Retrochallenge 2010
      Winter Warmup
      Mark Wickens


      Well, not really. I'd like to report something meaningful, but in reality not
      much has happened on the retro-front. I even missed the pre-tournament
      tournament yesterday. Oh boy! I'm going to propose some alternative seasons for
      the retrochallenge - although in theory January is a really good month to do a
      challenge in reality there are too many distractions. How about a Spring and
      Autumn challenge? Something involving pagan rituals? How more retro can you get
      than Stonehenge after all?

      This might be my last post. I'm currently reading Tracy Kidders book 'The Soul
      of a New Machine' which is about the creation of a new minicomputer by Data
      General to rival the new and highly regarded VAX. If I get a chance I'll post a
      review of the book. I've also got 'DEC is dead, long live DEC' which is rapidly
      turning out to be a fascinating read.

      Here is a list of my favourite retrochallenge entries to date:

              Aaron Wolfe, Boisy Pitre & Jim Hathaway
              The guys have done some fine work, but best of all is the
              retro-colours of their web page titlebar!

              For his pretty-looking Mac utility - it's no surprise to me why
              so many of my peers are still in love with their classic Macs.

              For his no-nonsense reporting on various arcane hardware and
              software - I did actually LOL when I saw his post on Gopher-VR.
              That's a gem you've dug up there mate!

              For his unnerving regularity in posts. Also, I'm quite sure that
              some would think reviewing games is a soft option but I'll bet
              that there has been some head-scratching at times. I vow to
              honour his posts by trying at least one of his favourite games.

              Is also in classic Mac territory. One-bit displays are seriously
              underrated these days!

              The joker in the pack! Seriously, in my opinion if anyone
              embodies the spirit of retrochallenge it's the happy Scot. I'm
              glad to hear that his scavenging attempts have paid off and it's
              a testament to his staying power that the PET has been saved from
              a silent fate. Is he wearing his PJs in that last video? He's
              certainly one cool character - launching a competition in a

      It's a shame that real-life seems to have claimed so many false starts and
      halfway henries this time round. As for me, my timescales were so tight this
      month that I feel like I've been filling in rather than producing something of
      any significance. Having said that, I have had a play and refreshed my memory of
      the 68k box and the really quite fantastic Babcock display and done the
      groundwork so that I can easily program for it in C. My one post about
      programming the 68K took me into the 'retrochallenge zone' so at least I've
      experienced it once this time round. I found my collection of EPROMs yesterday
      and my EPROM eraser (an eBay special from China complete with clockwork timer!)
      and I would like to continue creating an application or game (is Lunar Lander
      too ambitious with a 40x6 ASCII display?) for the single board computer, get it
      burned to EPROM and get that bit of kit earning its money!

      Good luck for the rest of the event!