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Seattle, WA, USA

Posted Wed Apr 24, 2024 7:46 am

Last night the SEA-CCC had the April 2024 meeting, our 63rd since the beginning. Wow! The apparent theme by and large was "retro modern" with the hardware on-hand.

Club member Dan (dddaaannn) brought a really cool machine. The laptop in the photo is actually an older X1 Thinkpad. But it was running the latest version of Picotron.


Lexaloffle (Joseph White):
Picotron is a Fantasy Workstation for making pixelart games, animations, music, demos and other curiosities. It has a toy operating system designed to be a cosy creative space, but runs on top of Windows, MacOS or Linux. Picotron apps can be made with built-in tools, and shared with other users in a special 256k png cartridge format.

Display:480x270 / 240x135 64 definable colours
Graphics: Blend tables, tline3d, stencil clipping
Audio: 64-node synth and 8-channel tracker
Code:Lua 5.4 w/ PICO-8 compat features
CPU:8M Lua VM insts / second
Cart:.p64.png (256k) / .p64 (unlimited)
Looking over Dan's shoulder as he gave a brief demo and overview, the UI reminded me of the very cute and functional OS GUI found on the Nintendo DS. I'm always in complete infatuation mode any time Dan shows us anything from the Pico line of hardware, software and games. It's all so surprisingly gorgeous and fresh.

Next up is an insanely cool and capable machine: a C64x with a MiSTer inside. Club member mattsoft gave an excellent overview of the hardware and software side of his amazing device. It can output both analog and digital video, can emulate (via FPGA/cores) just about any computer and/or vintage console you can think of and even has seemingly endless arcade cores ready-to-play. The black monitor can rotate 90 degrees vertically when an arcade core requires it. It's easily one of the coolest machines I've ever seen.


So cool, in fact, that I've purchased my own and am only waiting for 1 final piece of hardware before I can do the build. I should get it some time in May and look forward to give you all here a deeper dive in how to create one for yourself if you're interested. I can't wait!

I brought a my beloved SX-64 inspired C64 Ultimate Elite.


I also brought a computer I'd never even heard of that I was recently gifted from a family member of my wife who lives in Newcastle: the Sinclair Spectrum ZX+3. Frankly, I know next to nothing about British computers. (Never realized Spectrums had nice "normal" keyboards, either.) But I do know this is one super cool looking thing. Don't have a PSU or anything else...

And wtf disk is this?? So much to learn!

Finally, Dan also brought his A1200 for me to borrow this Spring for a very cool project that'll be revealed soon. It's going to be an AGA test machine (I don't have any AGA machines anymore). More soon!

All in all some really cool hardware and awesome people in attendance.

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