Archive for January, 2011

Slowly counting upwards

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Today is a homework day (yes I’ve got schoolwork), but I did take a little bit of time to ready another computer for the Quake LAN. WIth the addition of Violet Beauregarde (iMac G3 350 MHz slot loader), the LAN now stands at 4-player. Nice thing about the slot-loading iMacs is that they are somewhat easier in regards to putting in the computer battery. Nice hatch on the backside, even though you got to have very flexible fingers (or in my case a pliers), to get the battery in the socket which is slightly away from the opening. It still beats having to take practically half the computer apart as is the case with the original tray loading iMac G3 computers. Past this Mac, I’ve still got two tray-loaders left (one of which is the currently broken one). The rest are slot-loading, and depending on how they turn out, I may through in some other Macintosh model computers. This may be done due to time constraints, as two of the G3 iMacs need a thorough overhaul, including reformatting, OS loading (cloning), and testing (more than on ones I’ve used in the past). Time will tell if this will be an ‘all iMac year’ or not.

That is it for now. Time for schoolwork, and I have a game (D&D) going on tomorrow, so no show work till later next week.

Slot load (iMac) battery
slot load iMac battery

Atari 5200 is first system for the UC ’11 display

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Having been absent from the Underdog exhibit since ’08, the Atari 5200 system is coming back for the 2011 show. With updated joysticks, ones with inner gold contacts for better play, the system is more than ready for action. The 5200 trackball and two controller adaptors will be there as well, for those games that work better with the trackball or a regular joystick (not the non-centering 5200 controller). A true underdog during its time, the Atari 5200 has a great selection of arcade games, which it was best know for during its short two years on the market back in 1982-1984.

Over 90 games will be available to play on the 5200 using a more modern multi-cart. Even so, the UC ’11 area will spotlight the best of the 5200 games, such as: Berzerk, Centipede, Defender, Galaxian, Gyruss, HERO, Jungle Hunt, Mario Brothers, Missile Command, Ms. Pac-Mac, Pac-Man, Qix, Robotron 2084, Space Dungeon, Wizard of Wor, and many more. Special attention will be given to those games that use the trackball or two-joystick adaptor (such as Millipede or Robotron 2084).

5200 controllers – Robotron 2084
5200 controllers Robotron 2084 title screen

And then there were three

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Didn’t really have time late yesterday to do any console work, such as searching for that darn misplaced cart. I did get out another iMac, Amber this time (iMac G3 333 MHz Rev. D model), and got the thing up and running. This now makes for three in the Quake LAN, at least for the moment.

For those wondering why I don’t just put all the computers in at once, you are missing one important detail. These computers are in storage for a good chunk of time, and anything can happen to electronic equipment that sits in storage (or even if it is used most of the time). You’d be amazed at how many things I’ve lost over the years, just from having it in storage (and good storage at that). It is the one thing that I don’t like about keeping historical equipment running, in the fact that electronic parts age and die, even if they are not being used. It just goes with the territory.

Thus each year, I have to test these computers and consoles, one by one as the show draws near. Its that time to see how things faired since last year. Most things last just fine, but I usually loose something every year or so. This past Fall was that strawberry iMac, which I still hope to fix when I get to that one.

Were is waldo…

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Not actually waldo, but I’m still digging around for that misplaced multi-cart, which is driving me a tad nuts. It is here someplace, but is hiding rather well. So for now, no initial console announcements yet, but hopefully soon.

On the Quake side of things, the 2nd iMac G3 is up and running (and doing a 2+ hour test run right now). So I now have an official Quake LAN of two. At least two players can blast away for the moment, till I get more iMac computers up and running. I forgot to mention it last time, but the two running Macs are the Blue Raja and Invisible Boy, as I always name my older Macintosh computers. Why? Because I can, and I find it is fun to give them names. Beats saying computer #1 or some such junk.

For those techies into the Mac, the Blue Raja is an iMac G3 revision D (333 MHz), lime colored. Invisible Boy is an original Rev A. (233 MHz) Bondi Blue iMac G3.

More to come later today (or probably early Friday morning), hopefully with the announcement that I found that multi-cart!

Quake started (others things getting close)

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

A little more behind that I would like, but getting things done none-the-less.

First off, the first iMac is pulled out, battery installed and ready to go. Tested too of course for a few hours, with no hick-ups. Thus at this point in time, I have a Quake LAN of 1 (yeah, its a start, deal with it).

The Atari system I mentioned last week is still not ready to go, but I did get much farther with another old system. Only issue is that I currently have misplaced the multicart for it, so for now, it is not getting announced. Hope to find that multi-cart later today, as it has to be here someplace (things don’t walk away on their own). Just part of having too much stuff. 😛

Computer battery in model D iMac G3
iMac battery
Booting OS 9 – Initial Quake screen
Classic OS 9.2 Classic Quake startup screen

Atari stuff gathered + more

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

I had some time to gather the Atari stuff all together, and am hoping that I have time to test the system out before the coming weekend. Other than that, two other systems will be announced soon. These two systems will actually be loaned out to me for the show, so I actually won’t physically have them until very close to the show. I should hope that I can get at least two iMacs ready on Friday, God willing and all.

Next week school starts, but the first week is usually lite, so I should have time to get more things going for the UC area early next week (I already have pulled another system out of storage).

Soon the 2011 setup page will start to show more than an empty space! 🙂

Even more to come…

iMac work started

Monday, January 17th, 2011

I pulled out an original Bondi iMac today, one that I have not had in the show before. Initial testing was not good, as the hard drive cycled and just shut down after about 10 minutes of use. A reboot cleared that, but it is not a good sign. Could be a power supply and/or hard drive issue. For now, this one goes on the side, as I don’t have a ton of time to troubleshoot odd problems. One issue with this, is it will make it harder for any attempt at 11 in ’11 for the Mac LAN. More to follow…

Atari one step closer

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

Did a bit more testing on the Atari system in the last hour, and it looks very promising. Now I just need to test a bit more, find a TV set to match the system, plus dig out some extra controllers. That being done, all will be set for adding the first official system for the UC in ’11. Coming up soon, I hope… 🙂

Atari initial steps

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Been working on a possible Atari system for this year, but have run into technical difficulties (aka – MS Windows). I have a new USB multi-cart, but the system just won’t recognize it. Will have to give this a 2nd try on a different system. For now onto something else.

(update) Got driver for USB cart working (the hard way, but working). Hopefully will have some time saturday to test this out. If this works decently, I’ll have my first official system for 2011. Fingers crossed! 🙂


Thursday, January 13th, 2011

The 2011 banner(s) are finally out. Put one at the bottom of my blog, and will probably post it in a few other places as well.

Other than that, nothing else going on today, at least in regards to the UC at MGC. Been busy with other things, which is life.