Meetup #15 – 2021-04-17

Meetup #15 has come and gone as our band of regulars met with new member Saburo and returnee Tom for a party of 8 despite the gloomy situation of coronavirus. Sean and Edoardo arrived simultaneously and went to work, Edoardo on further maintenance and repair of last month’s PC-8201 and Sean on doing nothing of consequence in BASIC on the Casio MX-10. Sean then made a brilliant program on the PC-8201 to test it. The program starts with a number (zero), adds 1, waits for a while, and then does it again, endlessly. It got somewhere over 10,000 without any errors so it’s probably bug-free.

A bit later, Sven and Curt arrived with their toys, Sven with his not-quite-happy Commodore 128D and Curt with an MX-101 and a non-working black and white monitor. The Commodore 128D’s internal floppy drive seems unable to initialize properly, just keeps spinning and spinning. Justin, Curt, Edoardo, and Sven ran a considerable amount of testing but were not able to make it work. But at least Sven has some thoughts about what steps to take next.

The problem with Curt’s monitor was much more straightforward to solve. Edoardo looked at it, touched a dial, and it worked fine after that. Curt swears he touched that dial before, so we can assume Edoardo fixed it by looking at it. It has a good picture with crisp black and white output.

New member Saburo brought a wealth of vintage electronics treasure with him, from a Bandai Gundam RX-78 with games to an Epson HX-20 with software tape library and a bunch of PC-8201 software that unfortunately couldn’t be used, but looked really cool nonetheless. He also brought Alfort chocolate snacks so that was worth some bonus points right there. He’s definitely welcome back!

Michelle and Tom showed up a bit after lunch. Michelle got some troubleshooting done on her OSSC and tried to hook it up to the TV using her Saturn, but it turns out there may be some cases where the OSSC has compatibility issues with LG TVs, so results are inconclusive. Tom brought some games for the MSX to add to the ones Sean had brought earlier in the morning, and some MSX gaming took place.

We also had some fantastic news that will improve the convenience of the meetups going forward. We were granted permission to use one of the meetup location’s lockers so we can store our PVM. This saves us having to carry it back and forth to each meetup. Although not prohibitively heavy, they definitely weigh on the arms after a while and risk damage if they bump into a heavy object while carrying them around, so this is very welcome news for the group!