AM (#5573638)
    "HTTP 403.9 - Access Forbidden: Too many users are connected Internet Information Services"

    Microsoft IIS: official server platform of Slashdotted sites.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      is slowing it down.
    • Re:403.9 (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Oh come on now... Some sysadmin actually configured IIS correctly. It's not smoking, it's not blue screening, and it's not down.

      They likely don't have the bandwidth or the server sized appropriately for the number of similtaneous connections that slashdot refers.

      Would you rather they left it open to "unlimited" connections on a undersized network connection, then have 75% of the connections time out?

      Microsoft sucks. They got a crappy security track record (so did *nix, many years ago)... They overcha
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You'd think they'd realize not to put sites with pictures on slashdot. :)
    • DIY Vectrex TV Set (Score:4, Interesting)

      by BigBlockMopar ( 191202 ) on Saturday March 22, 2003 @01:50PM (#5574555) Homepage

      You'd think they'd realize not to put sites with pictures on slashdot. :)

      Yeah, but how about those pictures of the Vectrex TV set?

      That's a cool idea.

      You can find Vectrex schematics in about 100 places on the 'Net, so I could even build my own Vectrex motherboard... (that way, I wouldn't have to take mine apart!)

      I think that I have worries about the use of the color CRT, however.

      Color tube means three beams of electrons to focus and accelerate instead of only one, which means a higher second anode voltage. Higher second anode voltage means more X-Ray production. Color TV sets and monitors are full of circuitry to keep this voltage very carefully regulated; lots of components in the power supply, horizontal deflection and cathode drives are very carefully specified for this reason - in fact, lots of TV schematics put a big border around those areas of the schematic, with "SAFETY CRITICAL - X-RAY" warnings all over them to make sure that technicians don't try to sub in a 47 ohm resistor when the schematic calls for a 42 ohm resistor, etc.

      This Vectrex TV must have had some huge mods made to the deflection systems, and, as a direct consequence, the flyback supply which produces the high voltage for the second anode.

      I hope he was careful...

      Otherwise, it's a pretty simple hack. Build a Vectrex (rather than gutting an original). Find a large black and white monitor - Electrohome used to make 25" closed circuit and broadcast monitors - or an old large Sun monochrome display. Disconnect the deflection yoke, yank out the monitor's chassis, and put in the Vectrex. A larger tube will require more deflection current, so you'll need to beef up the output stage, and make any adjustments to the output stages to match the impedance of the monitor's yoke. CRT filaments can usually be lit from a 6VAC power supply - just a transformer from the power line. And, as for the high voltage, I'd throw a couple of 2N3055s onto a flyback (just a small solid state Tesla coil), rectify the output, and toss it at the CRT's high voltage ultor. Though the Vectrex flyback might even do it reasonably well... Adjust the voltage on the CRT's grids for best focus.

  • Commodore 64 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ShoeHead ( 40158 ) on Saturday March 22, 2003 @09:38AM (#5573661) Homepage
    I remember my first real experience with computers--my friend had a commodore 64, and we used to play on it all the time. He had tons of games, but it was frustrating sometimes trying to get them to run. The C64 had a weird prompt backed by a blue screen (!!) and you needed to follow a fairly complex set of instructions to get any games to actually load.

    But it was this very machinery that led me to experiment with basic on my own PC, back in the day. Ah, the memories...
    • Re:Commodore 64 (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Pressing SHIFT+RUN to load & run a tape game, yeah, a real drag. What did you have to do, consult the manual after pressing SHIFT?

      Yeah, yeah, I know, you had a disk drive which was somewhat more esoteric. It didn't have a DIR command so you had to LOAD the directory as a Basic program and LIST it, with the line numbers indicating file size. Pretty ingenious if you ask me, but then I have a soft spot for that Seattle-based corporation who made the Basic.
      • Re:Commodore 64 (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Pretty ingenious if you ask me,

        I wouldn't agree. The Commodore 1541 disk drive set a record for wretched engineering that remained unchallenged until the first IBM PC display adapters appeared with more chips on them than the motherboard they plugged into.

        You basically had a drive that cost as much as the computer, ran at the same speed as the Apple ]['s cassette port, and, as you say, didn't even have a proper DOS. Next to Woz's clean, fast, and elegantly-simple implementation of 5.25" floppy support
      • Hehe, load"$",8 .. ah, memories.
      • On a C128 with a 1571 it's even easier since Shift Run/Stop loads the first program on disc in the same way the CBM 8032's did.

        Also on a C128, some programs will auto boot if you have the disk in the drive and turn the machine on.

        Always unnnerving to see that Microsoft copyright message on a Commodore machine. But since Microsoft did the original job for a flat fee and Commodore kept the right to alter the original code at will, Billy never made additional dime from all those C64's sold.
    • Re:Commodore 64 (Score:3, Informative)

      by CritterNYC ( 190163 )
      LOAD "*",8,1

      • Re:Commodore 64 (Score:3, Informative)

        by gilesjuk ( 604902 )
        LOAD "$",8

        To get a directory listing.

        Formatting a disc was a pain though as the drives weren't dumb mechanisms connected to a controller in the computer, they were computers themselves. The 1541 was basically a file serving computer that sent filles over the serial bus. Problem was the software in the 1541 was really bad, very slow.

        • Well, if we can't see the slashdotted pics, we can make our own mental memory lane, eh?

          I remember seeing a C64 + 1541 drive with a FastDrive cartridge installed -- 5-10x speed increase (from something 100x too slow to begin with though ;)). I was amazed. And I still don't know how it worked -- some sort of caching or somthing? Anyone know the basic idea?

          What, those were 170kB (170!) disks right? You could clip out the "unusuable side" write notch on most floppies and make 'em double-sided, for a w
          • I remember seeing a C64 + 1541 drive with a FastDrive cartridge installed -- 5-10x speed increase (from something 100x too slow to begin with though ;)). I was amazed. And I still don't know how it worked -- some sort of caching or somthing? Anyone know the basic idea?

            That was the Epyx FastLoad cartridge. They worked by replacing the drive's firmware and basically bypassing the extensive error-checking that was normally done, basically by telling the drive, "Just give me the damn file".

            There were also
        • Problem was the software in the 1541 was really bad, very slow.

          I don't think the problem was the drive's firmware, as much as the design decisions that went into making the device in the first place. It was the fact that it was a 9600bps serial device that had substantial error-checking and so on going on all the time. It could be made several times faster using something like the Epyx FastLoad cartridge which bypassed most of the error checking and just loaded the damn file.

          In other words, a decisio
          • But in doing so they made the drive almost slower than tape.

            Turbo loaders were pretty reliable on tape, saved waiting 20 minutes for a game to load.

            I never had many problems with discs, although I had an accelerator drive as 1541s were becoming scarce.
      • Just reading that brings a tear to my eye =) The Commodore 64 was my first computer... typing that line is so ingrained in my brain that after not having used the C64 for over a decade, my fingers know where to find the " and * keys on the beautiful bulky keyboard/computer.

        LOAD "*",8,1 ranks just above up up down down left right left right b a select/start, I think.

      • Sigh indeed! I used to dream longingly of owning a 1541 drive.

        When I got my C64, I couldn't even afford a tape drive so I had to type in my program every time I turned on the machine. Eventually I saved up enough for the tape and remember telling my wife "This is great! I can just put in the tape, type "LOAD", come back in ten minutes and it's ready to RUN."
    • Re:Commodore 64 (Score:2, Interesting)

      by DeathoP ( 599585 )
      I see you're alarmed by the C-64's blue screen. You obviously never saw the Atari 8-bit's default blue screen (!!^2). I had to do a poke 752...poke 756...poke 82...uhhh...oh yeah, a POKE 710,10 to get a nice grey background color to keep my eyes from crossing. CAK
  • by Jason Scott ( 18815 ) on Saturday March 22, 2003 @09:44AM (#5573671) Homepage
    Here [] is the official webpage of the Classic Gaming Weekend.
    This [] page seems to be working well, occasionally, even under the slashdotting.
    Here [] is an attendee's web page with some details of the work he did.
    And, of course, you should be aware of how many great people and groups there are out there keeping the memory alive with humor and aplomb, like these good friends [].
  • Music? (Score:5, Funny)

    by AsnFkr ( 545033 ) on Saturday March 22, 2003 @10:00AM (#5573713) Homepage Journal
    Pictures? I think I'd rather have Mp3's of a guy who makes music with an Atari 2600, Commodore C64, and a dot-matrix printer. .....Well, perhaps not.
  • by coso ( 559844 ) on Saturday March 22, 2003 @10:00AM (#5573714)
    They should of used one of the C-64's instead of IIS. It might of stood up to the slashdotting (@ 15 comments???) better. I know my TI-99/4A could handle that many BBS users back in the 85. How Far we've come... *sigh*
    • It might of stood up to the slashdotting (@ 15 comments???) better

      Maybe its because a lot of people actually READ before they POST. Or maybe not.

  • My Classic game (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ch-chuck ( 9622 ) on Saturday March 22, 2003 @10:04AM (#5573722) Homepage
    here [] is my classic game - Space War on a MITS Altair (8080), two DAC channels, a 'scope, and two 4 switch boxes for CW, CCW, Fire and Thrust and a lot of assembly language. Get the quicktime movie to see it in action.
  • Mirror (Score:5, Informative)

    by Powercntrl ( 458442 ) on Saturday March 22, 2003 @10:16AM (#5573739)
    The site's acting flakey so I mirrored the 3 thumbnail pages on my box: []
  • The music. (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 22, 2003 @11:06AM (#5573853)
    with a guy who makes music with an Atari 2600, Commodore C64, and a dot-matrix printer

    Retro? These seem like the latest techniques in avant-garde electronic music. Maybe this guy should adorn himself in Marc Jacobs clothing and send off a demo to Warp Records.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Seattle, home and HQ of all obsolete computer experiences...

  • by chuckgrosvenor ( 473314 ) on Saturday March 22, 2003 @11:21AM (#5573912) Homepage
    An old Epson LQ-500.. all the Epson dot matrix printers were very good quality (for their time), and noisy as hell.. they also seemed to have a much higher pitch in noise than most printers, especially when you'd stick them in a graphics mode, or something funky..

    but listening to one for more than 5 minutes would probably drive me insane once the nostalgia wore off.. I certainly don't miss the jammed paper, the noise, the low dot-pitch which screamed "Done on a computer"..

    actually, I think it would have been more interesting if he sampled a lot of different printers.. like an old VAX line printer.. chunga-chunga-chunga..
  • Obsolete? (Score:5, Funny)

    by kaiguy ( 658316 ) on Saturday March 22, 2003 @12:19PM (#5574140)
    Wait...Dot Matrix printers are obsolete? When did that happen? Oh man...been too long since I upgraded.
    • Re:Obsolete? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Bad_Feeling ( 652942 )
      They are hardly obsolete, businesses that need carbon copys and have thousands of pages of automated reports printed out every day still buy & use them. But for home use, maybe they are a little dated.
      • I replaced my dot matrix not because of quality, but because of the noise. Those things were loud, especially in dorm rooms late at night...

    • Yeah, my ImageWriter II finally died about a year ago (the feed belt for the ribbon cartridge snapped). Fortunately, my ImageWriter I is a tougher beast... no color, but absolutely wonderful for rough-drafting my thesis, printing from my iBook. The noise gives you a feeling of accomplishment.
  • by phillymjs ( 234426 ) <slashdot AT stango DOT org> on Saturday March 22, 2003 @01:08PM (#5574339) Homepage Journal
    The fourth annual PhillyClassic [] kicks off on Friday, March 28 and lasts through Sunday evening, March 30.

  • by XNormal ( 8617 ) on Saturday March 22, 2003 @01:57PM (#5574589) Homepage
    The pictures include an "Obsolete Media Festival" with a guy who makes music with an Atari 2600, Commodore C64, and a dot-matrix printer

    A dot-matrix printer? Interesting. I remember a program for the C64 that played the Blue Danube - through the floppy disk drive. It downloaded the code into the drive and you could actually turn off the computer and it still kept playing.

    It worked by rapidly moving the head back and forth. I guess it wasn't too healthy for the drive.
  • They are using Dos 3.3 on a compaq 386 laptop.

    (actually, they're up to a custom 486 rig, these days) []

    From the page:

    DOS 3.3 is the world's best operating system for running sequencers - as long as those sequencers aren't necessarily expecting to find something more "advanced". DOS 3.3 won't let its timing or its very stability get confused by peripheral distractions that nobody actually needs (like Graphic User Interfaces). Our friend Mike who works with Erasure says that the tutu boys are still using
  • Was an idea of mine in `89 i think or when Amiga was around.

    I was only a kid and decided not to take it further since breaking a drive I thought possible.

    Any other mad ideas other than printer music we've heard of?
  • by cbreaker ( 561297 ) on Sunday March 23, 2003 @06:19AM (#5577748) Journal
    Assembly is a demo competition held in Helsinki, Finland each year.

    They show demos by demogroups using new PC's with 3d accelerators to old school demos on the C64's or VIC20's. Yea, people still code for the VIC20.

    It's not about Money, it's all about bragging rights. These guys can code some amazing stuff. Last year they even had a guy do a live music set with a C64.

    Assembly is the name of the competition because all these guys used to code in Assembly. It's not so much so anymore; now they have all sorts of events.

    I think it's awesome, and I'd love to go to Assembly '03. Last year they had 4500+ people. The level of talent that some of these guys show is outstanding.

    You can download all the Assembly (and other party) demos, music, animations, and art at Be sure to check out Project Kerosene, and 32 degrees in the shade.

Someday somebody has got to decide whether the typewriter is the machine, or the person who operates it.