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Old 27 August 2016, 17:35   #1
roberthazelby
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South West Amiga Group (SWAG) – Meeting #2 - 17th Sept

About

The South West Amiga Group (SWAG) originally formed in December 1997. They met once a month in Bristol to discuss their favourite computer. The group continued in various forms until 2005 when the group disbanded.

In 2016, riding the wave of renewed interest in the platform, the group has been resurrected, a new venue found and new events planned. Our first meeting was held in May this year, and following the success of that a second meeting is now planned.

SWAG embrace both classic and next generation machines, including all Amiga OS variants, MorphOS and AROS. This includes physical, emulated and FPGA based platforms. All are welcome – but remember … Only Amiga Makes it Possible


Meeting Details

Once again, we’ve arranged to hold our SWAG meeting in a rather special venue. Opened back in May, the SWAG meeting #2 will take place in the new Swindon Makerspace - http://www.swindon-makerspace.org/ - a fully refurbished building perfect for those wishing to tinker with new and old Amiga hardware and software.

The date of the second SWAG meeting is Saturday 17th September, from 12 noon until 4:00pm.

The Swindon Makerspace can be found at Unit 34, BSS House, Cheyney Manor, Swindon

There is free parking on site, while the venue offers free Wifi plus tea and coffee making facilities.


If You Arrive Early

If you get to the venue early you’ll find the Café Aroma on site, serving all day breakfasts and lunches. A large McDonald’s and the Swindon Designer Outlet Food Court are also only five minutes’ drive away.

Those who wish to explore the centre of Swindon could do a lot worse than visit the excellent Museum of Computing - http://www.museumofcomputing.org.uk


Meeting Content – Arcade Conversions

At this meeting we take a look at arcade conversions.

The Amiga was home to some truly terrible arcade conversions (Chase HQ and Street Fighter 2, for example), but it also played host to a mountain of absolute classic arcade replicas including Pang, Toki, Rodland, Rainbow Islands and many more.

Armed with the Amiga TOSEC, we’ll be putting an Amiga aside to play some of these classics of yesteryear (check out the SWAG Facebook group for the list of titles so far).


Meeting Content – Morph OS 3.9

If you’d like to see what an off-shoot Amiga OS looks like in action then come along to our September meeting where Amiga Richard will be demoing his Power PC G5 running Morph OS 3.9.

Find out if it’s the OS for you and have your questions answered.


Meeting Content – Ambian

We’ll have a Raspberry Pi 3 running the new Ambian installation. This is your chance to get your hands on it and see how well it works. Perhaps it’ll give you ideas for your own Pi Amiga emulation setup.


Meeting Content – 5-Player Dynablaster Bomberman

Such was the popularity of Dynablaster at our first SWAG meet we’ll be wheeling this classic out once again for more multiplayer bombing action.


For Further Information

If you’d like more information then please visit the official SWAG web site at http://www.southwestamiga.org.uk


You can also find us on:

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/groups/southwestamiga
Twitter - https://twitter.com/southwestamiga


And Finally

If you are planning on coming, please drop us an email to let us know. We need to get a rough idea of how many people to expect Also, if you’re planning on bringing any hardware (computers, screens etc.) then please detail that in your email.

SWAG can be contacted at: swag@southwestamiga.org.uk
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Old 30 August 2016, 12:12   #2
andrewreader
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Good news. The last one was great fun. I look forward to this.
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Old 30 August 2016, 12:56   #3
BarryB
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Is SWAG just a front for a meeting of all the local burglars?
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Old 01 September 2016, 07:40   #4
roberthazelby
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewreader View Post
Good news. The last one was great fun. I look forward to this.

Looking forward to seeing you, Andrew.

Are you planning to bring any kit along?
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Old 01 September 2016, 13:25   #5
Galahad/FLT
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What classic Amiga hardware will be there?
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Old 01 September 2016, 14:41   #6
andrewreader
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roberthazelby View Post
Looking forward to seeing you, Andrew.

Are you planning to bring any kit along?
I can bring my A1200 with ACA 1221 and the MapRom option for Kickstart 3.1
4GB CF running "Classic" Workbench 3.1
Internet access on wired or wifi
After seeing it at the last meet, I've also got the Gotek Floppy USB Adapter

I've got a 2 joysticks, 2 joypads and the 4 player adapter.
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Old 01 September 2016, 16:55   #7
zerohour1974
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryB View Post
Is SWAG just a front for a meeting of all the local burglars?
Bugger.... He's onto us. I am afraid we will have to eliminate him now
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Old 02 September 2016, 17:07   #8
BarryB
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OH! Sounds more like a meeting of the Guild of Thieves, i'll have to watch my back now

Hope the 'meeting' goes OK!
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Old 10 September 2016, 14:07   #9
roberthazelby
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SWAG Meeting Number 2 - Update



Line-up of Kit

So far we are expecting…

  • An Amiga 500 with Gotek drive
  • An Amiga 1200 with the latest ACA 1221, 4GB CF, network access and Gotek drive
  • Raspberry Pi running the latest version of Amibian
  • An Amiga 4000 with projector
  • A Power Mac G5 running MorphOS
  • CD32
  • ACA1233/40MHz/128MB, Gotek, Kickstart 3.1, Workbench 3.1, 4GB CFHD, kipper2k external HD adaptor, EasyADF/PCMCIA, Indivision AGA Mk2cr


Buggy Boy Tournament

Elite’s conversion of Tatsumi’s 1985 arcade classic is still very playable today, and it’s why we’ll be running a Buggy Boy tournament at SWAG meeting number 2.

Get practising, as we want to see your best scores on the Offroad course.


Amibian

Gunnar Kristjánsson, the developer of Amibian for the Raspberry Pi, has promised to make the latest version of the installation available for us in time for the meeting. To make this happen he’s busy working on it this weekend.

If you want to see one of the best Amiga emulation installations for the Raspberry Pi you’ll find it here.


Meeting Content – Arcade Conversions

At this meeting we take a look at arcade conversions.

The Amiga was home to some truly terrible arcade conversions (Chase HQ and Street Fighter 2, for example), but it also played host to a mountain of absolute classic arcade replicas including Pang, Toki, Rodland, Rainbow Islands and many more.

Armed with the Amiga TOSEC, we’ll be putting an Amiga aside to play some of these classics of yesteryear (check out the SWAG Facebook group for the list of titles so far).


Purchase Your Amiga 600/1200 Cap Kits

Do you have an Amiga with failing caps? One of our members will have kits for sale at the meet.


Kick Off 2 Tournament

SWAG member, Gil Ashby will be running a Kick Off 2 tournament on his projector. Time to brush up those skills!


Amiga Hardware / Software Test

The group have had a massive stash of Amiga hardware and software donated to us. We’ll be testing this lot out at the meet. Feel free to lend a hand.


Meeting Content – 5-Player Dynablaster Bomberman

Such was the popularity of Dynablaster at our first SWAG meet we’ll be wheeling this classic out once again for more multiplayer bombing action.

See you on Saturday!
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Old 16 September 2016, 11:42   #10
andrewreader
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It is almost here!
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Old 20 September 2016, 09:59   #11
andrewreader
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Another great meet. Thank you very much.

I enjoyed seeing all the Amiga kit and had a good chat about MorphOS and a modded BBC Micro.

My gaming skills are still rubbish.
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Old 20 September 2016, 14:28   #12
T_hairy_bootson
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Any photos?
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Old 20 September 2016, 17:55   #13
andrewreader
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Of me?

Photos were taken, but not by me.
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Old 20 September 2016, 18:19   #14
zerohour1974
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There is pics on the Facebook page (just Ask to join group)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/southwestamiga/
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Old 29 November 2016, 18:47   #15
roberthazelby
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Apologies for the delay. I've finally found time to knock up a review for SWAG meeting number 2...

SWAG Meet No. 2
Saturday 17th September 2016


Venue: The Makerspace, Swindon

Attendance: 11

Kit:

Amiga 1200 with Gotek drive / Network card
Windows PC running MAME
Amiga 500 with Gotek drive and 1942 monitor
Amiga 4000 030 and 1084ST monitor (not working - battery leakage and track erosion)
Laptop running WINAUE. Running Bomberman on the projector.
BBC Master 128
Amiga 1200
Amiga 600 with Vampire board
Amiga 600
Amiga 500 with 1084 monitor (expansion RAM ruined due to battery leakage)
Amiga One
Raspberry Pi running Amibian
Amiga CDTV


Following the success of the first SWAG meeting back in early May, which saw 12 Amiga fans get together for an afternoon of retro gaming, chat, and general tinkering, it was decided that a second session should be arranged for the 17th of September.

Our second meeting played host to a real selection of Amiga hardware meaning you weren't short of something to sit down in front of and try out.

The main feature for this month was “arcade conversions”. The Amiga plays host to some absolutely terrible conversions, but we were only interested in the cream of the crop.

An Amiga 500 equipped with Gotek was loaded up with a stack of arcade games, and alongside that we had a PC running MAME so we could compare the versions side by side. Some of the titles we played included Toki, Pang, Midnight Resistance, Buggy Boy, and Commando. The general consensus that afternoon was that Amiga really does have some great conversions!

One of our members spent the majority of the afternoon installing a Vampire expansion card on his A600, and experiencing varied success with it once it had been plugged in. The main issue seemed to be that the card and the TCP IP stack weren't totally happy together, and as such, the internet connection kept dropping on that machine

Elsewhere, and after a number of attempts to get Amibian up and running on a Raspberry Pi 3, and being unable to resolve issues with the screen resolution, we reverted to the trusty UAE for ARM installation for the remainder of the session. Perhaps Amibian is one we look at for a future meeting. It would be nice to get that running on a Pi 3.

On another desk, a dead Amiga 4000 was brought back to life. The leaking battery was removed and eroded tracks were cleaned. Prior to power-on, a small crowd circled the machine ready to see what would happen. The excitement on people’s faces when the machine loaded to Workbench was a real joy to see. The A4000 required further work, but this would need to be carried out after the session.

If you’ve read the kit list at the top of the report properly you’ll have noticed that we had one imposter machine in our midst in the form of a BBC Master 128. This wasn't an ordinary BBC Master, as it had 2GB of storage, 2 x battery backup carts and 4 different operating systems. This was brought along as a number of members wanted to see this up and running. We’ll likely bring one or two other platforms along to future meets, with the deal being if you bring another non-Amiga platform along you also have to bring an Amiga. Well, it IS an Amiga usergroup!

On another bank of desks, we were testing yet another Amiga set-up. The group had been kindly donated a full Amiga 500 desktop suite, complete with monitor and software. The hardware originally belonged to an Amigan who used his system for video editing. Unfortunately, he’d recently passed away, and one of his children wanted it to go to someone who would use it. We found one Amiga user who was keen to get back into the hobby, and who had the knowledge to bring it back up to fully working order. This went off with him and it’ll be coming back at the next meeting repaired and ready for use.

Towards the end of the session, talk drifted to the next meeting. After some discussion we’ve decided that the next meeting will be held at the Swindon Makerspace on Saturday 14th January. We’ll be meeting in the greasy spoon next door to the venue from 11am, and getting things underway from 12 noon. The first two meetings ran until 4:00pm. Due to a number of requests from those travelling from further afield, the January meeting will be the first that runs until 5:00pm!

If you'd like to attend the January meeting you can find more information on our web site at: http://www.southwestamiga.org.uk or via our Facebook group at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/southwestamiga
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