Meetup #20 – 2021-09-18

It was a little smaller crowd than usual, as our regular members couldn’t line up their schedules on a single day. Hopefully everyone can make it next time!

Sean brought his PC-8001 for some game-playing, and a Pasopia7 for minor repair. The PC-8001 has an interesting assortment of games available for it, including Asteroid Belt and Wild SWAT. The PC-8001 by default has no volume control and the internal speaker is much too loud for a shared-space meetup, but fortunately Edoardo had installed a potentiometer to control the speaker a few months ago. Rather than bringing a cassette deck and individual tapes, Sean brought his old smartphone with a couple dozen games pre-loaded on it, and an adapter to interface it with the PC-8001.

Edoardo fixed the Pasopia7 lightning fast and Sean’s phone contained a couple of games for that system, as well. Most notably, there was Door Door. This is a Japanese classic but from level 1 it is already very difficult.

Greg brought in his Amiga 600, which has a Vampire installed for an extra speed boost. He showed off a new game called Retro Wars, which contains cute renditions of Star Wars characters and tackles the hard-hitting theme of retro computing. We also got in a game of Marble Madness.

Sean had just picked up a set of PCG-leveraging games for the PC-8001, but woe is him, he doesn’t have a PCG. Saburo to the rescue! He brought his PC-8001mkIIsr, which has a PCG built in. The games certainly looked better with the PCG, but they were still very hard!

Meetup #19 – 2021-08-21

Our 19th gathering was attended by a recent record of nine! That was thanks to the brief appearance of member Michelle’s wife and son (bringing along a PC Engine) before the group of them scuttled off to their previous engagement.

Edoardo and Sean were first on the scene. Edoardo brought his Super Famicom gamepad controller adapter that attaches to the MSX-style game ports of many Japanese computers. And Sean brought with him just such a computer – the MZ-2500. We tested the controller adapter with Xevious and it proved to be good and responsive with no detectable lag as far as us middle-aged men could tell. Very nice solution!

The MZ-2500 has two alternate modes, MZ-80B and MZ-2000. We spent much of the meetup playing MZ-80B games, an assemblage of simple monochrome games (usually in BASIC) but with some unique ideas, for example Treasure Searching Game, where you search for treasure with a metal detector and sometimes blow yourself up by stepping on a bomb. More standard games include breakout and Pac-Man.

Greg came in with his MiSTer and displayed some Street Fighter II with the thumping subwoofer in the venue-provided sound system. Street Fighter II in action turns out to be pretty hard to photograph clearly.

Curt came in with a couple of MSX machines for Lode Ru^H^H^H^H^H^H^H diagnosis and repair. Comically, Edoardo thought the machine was broken even more when a game loaded and started making a rudimentary sound effect. But it was still pretty broken at that point. Finally, some semblance of success seemed to be achieved as Lode Runner eventually graced us with its presence on the screen.

Saburo arrived with his KryoFlux, a device that can make near-perfect copies of floppy disks and provide a detailed, graphical analysis of its results. This allowed us to play some of the MZ-2500’s more sophisticated native games such as Archon and Toritorn. Justin and Sean played a full game of Archon to the bitter end, with Justin ultimately being the victor.

And Justin was the hero of the meetup, because he managed to get a program to compile in the MZ-80B FORTRAN program – Tiny FORTRAN Form. It didn’t have any output but hey, it compiled!

Meetup #18 – 2021-07-24

Sean brought his MZ-700 back for a second visit, this time in a handsome carrying case. It saw a lot of use for gaming including titles like Donkey Gorilla, Pac-Man, and Mass.

Edoardo was the hero of the meetup! He brought a pair of replacement CIAs for Sven’s ongoing Commodore 128 project and a new revision of the digital to analog RGB converter, which worked beautifully. He also went to work on fixing Michelle’s OSSC, successfully bringing it back to life once again. He also gave Curt’s second JR-200 a quick recap job later in the afternoon.

Once Michelle’s OSSC was fixed, it was put to use to play some classic NES titles like Contra, Metroid, and just a bit of Kid Icarus. She also brought some game disks back for Sean, including a very legitimate-looking version of Karateka for the PC-9801.

Saburo brought a wealth of software, but we couldn’t use any of it because there was no tape drive. However, we did have an opportunity to use his ultra-compact JR-100 on his ultra-compact monitor.