Saturday, 9 December 2017

December 2017 Meeting Report, new owners and Farewell

Hi All,

Epsilon here. I have prepared a blog post on my blog covering the December 2017 Adelaide Retro Computing Group meeting, held on December 8. The link is here:

https://amigax1000.blogspot.com.au/2017/12/adelaide-retro-computing-group-meeting.html

Sadly this was the last meeting with myself, George and Theo as organisers of the Adelaide Retro Computing Group. After 3 years of running the group (for me and George from it's formation in late 2014) we are keen to do other things, although in my case it is mainly for health reasons.

We are handing control of the group over to a new set of organisers, as agreed during the meeting on December 8.


This will be my final post (I assume) on the Adelaide Retro Computing Group website as the owner of the page. I will shortly transfer control to the new owners of the group, and leave it to them to update this website moving forward. I will remain as an admin for as long as I am welcome.

I can say it has been a blast and I have really enjoyed running this website for the group, and organising the events as well for the past 3 years. Meeting so many passionate people at these meetings has been a highlight, and mucking around with some amazing systems all in one place!

I hope the new owners continue the good work begun by myself, George and Theo and keep the momentum going for this group and build on it.

I look forward to attending the events in 2018!

In the meantime, I am still active on my Amiga blog http://amigax1000.blogspot.com.au  and Instagram at Instagram.com/epsilon2012 if you want to follow along.

I will restart my other blogs and other things as my health improves following a big scare last month - this being the main reason for me stepping down from organising the group moving forward.

Farewell for now.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Final Retro Computing Event - December 8 2017

It is with a heavy heart that we must announce that the next Adelaide Retro Computing Group meeting on Friday December 8th will be the last one. :-(

For the past 2 years this group has been run by George, Theo and myself (Epsilon), and we have decided collectively to stop running the group in it's current form and move on to other things.

It has been fantastic to meet so many passionate Retro computing enthusiasts, to see some amazing systems, and to share knowledge and experiences!

We want to take this opportunity to thank you all for supporting the group, bringing systems along and attending the meetings.

Without you all, the group could not have run as long as it has, and we are very grateful to everyone who has come to our meetings, whether as a regular attendee or just a once off visit to see what we are all about.

This group started life in late 2015 with George and myself (Epsilon) starting the meetings from the ashes of the old Adelaide Amiga User Group at Blackwood Community Centre, with 5 attendees!

Soon after this, the meetings proved so popular that we quickly filled the room space there and had to move to larger premises!

In early 2016 we moved to larger facilities at the Eastwood Community Centre, created the website and Facebook page, and the popularity of the group rose and rose, we moved to monthly meetings and at times we struggled to fit everyone in!

Theo also started to help out with the group as it got bigger and needed more management.

The Adelaide Retro Computing Group has been a lot of fun throughout it's run, with some great presentations too, from presenters here in Australia and overseas, and so many Adelaide people
coming regularly to check it out!

We have decided to keep the Facebook group page open after the meetings end, to allow all the people who attended the meetings a way to keep in contact. (We will remove the website though)

If you have been deciding whether to attend an event or not, the December 8 event will be your last chance so we hope to see you there.

Thank you again, and see you on December 8 for the Final Retro Computing Event.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Youtube Channel Launched

Howdy folks, we are pleased to announce our youtube channel.  The link is to the right --->

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Interview with Alexis Kotlowy


 Interviewer: George Foumakis


G:               I’m sitting down with Alexis Kotlowy.  Alexis is a jack of all trades in regards to the work he does with computing and electronics. 
                   Alexis, could you tell us how it all started?

A:               To be concise as possible, I started in year three at school.  I found a book about electronics, an Osborne book about electronics – an old U.K. publication – and it just sort of stuck; I got hooked on it and it snowballed from there.


G:               What happened next, after you did that?

A:               I started pulling stuff apart and tinkering with things.  It got a bit dangerous at point because I started fiddling around with mains equipment and my parents had to have safety switch installed, which is still installed now.  Yeah, just pulling stuff apart and figuring out how it worked.  Apparently, I always used to pull stuff apart but it wasn’t really until I discovered electronics that I started pulling apart electronics things.

G:               I’m assuming you’re referring to a Clipsal Safety Switch?

A:                Yes. Yeah, RCD switch.

G:               What would you say your favourite thing is that you really love engaging in?

A:               Just design of obscure and unknown pieces of technology.  If it’s obscure or if it’s, I don’t know – odd, I suppose would be a good word for it; unexplored would be the word for it – areas of electronics like using analogue electronics to do things that you don’t expect to do on digital electronics, which is one thing I’m working on at the moment.  That’s the sort of thing I like to fiddle about with.

G:               Sure.  Now, I understand that you have designed some bits and pieces.  Are you happy to go into how that happens?

A:               Yeah, sure.  Usually the ideas either comes to me when I’m trying to go to sleep, which is very inconvenient because I’m trying to go to sleep or alternatively, if someone comes to me with an idea, saying “Look, I’m trying to do this. It’s not working very well” and I usually know how to solve it that requires redesigning an entire circuit. 
                   Let me think – when the ideas I came up with was to convert the output of the chip, which runs the MSX series of computers and output it so it has a high resolution RGB or component output.  A friend of mine came to me and said “Look, can it be done?” and I said “Yes, certainly” and I went ahead and designed it, made some PCBs up.  Sold him one PCB and still had a few PCBs leftover to sell.

                   
                   Another thing is, I noticed deficiencies in existing products, like an Atari 2600 composite mods.  I don’t think the resolution of the output is as good as it can be, so I redesigned my own composite and s-video mod, which is all in one unit and importantly, you don’t have to drill out the case to install the mod.  That’s another deficiency I found in the existing mods; you have to drill out the case to put holes in the case to install new sockets.  My mod, you don’t have to do that.

G:               Did you envisage that you’d be doing all this work that you do?

A:               Not really. It just, sort of comes naturally.  I often say I can’t see more than two weeks ahead into the future, but it’s just something that’s always been inherent in what I do.  I always like to tinker and I always like to explore new ideas.
                   It’s interesting that the course I’m doing – we did the personality test and my personality type is just that I’m very creative – but it’s interesting because the professions that are listed underneath, which would be not suitable for my personality type included electronics, electrical work, stuff that involves heavy mathematics and stuff.  Even though I’m not that great at mathematics, I still manage to get around with electronics quite proficiently.
                   It’s interesting because I’m a creative mind, I can often see around interesting roadblocks that most other people will probably get stumbled; most other people stumble on.  It gives me an interesting advantage but at the same time, I’m not so good with mathematics, so I can’t figure out stuff that’s very complicated in the sense that I can’t simplify a circuit diagram with mathematics.  I have to do it visually, for example.

G:               Thank you, Alexis for your time.


A:                No problems.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

I've recently come across acknowledgement that social media is creating a less personal social atmosphere in society at large.  However, using social media as a tool to promote community events and bring people into a personal atmosphere is a way to overcome this impersonal communication. This has been one of the core aims of our group, to bring people together.

Video games have copped much criticism from many for potential harmful effects that they create on society.  However, this is a wide sweep attack.  Remember there are many different genres such as RPG, Classic, Adventure, and so on that provide a different stimulus.  In recent times we are seeing a prevalence in mental health issues and so called strategies to cope with them.  Video games, have been used in studies to show positive effects on the human brain and are further assumed as mental health treatment options.  Super Mario 64 has been one prime tool for this purpose.  Other benefits of video games are widely acknowledged, such as increased grey-matter in the brain, memory improvement, coordination improvement, eye-sight improvement and so on.






Ref:
https://www.mpg.de/research/video-games-brain

Friday, 14 July 2017

July 2017 Event



Free For All Retro Computing Event!
Time: 7:30pm
Date: Friday 14th July 2017
Location: Eastwood Community Centre Hall - 95 Glen Osmond Road, Eastwood SA 5063


Cost of entry is $4 per person. (Children under 12 exempt)

 





July's event is on the 14th July!

Any retro computer or gaming system is fine: Apple, IBM, Commodore, Amiga, Atari, Sega, Nintendo, Wonderswan, FM Towns, BeBox, NEXT, we want to see them all. We'd especially like to see stuff we haven't seen before, so no matter how obscure it is, we want to see it.

If you don't have anything to bring in that's fine, we'd like to see as many people attend to spectate as those with displays.

We request that systems be dated 2001 or earlier.

A popular feature of recent events has been a two player retro gaming competition. We'll be doing this again. We'll have the projector setup with a retro gaming system.

Second hand sale tables for those wanting to sell Retro systems and retro system accessories should be available as usual.

The event starts at 7:30pm, but for those bringing in systems please arrive at 7:00pm to set up. Please bring power boards and extension cables for your equipment. Tables are provided.

There is a $4 entry fee to cover costs of room hire, etc.

For directions to the Eastwood Community Centre please visit our website at http://adelaideretrocomputing.blogspot.com.au/ and click on Meeting Location for directions.

We look forward to seeing you all there!

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

June 2017 Event



Free For All Retro Computing Event!
Time: 7:30pm
Date: Friday 9 June 2017
Location: Eastwood Community Centre Hall - 95 Glen Osmond Road, Eastwood SA 5063


Cost of entry is $4 per person. (Children under 12 exempt)

  



June's event will not have a specific theme and will be a Free for all Retro Computer event!

Any retro computer or gaming system is fine: Apple, IBM, Commodore, Amiga, Atari, Sega, Nintendo, Wonderswan, FM Towns, BeBox, NEXT, we want to see them all. We'd especially like to see stuff we haven't seen before, so no matter how obscure it is, we want to see it.

If you don't have anything to bring in that's fine, we'd like to see as many people attend to spectate as those with displays.

We request that systems be dated 2001 or earlier. 

A popular feature of recent events has been a two player retro gaming competition. We'll be doing this again. We'll have the projector setup with a retro gaming system.

Second hand sale tables for those wanting to sell Retro systems and retro system accessories should be available as usual.

The event starts at 7:30pm, but for those bringing in systems please arrive at 7:00pm to set up. Please bring power boards and extension cables for your equipment. Tables are provided.

There is a $4 entry fee to cover costs of room hire, etc. 

For directions to the Eastwood Community Centre please visit our website at http://adelaideretrocomputing.blogspot.com.au/ and click on Meeting Location for directions.

We look forward to seeing you all there!