Xzentrix 2010 Party report

by

Friday 2010-09-03

Another edition of the nice and cozy Xzentrix party was due this year. At the same time, the DAS in Dresden took place. But due to travel
considerations, I had decided early to attend Xzentrix although the party date was amidst my move into a new flat with my girlfriend aswell.

On Friday I left work a bit early to catch a train to Munich. As always the party is held in Seeshaupt in Bavaria, Germany. The trip was not really eventful except that I missed the train in Tutzing and was forced to wait about an hour at the station for a ride of 10 minutes to Seeshaupt.

Anyway I arrived around 20:30 at the party place to discover that this years`s edition was not as croweded as before. Maybe it would change on Saturday. I unpacked my lot. This year I packed my Atari STE with SatanDisk and a 7″ Mini LCD-TV.

505 had recommened me this particular TV. I didn`t pay too much, about 80EUR for the thingy and it works well as a party monitor. On the STE here it runs with Composite video but the Falcon worked well at home with the VGA input as well. It`s perfect to take a long by train.🙂

I soon started chatting with all the other party people when CPC-Mike arrived. He unpacked quite a lot of gear including an STE aswell, a CPC Plus, a CPC6128, a Sega Saturn and hidden in a box, an Atari Jaguar too. I also had discovered that someone brought a Sam Coupe, a machine which I didn`t really expect to see because of it`s rareness.

We went to eat some pizza from the near pizza joint and the quality was pretty good. The pizza was large, even in the “small” category, fresh out of the oven and quite tasty.

CPC-Mike had problems with his UltraSatan so we simply tried my card. It worked and booted ok. CPC-Mike was quite please to find out his UltraSatan was actually working so we agreed to install his own card later during the party.

Thorn / TSCC arrived as well with an Amiga 1200 for playing another edition of the Bavarian KickOff Tournament. He also brought a slightly intersting 1990 vintage PC with a 80286 processor. “It`s the first PC of the family Butschke and I`ll try to sell it here.” was his comment.

CPC-Mike and me started digging into some old games. Playing “Sonic Boom” on the CPC Plus we wondered about games between different platforms. I booted the same title in the ST version. It disappointed ourselves as the display for 2 players turned out to be another lame “one player after another” mode instead of a good “2 players on screen” blast.

Shortly before midnight, Beetle arrived from a long trip and started to unpack. He showed me his CTPCI with Radeon graphics and discussed some of its features.

The CPC users gathered to try out the new game “Orion Prime” which turned out to be a point`n`click adventure. Games of that sort are generally not my taste but it’s great to see the effort live.

We soon ended up with a Swiss man to discuss Forth, RISC cpus and handheld calculators. Albeit being a very interesting discussion the day took a toll and I was starting to get really tired.

Beetle had brought an additional airbed for me (Thanks!) and we soon geared up for sleep. “It might collapse as it is not 100% tight anymore.” So being warned I simply jumped into my wormbag and decided to nap as long as possible. Even the regular party noise was getting lower in comparison to other party events.

Saturday 2010-09-04

The air bed started to collapse as promised so around 6:30 I decided to get up as one of the first party people. I took a quick cold water shave and started writing on this little report then.

Now more people seemed to be awake. I took a little walk to get up and at my return breakfast was ready. We had coofee, pretzels and rolls – and all incldued in the ratehr small party fee or 10€.

We played a bit on CPC-Mike`s Atari Jaguar and I discovered that Raiden is actually a quite good game. However he didn`t have all games with him so my first glimpse at Jaguar gaming was limited to Raiden and Wolfenstein 3D. Sadly the Jaguar had to be connected via RF to my TV and it run without sound. I don’t know why but we didn’t investigate any further.

Some sort of hardware modding had to be part of Xzentrix as every year. Last year I bought a couple of 7800 pads but those have problems with the IKBD (keyboard controlling mcu) on the Atari ST. The keys stop working and behave irratic as soon as a 7800 controller is plugged in. With a bit of rewiring and cutting traces the pad can be made compatible. And Beetle did the mod for one of my pads right here on the Xzentrix. As a special feature, he wired the now functionless second button to work as the up button. So now with this modded pad, NES style jumping and shooting is possible. I`m looking forward to try this pad with “The Great Giana
Sisters” someday.

Late in the afternoon, the Bavarian Kick Off Championship took place. As I’m personally not really a fan of Kick Off, I played some other games on my STE instead aswell as chatting with CPC-Mike and getting his UltraSatan to run properly. We installed ICD Pro like Jookie described and say what, it worked🙂

Around 1:30am I went to my wormbag to catch a decent sleep.

Sunday 2010-09-05

After the usual morning routine, Thorn and me discussed the next LowRes release. (When you are reading this article, something has happened in that regard!🙂 )

Around 11:00am Thorn offered me a ride to Memmingen and we left the party. We discussed LowRes and other stuffs and finally Thorn dropped me off in Memmingen so I could head for home by train.
All in all I really enjoyed attending Xzentrix again. This event has a certain something with its focus on old computers in general and not being limited to demos and coding. In many respects it is the perfect sort of party to attend.

Simon Sunnyboy / Paradize  <marndt@asmsoftware.de>
for LowRes magazine   https://lowresmag.wordpress.com/

3 Responses to “Xzentrix 2010 Party report”

  1. CiH Says:

    Hiya Simon,

    Nice to read a party report which isn’t one of mine🙂

    Could you tell us a bit more about the mini-screen you described near the start of the article, it sounds like an essential add-on if you want to bring older hardware when you have a limited travelling payload.

  2. Simon Sunnyboy / Paradize Says:

    Ahhh…as mentioned it is a Mini LCD TV with 7″ screen. My invoice says
    “1 x X4-TECH Sol 8 VGA Mobiler DVB-T LCD-Fernseher 20,32 cm ( 8 Zoll ) Digital und Analog TV schwarz ”

    The thing has VGA, TV antennae and Composite video inputs. I never really tried the TV antenna input sofar. VGA worked with my Atari Falcon 030 and Composite Video did as well.

    Composite Video did not like a pure 60Hz framerate on the Atari STe but had no troubles displaying 50Hz/60Hz tricks to achieve overscan. Lethal Xcess worked without any large problems.

    The TV really fits in a box smaller than an Atari ST so it is well suited to be packed together with the Atari into a backpack or other bag.

    I hope this information helps further😉
    ssb

  3. CiH Says:

    Yes, very useful stuff.

    A mini-screen is on my ‘like to get sometime’ list. Maplins in the UK sell mini-screens but they’re generally sold as tv’s with only limited set of input options. Your screen sounds like it is more flexible as a monitor. It is also nice to get an idea of how well it works with Atari hardware.

    Cheers again Simes🙂

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