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Magazine #8 1/00


Work is keeping me busy and doesn't leave me a lot of time for my hobby but Lee, Rob, John and others found time to organize the annual

NWCGE Meeting

On January 28th 2000 the Northwest Classic Gaming Enthusiasts held their annual meeting at the UU Church in Kirkland, WA. The facilities were nice, enough power outlets and plenty of tables available. The rental fee was a little steep but well worth it.

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UU Church in Kirkland.
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The hard-core folks that stayed until the end!

Over the course of the day around 30 people showed up, incl. many NWCGE folks and VCVGC members who came all the way from Canada. Other visitors included Nintendo folks, former SEGA employees (nice Dreamcast jacket dude!) and a former Atari employee - cool! Unfortunately the folks from the Hi*Score Arcade couldn't make it and I got emails from two classic gamers at MS that wanted to go but were swamped with work. 

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John's table with the Trac-Mar system (right) and his Atari 2600 emulator (left).
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Y2K edition of WTW, flanked by two Superchargers.
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The Trac-Mar system - awesome!
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Trac-Mar start-up screen.
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Lee's homemade labels.
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Homemade cart and label for Asteroids - Vector Edition.

John was showing the Atari 7800 Trac-Mar system - this awesome piece of hardware lets you download and upload any kind of Atari 2600 or 7800 software from/into a modified 7800 console. We played numerous games and it worked without a hitch! Also on John's table: Lee's homemade Atari 2600 carts with labels: Aquaventure, Elk Attack, Pac-Man (the improved version), Bugs Bunny, Asteroids - Vector Edition and Garfield. 

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Rob's table: VIC, C-64 and TI/99-4A.
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Electronic Fun magazines.
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Notice the Asteroids-controller on the left!
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Trading session...

Rob's table had a VIC, a C-64 and a TI/99-4A playing Miner 2040er, he also brought some Electronic Fun magazines and an assortment of controllers. Nice to see some great 8-Bit machines running classic games.

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Colecovision anybody?
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RCA Studio II for trade...
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There was also some selling, buying and trading of goodies going on, some folks brought boxes full of stuff.

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Atari XE game system.
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Star Fortress on the Colecovision.
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Vectrex station with the latest games.
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Lee looks like someone beat his high score.

Lee's table had a Vectrex running Spike Hopping, Frogger and Lunar Lander (all awesome games!), an XE game system, a Colecovision running Dondzilla's Star Fortress (cool game) and a Playstation for the classic games series from Namco. He also contributed a ton of rare and ultra-rare items to the Show And Tell table (see further down).

I had a table showing off the Jaguar Unreleased Games CD, the BJL Jaguar development kit and some European Videopacs (Euro-versions of the Odyssey2 and Odyssey3). Everybody took a look at Jagmania, Jagtris and Jagmarble. Especially Duranik's Native on the Jaguar was met with Oohs and Ahhs. This is some sweet-looking game - too bad it won't be completed, Native rocks! Thanks to Faran and Rob I was able to capture some Atari commercials right on the spot but later my PC took a little dive so I'll have to do it again :(

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PC running 'The Cave' infomercial for the Atari Jaguar (left), Jag running Soccer Kid (right). In the foreground is a G7400 Videopac+ console.
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European G7200 Videopac console with built-in b/w screen, C7010 Chess add-on and C7420 Microsoft BASIC add-on for the Videopacs.

A former Atari employee, Faran, stopped by and later returned with a video tape showing some Atari Jaguar commercials as well as an early version of SuperCross. We chatted about the last days of Atari and he had some photos from that period - pretty cool to get a first-hand account from somebody who was right there. Thanks Faran!

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Establishing a Comlynx network!
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Comlynx network playing Slimeworld! I forgot how much fun the Lynx can be when hooked up with other players!

Lee's wife brought in some pizza (thanks!!!) and there was a cooler with some soda. With new energy we started some Lynx sessions: first Warbirds and then Slimeworld - we almost made it through the whole maze until somebody (who shall remain nameless :) pulled a network cable and ended the game. Meetings like these are the perfect opportunity to hook up for some serious Comlynx gaming.

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VideoBrain in box and with software! I want one too!!! :)
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Some table-tops and a Channel F.
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Looks like a normal TV - right? But why is this thing so f...reaking heavy? Wait, that's fake woodgrain on a steel cabinet...
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Heh, heh! Here we have a Tempest vector-tube, *huge* power supplies and in the upper right corner goes the Vectrex board!
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Tons (literally :) of goodies.
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Mint Odyssey 100 in box.
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These joysticks look like the ones later used for the Odyssey2.
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Aaron's table.
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Let's play some Pong!
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Aaron loading a tape game into the Interact computer.

Aaron brought in a ton of great items: there was a rare VideoBrain (I want one of these!), some old Odyssey machines, a nice old Interact 8Bit computer (I want one of those as well :) and an awesome home-brew project: a converted TV-cabinet with an original Tempest color-vector tube. Aaron already tried to hook up a Vectrex board and got it to work! He hopes to complete this project for the next meeting. This thing must weigh a few hundred pounds but it was well worth dragging it in - it's an awesome project!

Finally there was a nice Show And Tell Table, packed with unusual to extremely rare items, check out the silver Sylvania Intellivision,  the Atari Video Music system (mint in box with docs, warrantee card, bag and Styrofoam!), Atari 2600 test-kit, some nice Atari LYNX lapel pins, all kinds of Videopac and Videopac+ (Odyssey3)  items, an Atari Stunt Cycle console, some CGE items

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Atari 2600 test kit.
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Atari Video Music, arcade games for the Mac, Atari Stuntcycle, rare Intellivision consoles (Bandai and Sylvania).
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CGE - Brazilian Atari 2600 clone.
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CGE console.
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Some nice promotional items from Atari.
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Homemade parody carts for the Atari 2600 (non-functional of course :)
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Rare stuff (from the top left): Atari prototypes, Ebivision games, a CGE game, Okie Dokie, Crypts Of Chaos signed by author, Chase The Chuckwagon, Video Life and some Odyssey2 prototypes.
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Vectrex in very nice box, French Jopac console with built-in b/w screen, Atari t-shirts and some European Videopac cartrdiges.
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French Jopac console.
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European Videopac cartridges, US-Imagic carts.
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Atari t-shirts.
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Mint in box Kid Vid Voice Module.
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Video Life title animation.
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Video Life in action.
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Part of the 'museum'.
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Lee's John Deere 'prototype' of the Atari 2600 :)

Overall a great meeting and thanks to everybody for making this possible! This seemed to be a perfect location and there should be plenty of room for even more folks next time. I'm really looking forward to the next meeting, see you there! If you are interested in joining the fun then check out the official NWCGE webpage and the official VCVGC webpage and get on the mailing list!

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Big panorama shot of the facilities (124KB).

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Atari lamp!

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Little Johann is checking out an interesting box...

Bits 'n Pieces

Hmm... I'm slowly running out of server space :( I was hoping to put the two initial CyberRoach Magazine issues up but for now that will have to wait.

Looking for 'the big one'? Make sure you head over to the Classic Gaming Expo web site! If it's going to be as good as last year's CGE you won't want to miss that one!

CyberRoach Magazine #9 (due out in late April of 2000) will contain an interview with a former Atari employee :)


Thanks To:

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Steve for many of the pictures!

Lee, Rob, John and all the other guys from the NWCGE and VCVGC!


Pictures and texts 2000 by CyberRoach™ Publishing except where indicated otherwise. Some pictures 2000 Steve Bender, used with permission. No content may be duplicated without the written consent of the author!