Friday, June 16, 2017

Workshops and retro-computing at 15th Egham Raspberry Jam on the 23rd of July

Yeah!.  We can confirm that Andy Balaam will be running a programming workshop at the 15th Egham Raspberry Jam.  If you've been to a previous Egham Rapsberry Jam you will recognise Andy as the person with  Rabbit Escape game.

We are also finalising the details for a second workshop on physical computing with Scratch.

In addition we all love a bit of retro computing.
Install RetroPie and see what the little Pi can do when it comes to retro gaming.
Well, what about retro physical computing

How about doing physical computing on a computer released in 1980.  I had to count that out and it's 37 years ago.
Well, Thomas Stratford has agreed to bring along his VIC-20 where he has added an external adapter to enable him to do physical computing.

I've a soft spot for the VIC-20 as it's the first computer I ever bought and it's the one I did most of my programming on.  Having only 3.5K (yes kilobytes, not megabytes) and a 1MHz 8 bit processor teaches you to think compact when it comes to your code.

Also, it had 2 of my favourite games ever.

Arcadia, way better on the VIC-20 than the C64 which I traded the VIC-20 for.

Metagalactic Lamas Battle at the Edge of Time 
Again, came out on the C64 as well, but for me the VIC-20 version was more playable.
It was written by Jeff Minter who had a thing for Llamas and Sheep in his games.

Just in case some C64 fans are reading. I had my own favourite games on it too.

A puzzle, tile spinning game called Zenji from Activision. My main memory about Activision was they used the Function keys on the right to start their games, even after most people had move to using the joystick to make selections and start the game with the fire button.

Uridium was the other one. A top down space shooter when you could turn on your side to get through narrow gaps.  It was a fast game and really set the standard for all horizontal scrolling shooters on the C64 after it came out.  A unique thing it introduced was firing on pressing the fire button and on releasing it. So, it was worth while bashing the fire button rather than just pressing it as you could fire twice as many bullets/lasers.  

Maybe I should fire up a PiZero with RetroPie and see if I can find a copy of these classic games.

Hopefully, see you in Egham on the 23rd July.

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