Archive for March, 2008

Midwest Gaming Classic ’08 is over…

Monday, March 31st, 2008

It was a rather busy Sunday at the show, much more than last year. Lots of fun, a little bit of trouble, but fun as a whole. As always, it was much quicker tearing everything down that setting up, and I got back home around 7:30 pm. The stuff is all in a pile, as I now have to switch to college homework, which will take most if not all of my time this week. Thus, there will be no pictures or recap of the show for at least a week or two. Sorry about that, but college comes first, and I’m behind at this point. Time to catch up…

More next week!

P.S. Just wanted to say a quick thanks to all those from MGC ’08: Dan, Gary, Mark, Tom, J.D., Marty, Max, Lance, and of course Erica and Greg (plus others to numerous to count here – and those whose names I forget)! The show would not be the same without you folks!

First day of MGC ’08 – busy, busy, busy!

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

The first day of the Midwest Gaming Classic for 2008 is over, with just Sunday to go now. It is a bit hard to gauge, but the UC area and the other areas around it seemed somewhat busier than last year. There were times when my area was so full of people, you could barely walk through without smacking into at least 4-6 people. Kept me on my toes most of the day, watching those who were not sure what they are doing (not very technical folks), and catching those that start messing with your setups like they own them.

On the brighter side though, the show was fun, and my area got lots of use. I won’t go into details today, as I’m rather tired, and would like to get some sleep. I’ll be posting a summary later this week, or more than likely, next week.

For now, I leave you with a shot of the few things I picked up at the show today: An Atari Flashback 2 (partly because I needed an Atari joystick at the last minute – and they only sold them in sets – at half the price of the Flashback, so I just bought the whole thing), a copy of Game Room magazine, Call of Duty 4 of the DS (used, but in very good shape, and for a good price), Pitchers Duel for the vectrex (an impulse buy), and the Classic 80’s Home Video Games – identification and price guide (decent book, but not totally what I expected).

Swag from March 29th at the MGC ’08 show
Swag from March 29th at the MGC '08 show

Friday setup, plus a few surprises!

Friday, March 28th, 2008

Lots of packing, and we were off to Oconomowoc (say that five times in a row – plus you have to live in Wisconsin to pronounce it properly), and to the Olympia Resort for the Midwest Gaming Classic 2008! It took around an hour or so to get all the TVs, monitors, consoles, computer, and everything else into a van and two cars. Thanks to Erica and Greg for helping out (it would be impossible without their help).

Once at the Olympia, we unpacked everything and started to setup, but not before bumping into an excited Dan Loosen (one of the shows Co-founders). He just had to show me the local paper, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which had an article about the show in it. The thing Dan was keen to point out, was an article that listed the top five things to check out at the show, and the Underdog Chamber made #4 on the list! Just too cool, plus they mentioned the Odyssey2 as well – probably the first time in over 25+ years! (Thanks Dan for pointing this out – I have a copy of the issue for my own keepsake!)
You can view the JS article here:

Back to setting up, it took us (Erica, Greg and myself) around six hours to get the Quake Mac LAN and five game consoles setup. Much better time that we’ve done in the past. In all, it worked out pretty good, even though it was a bit cramp for space (especially the Atari 5200 and Odyssey2, due to the system size and/or height). Nothing I couldn’t work around though, and I just hope people enjoy playing gaming in the UC area over the weekend. Next year I’ll be back to normal size again, and the Odyssey2 and bigger systems will have the bigger end tables for their use. I downsized somewhat from last year, due to a long period where I was unemployed and couldn’t afford to commit to too much. There are things I want to do, but they cost money, simple as that. I only recently started working again – thank God!

I managed to pick up a used Intellivision for my UC display, as I have too many broken systems. I needed one without joystick add-ons, as that was all I had working. Tomorrow morning, the Exhibit hall opens an hour after the selling hall in open, so I’ll have a chance to buy some things this year! This is one change they made for 2008, which is great, as a lot of good deals are gone in that first hour of the show. Not sure what I’ll buy, but I’m working again, so I have some money to spend. I’ll see what catches my eye. I do know that there is a new collector’s book out that I will probably buy. I’ll report back on anything I buy after the whole show is over, along with a recap of pictures taken during the show (that may take a bit of time though, as I’ve got a big college assignment due next week).

Later, I’m off to bed to get some much needed sleep…. Zzzz…

On the road again… – At the Olympia
On the road again... At the Olympia

Getting the UC area setup
Getting the UC area setup

Day before MGC ’08 (very early morning)

Friday, March 28th, 2008

Yup, I’m still up and almost done packing things up. Just finishing printing the ‘Open at 11 am’ signs for the UC area, as I want to shop the first hour. So, the UC area opens officially at 11 am on Saturday, even though the show opens at 10 am. Sunday I will run the UC with the regular hours. Main reason for this, is that a lot of good stuff sells in the first hour, and I’ve missed that ever year of the show. Not this year!

Back to work now. I should get to bed around 2 am or so, and be up around 9 am or so. Here’s to a good day of setting up, and fingers crosses that the table layout is the same as last year (which was perfect).

More later today (much later)…

Osiris II ready, packing up, and last minute things

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

Finished my homework this morning, and spent part of the afternoon packing up some of the game consoles. Then I took a nap (yeah, I’m getting old, deal with it).

When I woke up, I finally got the last Mac setup and ready to go, which is a Blue & White named Osiris II (Matrix of course). This one took a bit longer, as I had to copy over a mouse driver, and install Quake. Some tweaking of some OS 9 setting, and all is ready to go.

Now I just need to do a bunch of last minute things, like redo the Quake instructions, along with pulling out the last of the TV sets. I also need to bring out some CRT monitors too, that I’m borrowing to the Museum (or where ever they are going to use them). Guess I’ll quickly test the CRTs with my iBook (yeah, some day I’ll get a Mac Book).

Little bit of snow outside. Not much, but I’m so sick of the crap, that even the dusting we got is too much. I want Spring, and now! Ack! Back to packing things up. Will hopefully make a posting late Friday, when I get back from setting up at the show.

Friday afternoon – Road Trip!

Osiris II ready at last – Packing things up
Osiris II ready at last Packing things up

More Paperwork ’08!

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

Yes! They changed the weather forecast for Friday morning. Still some snow, but much less than they were originally saying. Still supposed to rain on Sunday though, so the trip back may be a bit soggy.

As for work today, I finished up some more paperwork (so-to-speak). Mainly, I redid the display board for the entrance to the UC area. As for the main display in the back, I’ve decided to leave it as it was last year. I don’t feel like changing that bit. Maybe next year, when I expand back to fill the entire UC devoted area again (Jagfest is taking part of my space this year, but only this year)!

Off to do some homework, sleep, and get that last Mac running with Quake on it (order subject to change). Till then, only three days till the show (2 1/2 actually)! 🙂

Paperwork ’08…

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

Not a lot of time to work on things today. I’ve done a bit of work on the display boards for the UC area, but am not done with them yet. Hopefully will be ready by Wednesday night.

Also not looking forward to the snow forecasts for this Thursday and possible on Sunday. Bloody Wisconsin weather!

Blue Raja and Merv units ready for Quake LAN

Monday, March 24th, 2008

First things first, I found the paperwork for the Quake game, and other things that I needed for the show. Darn things is, I found them completely by accident, after looking for them for the last two days. Now I just need to update them for this year, fixing the few mistakes from 2007. As for the sign boards, I knew where they were, and I will be updating them in a day or two. Out with the old lettering, in with the new. The Odyssey2 sign board will be getting updated somewhat as well, along with possibly one more, if I can find a place to put it.

Today I got two more of the Macs ready for the Quake LAN (only one more to go). This time it was the Blue Raja, a lime colored iMac from 1999 (name retrieved from the Mystery Men movie). I like this lime mac, even though the casing is a bit worn, but it works just fine. The only complaint I have about the early iMacs, the ones with the CD tray, is that putting in the battery is not easy. You have to take apart the computer, as show a bit below. When Apple switched to the slot loading iMacs, they made it much easier to get to the batter, through a small hatch on the back of the units.

The other computer was Merv, a Blue and White Mac from 1999, that works rather well for its age. This one was easy to get the batter into it, as the side just flips open. I hooked it up with an LCD display, one of only two I will have at the show this year. I wish I had all LCD monitors for the show, however that would cost a bit of money, but could happen slowly as time goes by.

The papers for the show! – Old UC sign, waiting to be updated
The papers for the show! Old UC sign, waiting to be updated

Blue Raja getting a new battery – Blue Raja running Quake
Blue Raja getting a new battery Blue Raja running Quake

Booting up Merv – Merv up close
Booting up Merv Merv up close

Quake on an LCD screen – One of only two this year
Quake on an LCD screen One of only two this year

Invisible and Violet are ready for Quake LAN!

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

Another day of rushing to get things done, after getting my psychology homework done.

I setup the LAN equipment, and am proceeding to test each Mac to make sure nothing has changed from last year. So far, so good, even though I had a minor one-time glitch at the start. Other than that, I have put batteries into Invisible Boy and Violet Beauregarde (yeah, more names for my Mac systems, deal with it). Invisible Boy is my other original iMac, released way back in 1998. This unit is unmodified, so it is the slowest Mac on the LAN, running at a whopping 233 MHz. Violet Beauregarde is a blueberry colored iMac from 1999 (350 MHz), thus the reason for the name I gave this Mac.

Everything is testing great so far, with just 3 Macs to go (another iMac, and two B&W units). I hope to get at least the last iMac unit up and running on Monday.

Testing Quake LAN – Hawk on the LAN
Testing Quake LAN Hawk on the LAN

Invisible Boy – Violet Beauregarde
Invisible Boy Violet Beauregarde

Death of the iClock :(

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

I didn’t have much time today to work on stuff for the show. I did pull out my display boards, as I want to change them somewhat for this year (who wants the same exact thing every year).

In other regards, I went to change the battery on the so-called iClock, which stopped working a few weeks ago. Sad thing though, is I had some difficulty opening the case, much more than I have in the past. Long story short, instead of just opening the case, it snapped open. In doing do, the whole front of the old Mac Plus cracked in half, a screw hole got sheared off, and the clock face itself shattered. I guess the thing was just a tad too old and brittle. I should have been more careful, but I’m not crying over spilt milk. For now, the iClock is gone, simple as that. I hope to someday get another old Mac or iMac, and create a new iClock, but that won’t be in time for this years show. Thus, I’ll just be bringing a regular clock, as I hate not knowing what time it is in the museum area (they have no clock at the show – at least not the exhibit hall).

May the iClock be at piece in silicon heaven!