123, Easy As CCC

Shiuming Lai makes a full showing at Cheshunt's February meeting


The original headline of this report was going to be something along the lines of, "We're Jamming...". I had left work five minutes early with the pedal firmly to the metal, in full anticipation of rush hour traffic congestion. However, apart from a horrendous snarl-up from Richmond all the way to Hangar Lane, which took the best part of a game of two halves, the rest of my journey up the A406 towards Cheshunt Computer Club was unusually plain sailing, mostly in fourth gear. For the first time ever, I thought I'd be in time for opening at 19:00, then as I got closer to the A10 it became apparent that (shock, horror) I'd in fact be early! This, even though I was now confident enough of my memory to not bring a map of any description and forgot the last part, taking the wrong turn off one roundabout - but still managing to sniff my way towards computerdom.

Arriving early has the benefit that one doesn't have to pay for the car park next to the hall, even though at 1/3 the price of parking in London, isn't exactly expensive. Instead, there are parking spaces at the front of the hall. I contemplated visiting the neighbouring fish and chip joint for some sorely needed food but it looked like closing for the day so I left it for the moment, hoping to grab a pizza or dodgy kebab a bit later.

Once inside Wolsey Hall it felt like I was still late anyway, as most of the other members had turned up even earlier. Peter West and Ian Smith, the West London boys, were among the first arrivals, sat in their corner of the room with Falcon and PowerBook G4.

[Photo: Peter West]

Customary shot of Peter West looking busy. Here he's working on the translation of Tempus Word, a large project we hope to review as soon as possible.

[Photo: Peter West and Ian Smith]

Obviously the Atari is more interesting than the Mac!

Steve Sweet was still working on Mark Branson's CT60 Falcon tower project, I took the opportunity to get Mad Butscher's CT60 (nickname: Frog) firmware up to date, that is, when I could pull Mark away from his many distractions for more than half a minute! The update was successful, Steve had done the PCB modifications including soldering on a resistor, and finally it was running at 100.0 MHz, an extra 0.1 MHz faster than last time, with ABEv5L and SDRv5E. In between hacking away on Mark's Falcon, Steve was busy with the replacement for the PC he destroyed last time I was there, trying to get it to recognize a 200 GB hard disk, it wasn't having it, so they had to settle for 120 GB. Mark is going power-crazed over his Falcon, I can't wait to see the Super VIDEL, which is currently in an advanced stage of development. He wants to load his Falcon to the max, and a big fat EIDE hard disk seems like a nice way to do it.

There wasn't much in the way of hardware, especially compared to the number of visitors. This should certainly change once I get out of the current state of my various projects all in limbo. If I had known there would be a television set there, I could have brought a 2600 along! I was playing Street Racer on mine at home just the week before.

[Photo: Derryck Croker, Peter West]

Derryck Croker checking out progress of Tempus Word. Both Derryck and Peter are members of DDP Translations, the current most active software translation crew on the Atari platform.

[Photo: Steve working on CT60 Falcon]

Tinkering with the mighty CT60.

[Photo: Derryck playing with a PC]

Woolly jumper convention!

I remember one time the club met at a local internet café, that was a meeting I missed. Not to knock the usual tea and biscuit provisions, but I always fancy something more substantial when I get there because I don't get a chance to eat during the long journey there. Nobody knew of a curry house but there was the Harry Ramsden's fish and chip shop on College Road. I was disappointed by the cardboard-like scraps of chips, and the chicken pie was far too dry and not like chicken at all! A bad first experience. If it's not better next time, I'll go to the Pizza Hut next door, methinks.

[Photo: Harry Ramsden's Fish and Chips]

Mmm, food...

Notable by his absence was Felice, and I was also hoping to meet with some of the UK based MyAtari team for some chat about the magazine but none of them could make it at such short notice. Still, it was a very relaxed and productive evening, a lot of ideas were discussed and I ended up staying until chucking-out time.

[Image: Club map and meeting dates]

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MyAtari magazine - Feature #5, March 2004

Copyright 2004 MyAtari magazine