Archive for February, 2007

More Mac Testing

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

While I still haven’t gotten my G7400 shipped yet (yeah, I know), and I’m still waiting on some video Mods, work slowly progresses on the Mac LAN. I’ve done more work and testing on the Lime iMac I got last year, and I’ve upgraded the HD and RAM in the new (used, but new to me) Blueberry iMac I got about a week ago. My friends have come up with good names for these systems. The Lime iMac is now called Blue Raja (character from one of my favorite movies), while the Blueberry iMac is Violet Beauregarde (after the girl in that old candy movie – if you don’t know – your too young).

Violet has an issue with part of the base, which should be fixed within a week (thus the picture of her with the bottom piece not in place). I’m hoping to actually get some testing truly done with Quake, in regards to running it on the LAN (plus trying to get the darn music working on it). For some reason, this is taking me longer (much longer) than I anticipated, with the music part being rather troublesome. Of course, the damn weather around here combined with other things have delayed me to some extent. But that is life. Next week, I hope to have something a little more concrete as to finalizing what I will have at the show this year. Till then…

Violet, being testing with TechTool Pro!
iMac being tested

Getting updates ready (G74000 + video mods)

Monday, February 19th, 2007

It’s been a somewhat slow week in MGC prep land. I’m getting my G7400 ready to ship (see pict below). I am taking out the RF adaptor to save on weight, plus I need to take the PCB board out of my Voice module. Then I can ship it to my buddy René over in the Netherlands! He’s been kind enough to do some work on my spare G7400, which I really want at the MGC ’07 show. This time with the Voice built in!

I’ve also got in contact with guy that sells video Mods for older systems. I will soon (later this week) be ordering these kits for the Astrocade (Bally) and Intellivision units. I am looking forward to upgrading these two systems to a better quality video signal – and the clarity that comes with it!

On a side note, I’m still looking for some things to draw attention to the UC at the show. I remember Kamino commenting last year about how the Goat Store booth did better with these devices. I really wanted to put up one of those scrolling LCD signs, but the cost is just too high! I am looking into possibly having an Odyssey2 with a scrolling message at the front of my display, or even an old Mac using two old monitors at once to have a nice scrolling, animated display. This will take time to figure out if I will do either one of these, but I would like to give something like this a try this year.

That’s it for the moment. I’m hoping to do some more Quake testing today (finally), along with getting the G7400 boxed up and ready to ship.

Inside the G7400 – the old IIgs (waiting in the wings)
G7200 - waiting in my basement! G7200 - waiting in my basement!

My B-Day!!!

Monday, February 19th, 2007

Happy B-day to me!

Well, it was actually yesterday, but the core family was over at my place for another anniversary celebration of my birthday. For the 3rd time now (well, four actually), I am 39 years old. Yes, if Jack Benny can do it, so can I!!!!

Having the gang over was fun. Best part I thought was getting the nieces and my brother-in-law interested in the new Doctor Who series, by showing them two episodes – Tooth and Claw plus School Reunion. Most were impressed with the newer Doctor Who!

Of course, I got some stuff, being my B-day and all. Some things I really needed, like towels and new pillows (yeah, even us Mad Mages need household type things). Got some certificates as well, along with some cool music CDs and some great new D&D books! Also got a cool card from my sister (and family – including Butch – can’t figure out how he signs those cards, being a dog and all), shown below.

Getting older… not always my favorite subject, but part of life. 😛

Another Year Older? Well, don’t worry – you’re STILL hanging on to your YOUTH!
G7200 - waiting in my basement!

Slowly moving along

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

Gosh, its been over a week now, and no major updates yet. Sorry about that. I’m still slowly working on the Mac LAN game(s). I’ve done some tests with Quake (and hit a few problems), but am seriously looking into doing Abuse (from Bungie) instead. I may do both, but have not decided on that yet. Nice thing about Quake, if I can get the LAN up and running, is that it would be the 10 Anniversary of the Macintosh version of this game. Abuse is a rather cool side-scrolling shooter, released in 1996 by Bungie. This game is 1-8 player, and is rather fun, as I tested this out but never ran it for last year. Thus, I’m thinking about doing it this year. Guess we’ll see what happens, but if this all works out, I’ll probably alternate between Abuse and Quake.

On the video game side of things, I have yet to hear a word from the guy that was going to help me with some of the video mods for the Astrocade and INTV. Guess I may have to call the guy, as he doesn’t answer emails (which is not a good sign).

Almost forgot, but I’ve taken the Gamecube out of this year’s lineup. Too many other folks wanted to run this system at the show, so I kindly stepped aside on this one.

Narrowing down the systems…

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

The beginning of February, and I’m still working on what I’m going to bring to MGC 2007. One thing I’ve gotten information on this week is were I will be located within the actual show (hopefully this won’t change over time). Only bad thing is, there is a limited amount of larger tables for the show, and at this point several groups and vendors want those tables. Thus I may have to fight to keep the six I had last year, or figure something else out. Someone suggested bringing my own tables, but I don’t have six large convention sized tables. I really don’t want to buy any, as they would only be used for shows like this one, and I don’t see why I should have to pay for that! Guess I’ll have to wait and see. If I do end up with the smaller tables at the last minute, I will either try to get by with them, or I will pull a good chunk of my stuff from the show. The Macintosh LAN would get the plug more than likely, mainly because computers with keyboards and mice just don’t fit on narrow tables. Simple as that. This is one part of MGC that I hate, not knowing for sure if I’ll have the proper tables until the day before the show!

Well, besides this news, I’ve been narrowing down what I want to display at this years show. Here is what I have finally come up with. Note that this is tentative, as things can change in the next four months.

For 2007, I plan on having over half of the Underdog Chamber following the ‘A+ year’ them. This is systems that start with the letter ‘A’, plus of course other systems as well. So here is the list so far:

Atari 5200 (I need to video mod this one before it is finalized for the show)
Atari 7800 (This needs to had a video mod too, and hopefully Kamino will help with this, as he promised to.)
Arcadia 2001 (this system will be back again, and is pretty much ready to go, pending anything that might takes its place.)
Astrocade (Bally) (I would also like to video mod this system as well.)
Apple (1st off is the Mac LAN. Not sure if I will do 8 systems like last year. I may do from 4-8, depending on what game(s) I pick for this year. I’ve done Marathon for three years now, and would like to do something different. Currently still looking at Quake, but I’m not sure if I can get this to work over a LAN – it looks like it is internet only – but I need to do more research on this. Worse comes to worse, Marathon makes a fourth year appearance.)
Apple (Along with the Mac, I would like to bring at least 1 Apple IIgs to the show.)

G7400 (This videopac system from Europe would take the place of the Odyssey2, if I can get the proper mods done to it in time. If not, I will just displace the old Odyssey2 again, like last year.)
Gamecube (Many people like this system, but it is an Underdog, which is why I want to run it this year!)
Intellivision (This one needs a video mod, but I’ll bring it even if I can’t do that.)
Timex/Sinclair 1500/2068 (This year I plan on just running the 1500, with the 2068 sitting on the side – not hooked up. I’ve asked Ted Foolery to do another digitized commercial for 2007. Hopefully he can do this, otherwise I will be running something else on this old system.)

Again, this list is tentative. I will be adding them as permanent to the ‘Underdog Chamber 2007 setup’ Page section of this blog, as things become more concrete as June approaches. Of course, the table situation may kill many of these plans the night before the show. I hope this doesn’t happen, but I just don’t know at this point in time.

That’s it for now. Two things I need to get going on this week – the video mod on the Atari 5200 and testing Quake or some other multi-player game for the Macintosh LAN.