Meetup #9 – 2020-10-03

Our ninth meeting was another good time. We met new member Greg and welcomed back original member Christian after a prolonged busy schedule. We had the big meeting room to ourselves again, which was fantastic because there was equipment galore.

Sean arrived first with his Fujitsu FM-16π and Sega SC-3000, which had been recently upgraded to red. Greg arrived not too long after with his The C64 and a decked-out Spectrum ZX-80.

The FM-16π is a fairly heavy but portable machine that came with a dedicated carrying case and a printer. People took turns entering small amounts of text into the text editor and testing the printer.

With tremendous effort Sven brought in his bulky Commodore 128D for diagnosis. Edoardo went to work with testing components and changing capacitors, and although it didn’t end in success, perhaps some progress was made and hopefully Sven can get it working again from home!

Curt brought in his Sony HitBit MSX machine for testing and potential repair, as well as his heavily modified (by the previous owner) and wonky TRS-80.

Christian was in charge of the PVM this time, but he also brought his Japanese Commodores – the Japanese Commodore 64 and MAX Machine. It was his first time to test the Japanese Commodore 64 and despite the bulging PSU, it worked nicely!

The PVM was quickly put to use with Michelle’s PC-8801MR. It was the first time one of the big-three Japanese 8-bit computers was properly represented at the meet-up.

People took breaks from the test and repair cycles to talk or play games.

Meetup #8 – 2020-09-05

We had our eighth meetup, a meetup filled with repairs and drama. Sean and Edoardo arrived at about the same time. Sean brought with him his Sega SC-3000 for play, his PC-6001mkII for a possible sale, and *two* PC-8201s, one for repair and the other for comparison. Edoardo brought his extensive repair equipment like some sort of traveling workshop.

Shortly after Michelle and Sven arrived, Michelle with her PC Engine for repair and MSX Sanyo Wavy, and Sven with his 21st-century keyboard that had developed a problem. Edoardo spent minutes expertly and promptly diagnosing and rectifying Sven’s keyboard. Michelle’s PC Engine and Sean’s PC-8201 received a good fixing, as well.

But suddenly Sean’s PC-6001mkII decided to act out. It refused to load tape images from anyone’s smartphone using any cable. A couple of hours were spent poking around at it to no end. As an aside, Sean took it back home, where it loaded tape images without issue, but then promptly died. Michelle set up her OSSC for use with the SC-3000, etc. Very impressive piece of machinery.

Justin and Curt showed up a bit later, and intense diagnostics began on the Wavy. Intense video gaming took place, as well. SC-3000 provided access to Zaxxon, Sinbad Mystery, and Sokoban, while the MSX machines played Lode Runner and Ilevan.

Meetup #7 – 2020-08-01

Despite the sharp increase in covid-19 cases in Tokyo, we braved a meetup. It was again rather intimate, with six members in attendance. That’s probably for the best right now. We got the big conference room on the 4th floor again, all to ourselves. New members Michelle and Tom came to join in the fun.

Sean had CRT duty so for the first time did not bring any computers of his own. He set up a nice little display of the random items he brought for testing around the CRT, which made for a fairly boring first 15 minutes, but Edoardo soon showed up and plugged in his very customized Amiga A600. Demos and gaming ensued!

Soon after came Curt with his Apple IIc and National JR-200 to show off. Justin joined shortly after. Not too long after, Michelle and Tom showed up, each lugging an MSX machine with them, Michelle with a first-gen Wavy by Sanyo, and Tom with a MSX2 WX by Panasonic. Tom brought a handful of cool MSX games, including some modern-day homebrew games. Some were indeed really unique and impressive.

Sean took advantage of the presence of a first-gen MSX machine to test some games that wouldn’t run easily on his MSX2, including Ghostbusters and an impossible-to-figure-out game called Relics. I mean, like, you battle stuff, that part’s easy to understand, but the game also wants you to do stuff to progress, but it doesn’t tell you what, not even in the manual!

It is our sincerest hope to be able to do this again in September, but with covid-19 infection numbers continuing to rise, we’ll have to play it by ear. Stay safe everyone!