updated 06/05/2006
Ozyr's Classic Video Game Emporium Index

Ozyr's Midwest Gaming
Classic 2006 Blog

This is my blog, of sorts, showing what I am doing in preperation for the Midwest Gaming Classic for 2006. I thought it would be interesting to record and show what I am doing to get ready for this show. I also put in some comments from the show, along with a list of what was more popular in my area.

Systems and games in the Underdog Chammber for 2006
Macintosh
(mixed older systems - iMacs, B&Ws, and some 7300/7500 units)
Main focus on Bungie's 'Marathon 2' (with 1 and ∞). May also run Abuse, Alley 19, Beachhead 2000, Diablo II, Future Cop, Lost Continent Pinball, Minotaur (another Bungie game), Nanosaur and MacMame.
Arcadia 2001 Astro Invaders, Jump Bug (only on the Arcadia 2001!), Red Clash, and others from this true 'underdog' system.
Bally (Astrocade) Cosmic Raiders, Galaxian, Incredible Wizard, Solar Conqueror.
Genesis (Sega) Outlander - a true underdog game for the Genesis (plus some other games that are not exactly underdogs, but will be there anyway - why not!)
Intellivision AD&D Misty Mountain/Treasure of Tarmin, Bump N Jump, Burgertime, Diner, and more.
Odyssey2 Pick Axe Pete, UFO, Killer Bees, and many more, including imports from Brazil such as Frogger and Q*bert!
Timex/Sinclair 1500
(ZX81 - T/S 1000)
Mazogs, 3D Monster Maze, and a cool iPod Shuffle video!
Timex/Sinclair 2068 Andoids, Crazy Bug...
Vectrex Armor Attack, Mine Storm, Scramble, Space Wars, Web Wars.
Videopac G7400

Flashpoint (hopefully), and other '+' games.


Systems, popularity rating at show (more X's means more popular), and comments
Arcadia 2001 XX Some casual notice/use of this system. Most people played Funky Fish and Jump Bug.
Bally (Astrocade) XXXXX Good overall interest in this system - w/Incredible wizard, Space Invaders, and Gunfight being the most played games.
Genesis XXXXXX Very good interest with this system on a dozen games
Intellivision XXXXX Good overall interest, with the most played games being Burgertime, AD&D Misty Mountain and Bump N Jump.
Odyssey2 XXXX Almost all casual notice/use of this system - with only 2 folks showing true interest, with one that I helped to find/order the 128 multi-cart! Most folks had not even heard of the Odyssey2!?
Philips G7400 XX Almost all casual notice/use of this system - only 2 people showed true interest. I think people just didn't know what to make of this unkown system.
Timex/Sinclair 1500 (ZX81/ TS1000 XXXX Good overall interest in this system. I ran an iPod Shuffle Commercial demo the whole show, just because of the incredible interest. People that had a Sinclair when they were younger were just amazed at an iPod commercial running, and at a good frame rate too, on an old 1Mhz Sinclair computer. Many folks got a kick out of the fack that I used an iBook and iTunes to load the demo program!
Timex/Sinclair 2068 X This system got very little interest at the show. Oh well...
Vectrex XXX Mostly casual notice/use of this system - with some folks asking for various specific games. Most played game was the built in one - Mine Storm.
Mac LAN/(Misc games) XXXXX

The Mac LAN got a very good overall interest this year, much better than 2004. I think being out in the open instead of a side room helped a lot on this. Also had some interest in a few extra games that I ran on Sunday.

The Underdog Chamber Preperations - part of the MGC 2006!
 

It's over! (6/05)
Well, it's the day after, and I'm slowly starting to unpack all the stuff I had at the show. It will be a good week before I got everything back were it came from.

As for pictures of the show, I hope to have them up within the week. I'm a bit tired to do them now, plus I have other things I need to get done today and tomorrow.

Also, that's it for this Blog. It was fun doing it, and hopefully a few folks out there actually read this thing. I will probably do one next year at MGC 2007!

 

The Show! (6/04)
Boy what a busy morning. Spent from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. to get everything finally setup and running. I hate last minute dashes, but we got it up, with the help of Greg and Erica (thanks).

As for pictures and such, I'm going to wait till Monday or Tuesday before posting a gallery. Just not enough time, and after a long day I'm just too tired. I know I'll be tired tomorrow, as we got the show again - with 2 less hours - and then packing and hauling all the stuff back home. That 'will' be a big job, and I don't look forward to it, but it has to be done. I'll be glad when everything is unloaded and I can take a shower and relax the rest of Sunday night.

Great show, by the way, even though I didn't get to see as much of it as I wanted. Nice to see Jarett again in the Packrat area, were the new 'calculator' cart was for sale and PPP for the O2 was being demoed! As for my area, it was much busier than 2004, mainly I think because we were in the open instead of a somewhat hidden corner room.

 

day before the show (6/02)
It is the day before the show! A little later today, I'll be driving out with a van full of as many computers, TV sets and games as I can pack into the thing. I don't think I'll be able to bring everything in one trip! Will post a few little snap shots here, but did not have time to start the MGC 2006 Photo Gallery - at least not anything but one shot. May have some time Saturday night to put up more, but I'm guessing I won't have time till Sunday of even Monday. Spent tonight just setting up most of the Mac LAN, and that isn't done yet. Will be there early Saturday morning to try to get everything up and running on time.

Van loaded up
The first van load...
Mac LAN
Mac LAN setup
Mac LAN
ditto...
Mac LAN
and more of...

day before setup (6/01)
Setup day for the show is tomorrow (Friday). Thus, I've ony got a small bit a last minute things to pack away, which I've pretty much done already. Other than that, I'm relaxing today before the big show. More stuff, along with pictures inside the Olympia tomorrow night!

Update: Kind of last minute, but the replacement for that failed PAL to NTSC video convertor finally showed up today (I was almost going to call my credit card company on those guys - very slow). Well, I hooked it up (of course), and the thing works!!! I've got the G7400 working in color on my TV sets and on that old Magnavox monitor as well! :)

Timex/Sinclair 2068
G7400, in color!!!

Final touches (5/31)
Today I packed up the G7400, and did some instruction sheets for a few Mac games (Minotaur and Abuse). I also printed up Underdog Chamber and Macintosh LAN signs that show they are presented by Ozyr's Emporium and the Fellowship of the Black Spot gaming club. I printed up some system sheets too, just in case - I expect to get these at the show from Dan or JD - but I like to have a backup! ;)

Before packing up the G7400 though, I finally played Flashpoint on it for the first time - even though I've had the game for about a year now. Pretty cool game, which shows what the Odyssey3 could have been! :(

Packing things up and more last minute stuff (5/30)
Spending today packing up the last of the game systems. While doing so, I've decided to downsize some stuff - in other words, I'm not bringing all the things I was going to do. Not enough time, and table size is an issue. I know that Dan (and others) are doing their best for the show, but it is going to be a tight fit this year. I just hope I can get Flashpoint setup so that it can be played, as it needs to be in front of the monitor, not on the side of it. Guess I'll see what I can do.

As for place cards for systems, I'm am done helping with this (as in I have submitted the Pace card info for over 15 systems. I think that is enough. This took up about 6 hours of my time today!

Now, to try to finish packing sutff up - all I have is the Odyssey2 stuff and the G7400. No small task there!

But, I did manage to pack it up - with just the G7400 left to go

Fixing and O2
Fixing an O2
Beachhead 2000
Packing up
stuff
Stuff to be packed up
almost ready
Waiting to ship out

Matching systems and getting things packed (5/29)
Spent the morning matching up some systems with specific TV sets, and then packing the systems for the show. So far, I've boxed up the Sinclair stuff and will finish the Arcadia, Bally, and Genesis later tonight. Should get the Intellivision done too. Time will tell...

Also did a bit more work on the system info cards - which I'm still not sure if I should print, or if 'DHG Hunter' is going to make these things. Guess I'll make my own just in case, unless I hear back soon. This thing is really turning out to be a last minute thing, which I really don't like. Oh well, that's life...

Just doing misc work today (5/28)
Spending today pairing up game systems with TV sets. This is not a fun experience. My Goldstar 13" that used to work with the Sinclair computers no longer works with them!? Now I am down one TV set, and will have to see what I can do to work around this. I also put the RF unit back in the Odyssey2 and that is working fine again. Hopefully Kamino can figure out what is wrong with the video MOD at the show.

Also had some minor issues with the iTunes sinclair loading system that worked 100% yesterday, but was acting up today. I got it to work again, but am not sure why it changed over night? These little things that change from day to day are driving me nuts! I must promise myself that at next years show, I will downsize, or get the extra help I need - one or the other. It's amazing (and sad) when you have people you know that are interesed in this show, but won't lift a finger to help you. I hate that! (Can you tell that I'm not having a good day!?)

That's all I have for today, besides printing up more of those signs I need to get done.

Horice Spiders
Loading Horice...

loading w/itunes
...with iTunes!!!

More T/S 1500 work and other things (5/27)
With Ted's help, I got the T/S 1500 program conversion problem fixed. I can now load any program into the T/S unit using iTunes! Takes just as long as the old way, around 6 minutes a program, but it works every time. The old tape system was just too unrealiable, and I will no longer use it on the ZX81 brand of machines (which includes the T/S 1500).

I also attempted the Odyssey2 composite video MOD today. I have to admit that I am not very happy with this mod. I followed it to the letter, and the video looks like crap. The picture is too dark - not a tad dark - and there are wavy background lines all over the place. Seems like it is picking up interference from something. I have no idea. And they say this is an easy MOD - yeah right! Back to RF for me for now, as I don't have time for this anymore.

One other thing - I did manage to get T/S 2068 programs to work with iTunes, thus I can show off some other games too - and avoid the darn cassette interface (but not 100%).

Mazogs
Mazogs!!!

T/S 1500
The T/S 1500!

G7400 and misc stuff (5/26)
For the heck of it today, I hooked my G7400 composite connectors up to an old Magnavox monitor I have (used for my Apple IIgs). To my surprise, it worked, but only in black and white. No picture roll, which I found interesting. Maybe someday I'll get the RGB connector configured and have color! For now though, the G7400 is in the show - but in Black and White. Better than nothing, and I get to show some stuff that most people haven't seen on a 'real' console!

As for the rest of tonight, I am working on signs for the various systems that I will have on display. I will also be trying to get the T/S 1500 games to work with iTunes - with some more advice from Ted (Szczypiorski ) Foolery (he's here if you want to see his website)

G7400
The G7400 setup
and running
- in black/white
though :( !

G7400 game
The G7400 screen!

More Timex/Sinclair work and the Intellivision (5/25)
Spent some time working with a program that Ted Foolery recommended for converting ZX81 programs into sound files that I could transmit into the T/S 1500 using iTunes on my iBook. I didn't have much luck with my own conversions, but his program worked like a charm. His little program (a six minute load) is a copy of a commericial for a popular product. Maybe you can tell from the little graphic, but it is much better in life. It is just too cool! I will be showing off Ted's creation for sure now, thanks to that TZX program (on a PC) and iTunes (on a Mac)!

I also dusted of and test two Intellivision consoles. One had joystick adaptors on it and one doesn't. I will probably bring both, depending on who likes what - I prefer the joysticks.

Just one more system to go - the Odyssey2 - last but most important in my eyes.Just need to put in that darn video mod. I got the wires for it now, and will try to do it Friday night.

T/S 1500
iTunes used to load
a short but cool
commercial!
3D Monster Maze
Intellivision, up
and running!

Timex/Sinclair (5/24)
Spent what time I had today working on the Timex/Sinclair equipment. Pulled out some extra software for the 2068 and tested that. This also involved using an old T/S 2020 tape drive, which worked very well - except that tapes are hard to eject. I did find that the 2068 I have has a slight problem in which the video cuts out for a fraction of a second every now and then. I have no idea why it is doing this!?

The Timex/Sinclair 1500 was tested today. It worked good for the most part - it did lock up once for no apparent reason. As for my old 'wafer' tape drive system, today proved that some things just don't last. The tapes work like the old 8-track tapes, in wich the tape is continuous with a metal piece holding it together. Well, that metal piece died on almost every single tape I had (they are in the trash now). These things do not come apart, and are not fixable. Only three tapes survived - so far. I will be looking into using iTunes (yes, iTunes) to try loading software. I got this tip from Ted Foolery, and will try it soon. Hope it works, as tape drives suck - at least on the ZX81, T/S 1000, or T/S 1500.

Either way, I will at least have a T/S 1500 (or ZX81 at the show.

T/S 1500
T/S 1500 setup
3D Monster Maze
3D Monster Maze!

TV testing and the 2068 (5/23)
I did some testing on two old TV sets I have. If I didn't mention it before, I got an ADV TV working better. Not great, but much better than what it was. The other ADC set that I had is crap. Works fine as a TV, but no game system will work with it - thus it is junk at this point. Minus one TV :(

The SR3000 TV was a different story. Works like a champ, even if it is old. I used it to test the T/S 2068. This system is now in the show, but I hope to have it along with the T/S 1500 since they both have very few games I can show.

I also found out that my old Magnavox 12" monitor works with the Genesis or any game system with composite video! A bit small on the screen size, but I may bring it anyway. Take what you can get - I need whatever I can for the show.

More testing and systems during the later part of this week. Should be adding the Intellivision and the Odyssey2, the last one for sure. I just need to video Mod it first!

Timex/Sinclair 2068
Timex/Sinclair 2068.

Testing of the LAN and other things (5/22)
Finally got the entire Mac LAN hooked up and tested it for around six hours. Nothing went wrong during that time, so I'm marking it down as ready for the show. Took a decent amount of time to setup and tear down, especially on such a small table.

I also put a few more games on all the Macs that can handle it and did some testing for possibly running an eight player Abuse game, along with Minotuar. I still need to create instructions sheets for these.

I printed up and laminated the Marathon instruction and promo sheets to put up where ever I can. I'll be doing the same for Abuse and Minotaur.

LAN bootup
Booting up the LAN!
Marathon LAN
Marathon LAN
in action!
LAN router
The router for the LAN.
 

More Mac work and another game system ready (5/20)
I had planned on testing the Mac LAN today, but only managed to test it for a short time with three systems and two games (this was due to that secret project taking up some final hours before I finally got it truly done). Marathon 2 was one of course, and the other was Abuse, which was a first on the LAN. Abuse is another Bungie game too! Fairly fun game where each play tries to get the other guys on this side scrolling futuristic game.

Also spent some time backing up data from one Mac that has the most stuff on it. I used to this install some extra games on some of the other Macs, in case I feel like running other stuff during the show.

Lastly, I got out an old Genesis, cleaned it off and played of bit of Outlander - an Underdog game that is rather fun to play. This game is why the Genesis will be on display, as the game is an underdog game, but the system was not!

Backup up some critical data
Backing up stuff...
Beachhead 2000
Beachhead 2000!
Yup, the Genesis
Yes, it is a Genesis!
Outlander
Underdog game
Outlander!
booting old OS9
A scene you see
sometimes in Outlander.
 

To darn busy (5/16-5/19)
Simply put, at this time, I have too much to do on the secret project. I am having a harder time with it than expected, thus I will not be updated this Blog until I have the project done. Could be a day, could be the rest of the week. Till then...

Pretty much finished project Friday night. May have to tweak it today, but otherwise Saturday night the LAN gets it's big test before the show! It has also been somewhat decided that I will be bringing a few extra Macs along to run by themselves. They will run various games, plus act as a kids area with games for those under 12.

Frustrating day (5/15)
I spent a portion of today going over the games I have for the Arcadia 2001 and making sure they actually work. I also put in the updated eprom chip into the muli-cart I have for this system, which I forgot to do over 3 years ago! Working great, except it is missing 5 games - as I don't have the final release of this eprom. Oh well...

I also got that video convertor in the mail today. Hooked it up, all excited and such, and powered everything up. So what happens, the damn thing does not do what it say it should do - convert PAL to NTSC! I am so pissed off about this. I spent a chunck of money on this darn thing, and now it is going back (-10% restock fee). This totally kills the G7400 for this year. I am at a total loss on how to convert PAL to NTSC. I'm sure it can be done, I just don't know how.

Vectrex!
Testing all of my
Arcadia 2001 games!
(Funky Fish here)

Short day... (5/14)
Short day, as in only having very little time to do anything. Thus, I decided to get the quickest thing out of the way. I pulled out my trusty Vectrex unit, cleaned a little dust off of it, and plugged it in. As expected, it is working like a champ. That's one more to have at the show. Now off to work on the secret project, which really needs attention.

Vectrex!
The Vectrex.... It is alive!

Got some work done today (5/13)
Only had a short amount of time today before heading off for the last MGC 2006 pre-show meeting.

I tested another TV, an old Symphonic 19" on the Arcadia playing Funky Fish. Much better picture than the SR3000, or the ADC. Guess you take what you can get with regular cable hookup. And no, most of my systems are not MOD'd to have composite or S-video. Some I don't know how to do, and the main thing is that most of my TV sets are old - no such inputs.

I also got the Bally dusted and cleaned off. As you can see, I was playing Incredible Wizard (Wizard of Wor), which is a great game. Add one more system to the list at top here. Now off to that meeting.

Funky Fish
Funky Fish, on a better TV
Incredible Wizard
Bally up and running!

Zzzzzz (5/12)
Another non-productive day (got very little done). Too much real work and trying to get some needed sleep. I did check on the convertor for the G7400, and it should arrive Monday or Tuesday, so that is something. I also managed to pull one of my older TV sets out and try it out. Works pretty good, but of course, not as good as a TV with Video or S-Video. It is a bit better than that TV I tried a few days ago. I may still used that one, but it is touchy as all heck.

Work does progress on the secret project though. More work will be done on that tonight!

Really slow day (5/11)
The day after Wednesday, which is another day in which it is very hard to get anything done. The only thing I did do, was order a video convertor which I will try to use with the G7400, which I really want to have at the show. Fingers crossed on this one.

Another slow day (5/10)
Wednesday, that one day of the week when I can hardly get anything done. And that was the case today. No work on MGC preperation. Then again, I did make some rough maps of the area I'm supposed to have, so I guess that is something.

Other than that, I've been given a top secret project to help with. This could appear at the Midwest Classic, but I can't say anymore. Sorry!

Last of the Macs, and start of the Video Games (5/9)
Spent today finishing up replacing batteries, setting up, and testing the last two Macs. Now I need to order more batteries, as I'm out. :( With these ready, all that is left is to test the LAN itself, which happens next Saturday. Should be fine, but I like to test everything, even if it worked two years ago. As for the backup Mac, I may set it up (if it isn't needed in the LAN) on the side, in case some kiddies show up. They can run some younger rated games on that unit. I was going to bring a 5200CD model, but it is just a bit too slow (darn 75Mhz 603 processor).

I finally started work on the first of the 'underdog' video game systems. Pulled out my trusty Arcadia 2001, and fired it up. As expected, it is working like a champ - which I can't say for the TV set that I tried it on. This set is junk, and I will used a different TV for this system. Other than that, I just need to pick out a selection of games to have at the show - having a multi-cart help :)

Working on Zuel
Working on Zuel
The Backup Unit
Professor Rumford,
the backup unit
Arcadia up and running
Starting up the Arcadia
Arcadia 2001
The Arcadia 2001,
in the flesh

Even more mac work (5/8)
Today I spent more time on the Mac units for the Marathon LAN. Mr. Flipple and Mad Max are now up and running. Both are older PowerMac 7xxx models. I had another monitor go bad today (one from the start, but I knew it was bad). This one surprised me, as it worked in 2004, and had just been sitting on the shelf since then. Thus, the nice 15" gets replaced with an old 14" Apple brand monitor. Somewhat small, but it gets the job done, and it is a classic!

With this stuff done, only two more Mac units to setup and test. One for the show, and a spare, just in case. Hopefully will get these done Tuesday night. Then I can hook them all up and give the LAN a test.

space test
Working out table layout
Mr Flipple getting setup
Mr. Flipple is ready!

Slow day (5/7)
Didn't get too much done today, even though I had planned to. Some personal issues got in the way...

What I did do is investigate more into getting the G7400 working. I now know what I need to display it, but the cost is too high, so it may wait till another year.

Other than that, I did an inventory of the TV sets I have. There are 6 that I can bring to the show, with two more being possible (those I have to test, as they are old). I also need to pair up sets with systems. So far, I know for sure that my Goldstar 14" will probably be the one for the Timex/Sinclair 1500 display (pending getting the thing up and running).

Will hopefully get more done on Monday. I really need to finish getting the Macs ready, and hook them all up to the LAN. I also need to see how they will fit on the Convention tables, so I can get a better idea how I am going to lay out my room at the show.

Trying to get my G7400 up and running (5/6)
After a few days away from this stuff (work/sleep/eat - repeat), I finally decided to try setting up the G7400.

I plugged in the Step-Up voltage converter and plugged the G7400 in. Then I plugged a ADVC-100 video converter into my Mac, and booting everything up. I used iMovie to get the game on the screen. I had some minor issues at first, which were fixed by properly setting up the video converter. However, after over an hour of fiddling with this thing, I found that it does not work very well. There is a lag in the video, which of course also causes the sound to jitter.

I switched to NTSC and put a Playstation on the setup, and it worked just fine. I'm guessing that the converter is doing a bit of work to covert from PAL, thus the lag and sound issue.

So, at this point, the G7400 is out for the count as far as making a showing at the convention. I am not pleased with this, but I don't know where to go with this for now. Sunday, onto other things...

G7400 on my Mac
G7400 on my Mac.
G7400 and Video converter
The G7400 w/converters.

Yard work day (5/3)
Had to get the grass cut and such before going back to my strange work hours. The only work I did on this stuff today was small. I unpacked the Step-Up convertor, got the G7400 from under the pile of paper that is my upstairs room (or at least part of it), and got the old ADVC100 from its hidding place next to my printer paper supply. Hopefully will be able to hook these all up very soon to see it this will work, as I really want to bring the G7400 to the convention.

Oh, and I did pull Mr Flipple (old Power Mac 7300) out of storage and put a new battery in my old Mac that used to be my main desktop computer. And yes, that is Mr Flipple, as in Red Dwarf! I didn't hook him up, but I'm sure he will test fine early next week.

Even more Mac work and 'it' showed up (5/2)
Decided to install some extra programs on a few of the more powerful older macs, just in case I was to run some other stuff at the convention. Thus, I still have to work on at least four more macs - three for the Marathon LAN, and a spare (you never know).

"It" also showed up, the Step-Up Voltage Regulator that will hopefully let me show of the Philips G7400. Hopefully I'll have some time before the end of this week to hook it up and see what happens!

Game install
Installing more games.
Step-Up Power
The Step-Up power supply!

Still doing Mac work (5/1)
Working and testing two more macs, plus final work on one. Only three more to go.
-Merv (finished some testing I forgot to do last week), Osiris II (B&W that I finally named), and Gort (iMac w/firewire). Gort is a newer iMac G3 that has the best processor of my older units, thus he is the master of them all!

I was expecting a step-up power converter in the mail today for my G7400, but it didn't show up. :(

I was going to start on some of the older game systems too, but not enough time today.

Osiris II
Testing the Osiris II
Gort!
Gort, the master unit!

Working for a living (4/27-4-30)
Between work and sleep, nothing done during this time, with the exception of thinking about what I'm going to do on the 1st and 2nd.

 

Getting out the old stuff (4/24-4/26)
I've spent most of the Monday and Tuesday (4/24 and 4/25) getting out some of my old macs and giving them a pre-test. This just involved changing the computer batteries, which most systems need (I found one battery dated from 1999). Then, of course, booting them up and testing the OS and games that I had installed on some of them from 2004. I will have to install games on a few systems for this year, as at least one system from 2004 has been put to different uses.

Systems so far tested and running:
- Merv (B&W G3), Hawk (original iMac), Invisible Boy (another bondi iMac, with a little extra cpu speed inside), and one B&W that I have not named yet (no software installed on this one at the moment).

And in case you are wondering, yes, I name all my systems. Why not! My main system in the basement, which was a B&W from MGC 2004, is the Osiris! This is the Mac I use for my D&D game.

Start
The Start...
Battery Change
Putting in a new battery
Another Battery
New battery here too
Marathon up and running
Testing Marathon!
booting old OS9
Booting up...
backup stuff waiting to be tested
Stuff wating in the back

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