On Saturday 26th January the South West Amiga Group will be holding a double-length meet, running from 11am – 10pm.
Moving away from our usual Swindon Makerspace venue for this one-off special meet, we’ll be holding it in the modern Doddington Parish Hall, Chipping Sodbury, just off junction 18 of the M4.
The venue has around 20 dedicated parking spaces right outside the main doors (with more at the back), wifi, and a kitchen. We have the entire venue to ourselves for the day. There is a takeaway a short walk away, which opens mid afternoon, and if there’s enough interest we could always order brunch in. Brief details of the venue can be found here: https://www.dodingtonpc.org.uk/services-facili…/parish-hall/
With several of our regular attendees also active within Amiga North Thames, we’d like to invite ANT members along to make it a joint meet of epic Amiga related proportions. A number of SWAG members have expressed an interest in staying in the area overnight, so you may want to join them and make a weekend of it.
We’ll have a very special guest for this meet in the form of the one and only Trevor Dickinson. Trevor will be over in this part of the world as he’s attending Amiga Ireland the weekend before, and will be visiting us, accompanied by Matthew Leaman of Amigakit. (Note that to keep room hire fees low and avoid the council charging us rates for traders, there won’t be a stand selling Amiga hardware / software).
We need to raise the funds for the room hire, which has to be paid in advance. To cover this, we are asking those SWAG/ANT members who wish to attend, to pay £7 in advance.
If you would like to attend, please respond to this post, email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or contact us via Facebook (https://web.facebook.com/groups/southwestamiga/). We will note your names and be in touch in due course to collect your entrance fee.
This has the makings of being a fantastic day long session, and could potentially see larger Amiga events organised if the interest is there.
SWAG will be attending Retro Revival 2018 “Generation X”, showcasing members’ machines including the Amiga 4000, 1200, 600, 500, CDTV and CD32. Please do visit our stand and check out the exhibits and demos!
“REVIVAL: Generation X 2018 is the latest upcoming show from Revival Retro Events, featuring the very best in dedicated retro video gaming exhibits and unrivalled gaming atmosphere! With literally DOUBLE the floor space of the previous year, 2018’s main event will feature well over 250 playable systems and interactive attractions that will entertain any old school gamer, families, children and casual gamers alike.”
Amiga 1200 with Gotek drive / Network card
Windows PC running MAME
Amiga 500 with Gotek drive
and 1942 monitor
Amiga 4000 030 and 1084ST monitor
(not working – battery leakage and
Laptop running WINAUE. Running Bomberman on the projector.
BBC Master 128
Amiga 600 with Vampire board
Amiga 500 with 1084 monitor
(expansion RAM ruined due to battery leakage)
Raspberry Pi running Amibian
Following the success of the first SWAG meeting back in early May, which saw 12 Amiga fans get together for an afternoon of retro gaming, chat and general tinkering, it was decided that a second session should be arranged for the 17th of September.
Our second meeting played host to a real selection of Amiga hardware meaning you weren’t short of something to sit down in front of and try out.
The main feature for this month was “arcade conversions”. The Amiga plays host to some absolutely terrible conversions, but we were only interested in the cream of the crop.
An Amiga 500 equipped with Gotek was loaded up with a stack of arcade games, and alongside that we had a PC running MAME so we could compare the versions side by side. Some of the titles we played included Toki, Pang, Midnight Resistance, Buggy Boy and Commando. The general consensus that afternoon was that Amiga really does have some great conversions!
One of our members spent the majority of the afternoon installing a Vampire expansion card on his A600, and experiencing varied success with it once it had been plugged in. The main issue seemed to be that the card and the TCP IP stack weren’t totally happy together, and as such, the internet connection kept dropping on that machine
Elsewhere, and after a number of attempts to get Amibian up and running on a Raspberry Pi 3, and being unable to resolve issues with the screen resolution, we reverted to the trusty UAE for ARM installation for the remainder of the session.
On another desk a dead Amiga 4000 was brought back to life. The leaking battery was removed and eroded tracks were cleaned. Prior to power-on a small crowd circled the machine ready to see what would happen. The excitement on people’s faces when the machine loaded to Workbench was a real joy to see.
The A4000 required further work, but this would need to be carried out after the session.
If you’ve read the kit list at the top of the report properly you’ll have noticed that we had one imposter machine in our midst in the form of a BBC Master 128. This wasn’t an ordinary BBC Master, as it had 2GB of storage, 2 x battery backup carts and 4 different operating systems. This was brought along as a number of members wanted to see this up and running. We’ll likely bring one or two other platforms along to future meets, with the deal being if you bring another non Amiga platform along you also have to bring an Amiga. Well, it IS an Amiga usergroup!
On another bank of desks we were testing yet another Amiga set-up. The group had been kindly donated a full Amiga 500 desktop suite, complete with monitor and software. The hardware originally belonged to an Amigan who used his system for video editing. Unfortunately he’d recently passed away, and one of his children wanted it to go to someone who would use it. We found one Amiga user who was keen to get back into the hobby, and who had the knowledge to bring it back up to fully working order. This went off with him and it’ll be coming back at the next meeting repaired and ready for use.
Towards the end of the session talk drifted to the next meeting. After some discussion we’ve decided that the next meeting will be held at the Swindon Makerspace on Saturday 14th January. We’ll be meeting in the greasy spoon next door to the venue from 11am, and getting things underway from 12 noon. The first two meetings ran until 4:00pm. Due to a number of requests from those travelling from further afield, the January meeting will be the first that runs until 5:00pm!