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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
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Posted Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:53 pm

In June this year in Seattle a small group of hardcore long-time Commodore fans descended upon the Living Computer Museum. It's a really neat place filled with retro computing goodness where there was small “show” called the PaCommEx 2017. Since I live nearby and am a member of the museum, going to the event was a no-brainer as my weekend plans were flexible.

When I got there, not knowing the event agenda and schedule, I arrived during the tail end of a small panel led by the the two original members of Dr Evil Laboratories: a small hardware/software company based out of Kirkland, WA, that made the SID Symphony, SwiftLink-232, and other things. The company lasted for exactly five years from 1987-1991. If you’re interested in the history, you can read about it here.

In any case, there were about 20 people sitting in a presentation room listening. I didn’t want to interrupt, so I stood in the doorway to catch the end. Some lucky kid (maybe 20 years old?) won the door prize: a boxed C64. And he was so stoked! That made my heart sing a bit. After it was over everyone filtered out and walked over to two long tables that had C64s and Amigas on them. I talked to a few of the guys who owned the machines about this and that - it was a lot of fun to “talk shop” like that in person with real people! I know that sounds strange, but it’s true. I could tell we were excited just talking about this machine and that upgrade, etc.

I also met a very nice man named Robert Bernardo who, from what I can tell, is one of the longest running non-stop C64/Commodore fans I’ve ever met. He’s the president of FCUG – Fresno Commodore Users Group - which is still an active user group! He drove all the way from Fresno, with a ton of hardware, just to attend this small event. I was kind of blown away: that's over 900 miles by car!

I just loved it all. I wish we had an active user group in Seattle… Maybe some day I can cobble one together if enough folks emerge and show an interest. In any case, Robert showed me some of his PSUs that he got from the legendary Ray Carlsen, a friend of his whom I’ve since chatted with online and bought my own replacement PSUs that he hand-made (more on that later).

In any case, it was eventually time for me to gather up my family at the museum and leave for the evening so I said my good-byes to the few guys I met.

I’ve since been in contact with Robert and, after talking it over, he has been gracious enough to let me participate next year at PacCommEx 2018 as an exhibitor. I’ll set up my own table with at least 3 machines: 2 Amigas and 1 C64. I’m going to do my best to see if I can find others that live in the area between now and then (I’ve got a year) to bring their Commodore goodies and memories and make next year’s show bigger and better. It was kind of small, to be honest, and I just know we could expand this sucker with a little effort.

Plus, hopefully next year Alterus will be able to join like he'd originally planned, and maybe even Robdaemon! :) You never know. I'll be there for sure.

My next event will be the Retro Gaming Expo in Portland, OR, in October. What Commodore or retro-computing events are you planning to attend this year?
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Screen Shot 2017-06-21 at 7.55.14 PM.png
Photo by Living Computers Museum


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Shot97
Detroit, MI, USA
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Posted Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:50 pm

aww, I felt all warm and fuzzy inside when you explained how the kid was all excited with winning a boxed C64. - I may have done the same... :D

Congratulations on getting your own spot there. Hell, if I felt comfortable traveling that far with all my junk I think I'd be happy to join... No way am I putting it on a plane though... and that's a long drive... Should be a hell of alot of fun though!

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Arkaxow

Posted Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:19 pm

Since I live in New Jersey, I always go to VCF East: http://vcfed.org/wp/festivals/vintage-c ... ival-east/ :)

I went to VCF West last year: http://vcfed.org/wp/festivals/vintage-c ... ival-west/
I would love to go to VCF Mid-West: http://vcfmw.org/,
as well as VCF SouthEast: http://vcfed.org/wp/festivals/othereven ... southeast/
Commodore World: http://www.tpug.ca/category/woc/
Comm Vex: http://www.portcommodore.com/dokuwiki/d ... mmvex:news


I also go to Trenton Computer Festival: http://tcf.pages.tcnj.edu/,
HOPE http://x.hope.net/,
Too Many Games: http://toomanygames.com/

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Pinacolada

Posted Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:10 pm

intric8 wrote:I wish we had an active user group in Seattle…
All right, all right, I can't hold my digital tongue any more. Ha! Alterus told me months ago to sign up for this site, but I'm a lazy bum. I missed PaCommEx 'cause of no ride, but I'm in Tacoma and I'm the defacto nerd-in-charge of PSCUG, the Puget Sound Commodore User's Group. We're located in the greater Seattle area (what's so great about it, you may ask? ha! I kill me!) -- read Sumner because none of the gol-dang libraries in Tacoma are open on Sundays -- and, um, I forget my point. Anyway, our web site is http://www.pscug.org/

There's also Gordon Steemson's "Seattle RetroComputing Society" (which ostensibly meets in Redmond, natch, we're a weirdly misnamed bunch), Their site is http://www.seattleretrocomputing.com/

Saw this post via Reddit. Pretty cool. Going to kick the tires and read stuff here.

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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:26 pm

Welcome aboard, Pinacolada! So cool of you to hop in.

And thanks for the tips on the local user groups. I'll check out those sites for sure!

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Pinacolada

Posted Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:43 pm

Absolutely! This place seems quite nice so far. Interesting mishmash of topics, I like it. :)

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TenLeftFingers

Posted Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:40 am

I'd love to have seen that kids face :) That's a great photo too. We named our group after the Amiga when we started but really include all Commodore machines since they were probably even more common than Amiga here in Ireland. I've only recently learned that the Computer and Communications Museum of Ireland is based in my home city. So we'll helping with the Commodore & Amiga presence there. https://www.facebook.com/ccmireland/pho ... =3&theater

Hi Pinacolada. The more I look, the more Commodore groups I see in the US :) Do you have any photo galleries of your events? Nice to meet you!

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Pinacolada

Posted Sun Jul 23, 2017 2:31 pm

Yeah, getting that C64 must've made him really happy. Cool that a youngster is interested in the stuff we older people are :)

That Ireland computer museum looks great! I'll have to check it out.

Well, there's a Facebook group for our club: https://www.facebook.com/pscug.org/

Has some pictures and some ramblings on projects I'm working on.

Nice to meet you all, as well. :)

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icbrkr
Particles! BBS
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Posted Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:37 pm

Cool deal you got to meet Robert.

I met him some years back in Vegas when he had one of his shows then at the Plaza hotel.

And even then he loaded up a truck and drove across the desert just to hang out with fellow Commodore people.

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LambdaCalculus
New Jersey, USA
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Posted Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:29 am

Arkaxow wrote:Since I live in New Jersey, I always go to VCF East: http://vcfed.org/wp/festivals/vintage-c ... ival-east/ :)
Hey Arkaxow! I'm also in New Jersey and have been going to VCF East since 2014! I've met AmigaBill from TheGuruMeditation there a few times; we always chat up together when I see him. I spent most of my time by his setup playing Time Gal on the Amiga CD32 when I was there last. :)





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