Retro computing talk at Au Contraire, Wellington 28th August

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Retro computing talk at Au Contraire, Wellington 28th August

Postby lizardb0y on Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:42 am

I have just been asked to do a talk on retro computing at Au Contraire, New Zealands 31st National Science Fiction convention in Wellington on Saturday 28th August. If you're keen to come along, I'll be on at 10 or 11am on Saturday. Registrations close this week I think. The programme hasn't yet been updated (they originally wanted someone to talk about case modding) but here is the brief précis I provided:

The 80s in 8-bits: The Home Computer Revolution

The late 1970s through to early 1990s were a golden age of personal
computing. For a decade and a half hundreds of manufacturers produced
thousands of models, all unique with their very own capabilities,
programming languages and software. Many of us today got our first
taste of computing on computers like the Apple II, Sinclair ZX81,
Commodore Vic-20 or Atari 400.

For the past 15 years Andrew Stephen has been collecting computers from
this vibrant era of computing history. Drawing from over 150 computers
in his personal collection, Andrew will present a personal account of the
machines and the personal computer revolution.
lizardb0y / Andrew
Just another 8-bit hustler

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Re: Retro computing talk at Au Contraire, Wellington 28th August

Postby YetiSeti on Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:02 pm

For those not able to go - Flip cam? Podcast? Old dictaphone with a foot pedal? Stenotype? Pitman's Short-hand on pen & paper?

Was reading through some pretty good articles/blog entries here last night if you're touching upon gaming : http://www.artfulgamer.com/category/philosophy/
Last edited by YetiSeti on Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Retro computing talk at Au Contraire, Wellington 28th August

Postby tezza on Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:03 pm

Excellent Andrew. This is a great opportunity to give people an insight into the start of the microcomputer revolution.

Congratulations!
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Re: Retro computing talk at Au Contraire, Wellington 28th August

Postby lizardb0y on Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:19 pm

Unfortunately my video camera is broken, so I'm not sure I'll be able to video it. I will make the presentation available afterwards, and I'll try to get an audio recording of the talk too.

If anyone wants to come along an video it for me, I'll pay you $20 towards the registration fee for Saturday ($40 waged, $20 unwaged) :)
lizardb0y / Andrew
Just another 8-bit hustler

blog: http://www.vintage8bit.com
twitter: @vintage8bit
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Re: Retro computing talk at Au Contraire, Wellington 28th August

Postby lizardb0y on Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:16 am

I spoke at Au Contraire yesterday morning and was thrilled to have a packed house - the room seated about 30 people and there were people standing. The talk was received well, and the audience was keen to interject with their own memories and trivia. I had a one hour slot, and used all of it. I could have used more. The audience seemed engaged right through to the end and I received what seemed like a good round round of applause, so I think it went down well.

I posted the presentation and a (rather bad) audio recording of the talk on my blog: http://www.evil.geek.nz/content/80s-8bits-home-computer-revolution
lizardb0y / Andrew
Just another 8-bit hustler

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twitter: @vintage8bit
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Re: Retro computing talk at Au Contraire, Wellington 28th August

Postby tezza on Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:44 am

Good stuff. Haven't listened to the audio yet, but I did check put the presentation PDF. Lots of iconic images captured there. Wargames, the "holy trinity" etc.

The poor old Spectravideo 318 was missing it's funky little red joystick and surely EACA's Video Genie should have been sporting the System 80 badge for New Zealand audiences! :) Just teasing Andrew, it's great to see members of the vintage computer community giving educational presentations like this on the origins of the computer technology we all take for granted today. I hope to do a smilar thing up here in Palmerston North one day, if ever asked.
Tez (Terry Stewart) (Administrator)
Collection: http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/col ... /index.htm
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Re: Retro computing talk at Au Contraire, Wellington 28th August

Postby lizardb0y on Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:15 am

tezza wrote:The poor old Spectravideo 318 was missing it's funky little red joystick and surely EACA's Video Genie should have been sporting the System 80 badge for New Zealand audiences! :)


Yeah, if I do it again I hope to use more photos of my own kit. Many of the photos in the slides were taken from old-computers.com.

I did have a few computers displayed on a table - ZX81, Spectrum+, QL and Z88 randomly accompanied by a 600XL I happened have on a shelf by my desktop - but not powered up and no monitor. Ideally I'd like to have one or two machines running to show off.

I really enjoyed it, and would love to do this again :)
lizardb0y / Andrew
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Re: Retro computing talk at Au Contraire, Wellington 28th August

Postby tezza on Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:23 am

Incidently, what was the average age of the audience? Had most seen these machines before way back then, or were non-windows/non-mouse computers a relatively new concept for most of them?
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Re: Retro computing talk at Au Contraire, Wellington 28th August

Postby lizardb0y on Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:02 am

tezza wrote:Incidently, what was the average age of the audience? Had most seen these machines before way back then, or were non-windows/non-mouse computers a relatively new concept for most of them?

It was definitely an older audience. I think most people there would have been in their late thirties or older - one guy kept saying how he graduated university the year the Altair was released, and another one said he was a Macintosh developer at Apple and that the Lisa was primarily designed as a development platform for the Mac. By the time I'd packed up he'd vanished so I didn't get a chance to talk to him.
lizardb0y / Andrew
Just another 8-bit hustler

blog: http://www.vintage8bit.com
twitter: @vintage8bit
google+: http://gplus.to/lizardb0y
trademe: andrew9 - over 500 positive trades.
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Location: Wellington

Re: Retro computing talk at Au Contraire, Wellington 28th August

Postby YetiSeti on Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:27 pm

Ah, I see, the old mp3 player attached to shirt pocket trick. I actually suspected it had been recorded incognito by someone with the shakes hiding in an indoor shrub as it sounded a lot like rustling leaves. Still, I believe there's a new iPhoney app that you might be able to feed that recording into that can tell you the state of your ticker.

I see you didn't show the Commodore clip. My favourite is the one with the "Are you keeping up with the Commodore?" ditty. I can play that endlessly in loop.

Congrats on a lively and engaging talk on the history of the 80s computing. Your next endeavour should be to do a Pecha Kucha night (http://www.pechakucha.co.nz/). Though with a limit of about 20 slides I don't think it could be described as much more than "The 80s in 8-bits : Part 0.5 - Just a Nibble".

Requisite reading :

BBC Micros used in retro programming class: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-10951040
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/08/25/commodore_name_bounces_again/
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