New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

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Arcadian
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New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby Arcadian » Wed May 20, 2015 2:42 am

The Premier Inn at Halifax has served us well over the past year or so, but we were recently offered an alternate venue in Bolton for upcoming, Northern ABug meetups, which was just too good to turn down!

Though it lacks the convenience of having a hotel and restaurant on-site, it does hold many advantages over Halifax:

  • the biggest advantage is that the space has kindly been made available FREE OF CHARGE - so no more having to cover the price of costly room hires and from a purely selfish point of view, we (as in myself and Simon) no longer have to worry about chasing room contributions or being out of pocket on the room hire if we don't get the numbers/if people drop out

  • we have the ability to store tables there - which totally eliminates the need to make 1hr 30 minute round trips before and after a meet to collect/return hired trestle tables!!

  • a number of Acorn monitors will be stored on-site, which can be offered for use by ABug attendees who might struggle to bring their own screen with them

  • high speed wifi will be offered free of charge

  • on-site toilets and small kitchen with fridge

  • there's still a Holiday Inn just around the corner, which seems to do reasonably good rates: when I last checked they were around £50/night or less

Entry to User Group meets will continue to be invite/application only via the forum. Though the location isn't exactly a secret, directions/address details will be sent to attendees via PM prior to each meet: please avoid directly discussing the location details publicly on the forum.

We'll be creating threads for each of the upcoming meets in due course. In the mean time, please check out the Core Events thread for information about the itinerary.

Ok, here are some images and video clips to give you a taster of what's in store!

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Video (Pan of room)



Video (Estimate of the no of tables we can fit in!)


N.B. These photos/videos were taken a week last Friday - and there has already been 'movement' since then! :)


Finally a couple more photos to whet the appetite ...
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Our host (Gary) has kindly sourced some appropriately-themed mugs for visitors to the ABug meets to sup tea/coffee (or in my case, hot Vimto) out of!

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Looks as if we may be sorted for snacks too! (Though DaveF and myself will need to find some veggie/vegan alternatives!).

Oh, and I forgot to take a snap of the fridge, which is now stacked full of coke/diet coke/bottles of water too! 8)
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Arcadian
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Re: New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby Arcadian » Wed May 20, 2015 2:42 am

We have tables!

12 x folding 6ft trestle tables were collected from Bradford last Wednesday and dropped off in Bolton earlier this evening.

The cost (£345) has been covered by moneys raised by the new ABug & StarDot joint fund ... watch out for Simon (sydney's) post about that soon! [Edit: now posted]
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Arcadian
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Re: New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby Arcadian » Wed May 20, 2015 2:43 am

By Tuesday evening, all tables had been set out and the room was starting to take shape!

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(Excuse Gary's excitement whilst playing Retro Software ZAP!)
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Arcadian
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Re: New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby Arcadian » Wed May 20, 2015 3:00 am

... and by 9pm we'd added smart black tablecloths and popped the monitors on the table tops:
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Whilst we await the first meetup at the new venue in June, we decided to lay out some extra Beeb & Acorn oddities to keep us amused ... these will generally be packed down for the User Gp meets (to make way for member's kit) but will remain on-site, just in case anybody want to have a tinker/play with any of the gear (or, in the case of the Acorn Cambridge Workstation, fix the thing up! I'm told it needs a B+ motherboard - which I have spare - in order to get it going!).

We'd also love to get a permanent Econet going ... as you can see from the pics we have plenty of gear (including lots of Econet-equipped Beebs and other bits not pictured) but I wouldn't have the foggiest where to start myself!!).

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Final comments:
1. Electron fans fear not - we have plenty of Elks (including esoteric upgrades) on-site too, we'll get them set up soon! :)
2. Also not pictured: about 50 Beebs and Masters, which are currently hiding under the tables, along with a tonne of other stuff e.g. plinths, upgrade boards etc.
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk

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Prime
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Re: New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby Prime » Wed May 20, 2015 6:30 am

Ooohh is that an Acorn System X in one of those pics, would be good to get the roms dumped.

Cheers.

Phill.

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Re: New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby flaxcottage » Wed May 20, 2015 6:33 am

Veree impressive. :D 8) :shock:

Just like my den. :^o [-X
- John

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Re: New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby danielj » Wed May 20, 2015 6:54 am

Snazy :)

d.

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richardtoohey
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Re: New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby richardtoohey » Wed May 20, 2015 7:16 am

I'm on my way to the airport now! :lol:

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sydney
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Re: New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby sydney » Wed May 20, 2015 7:21 am

Ok. My house is now up for sale and I'm moving to Bolton! :lol:

Can I be the first to publicly thank Gary for letting us use the room and making this all possible, Dave M (Arcadian) for all your hard work getting it set up and also to Jill Dennison, Dave Gomm and of course Zarchos for his help in funding the purchase of the tables (check out my ABug fund post for more details on this).

Looking forward to the next meetup!

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Re: New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby daveejhitchins » Wed May 20, 2015 8:19 am

Simon . . . Are you going to EDIT your post to remove the location :? or isn't that bit secret? Edit, I see that bit of information is OK #-o

I'm wondering if there's actually going to be space for the machines attendees bring along with them :shock: :lol:

Looks like a brilliant place - looking forward to the first meeting there :D

Hmmm! Maybe just enough room for my Nespresso coffee machine 8)

Dave H :D
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
For a price list, contact me at: Retro Hardware AT dave ej hitchins DOT plus DOT com

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Re: New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby Elminster » Wed May 20, 2015 8:55 am

Very nice. Pity a little bit further away for me. Makes it a 4.5hr drive now. Perhaps I will try the 'lets spend a weekend *near* the peak district' line on my family.

As I have donated loads, well okay I bought some books, I didnt really donate, I am still keen for a south (preferably southeast) meetup every now and again. I think the Cambridge suggestion was an apt one, good transport connection and a fairly good link to Acorn (or so I hear ;-). Plus I worked in Cambridge for around 5 years so I tend to get less lost. Not sure how much help I would be in organizing though, busy like everyone.

But I am going to try to make the effort to persuade my wife to let me come. But she doesn't believe in Retro, lots of eye rolling and tutting is the usual response. Although she does say that she is better at soldering than me, although never seen her do any in over a decade of marriage.

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Re: New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby daveejhitchins » Wed May 20, 2015 8:59 am

Elminster wrote:But I am going to try to make the effort to persuade my wife to let me come. But she doesn't believe in Retro, lots of eye rolling and tutting is the usual response. Although she does say that she is better at soldering than me, although never seen her do any in over a decade of marriage.
You need to let her know that we need her invaluable soldering skills, that may work 8)

Dave H :D
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
For a price list, contact me at: Retro Hardware AT dave ej hitchins DOT plus DOT com

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Elminster
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Re: New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby Elminster » Wed May 20, 2015 9:13 am

daveejhitchins wrote:
Elminster wrote:But I am going to try to make the effort to persuade my wife to let me come. But she doesn't believe in Retro, lots of eye rolling and tutting is the usual response. Although she does say that she is better at soldering than me, although never seen her do any in over a decade of marriage.
You need to let her know that we need her invaluable soldering skills, that may work 8)

Dave H :D


It is ironic that in the mid 90's she was offered an interview with Amkor but never turned up. Some of her Grad friends do work for Intel doing chip design though. On no I am wandering off topic again .........

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sydney
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Re: New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby sydney » Wed May 20, 2015 9:15 am

Elminster wrote:As I have donated loads, well okay I bought some books, I didnt really donate, I am still keen for a south (preferably southeast) meetup every now and again. I think the Cambridge suggestion was an apt one, good transport connection and a fairly good link to Acorn (or so I hear ;-). Plus I worked in Cambridge for around 5 years so I tend to get less lost. Not sure how much help I would be in organizing though, busy like everyone.


I'm keen to sort out a meeting further south but it wouldn't be until next year. The problem could be more easily solved if one of the southern members took this upon themselves and organised a meetup.
I'm hoping (90% sure atm) to go to the rougol London RISCOS show at the end of October and I have a feeling there wil be quite a large abug/stardot/retro contingent so why not put that in your diary?

We've decided you have too many books and are barred from all further book related ebay auctions!

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Elminster
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Re: New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby Elminster » Wed May 20, 2015 9:22 am

sydney wrote:I'm keen to sort out a meeting further south but it wouldn't be until next year. The problem could be more easily solved if one of the southern members took this upon themselves and organised a meetup.


I knew you would say that :-)

sydney wrote:
I'm hoping (90% sure atm) to go to the rougol London RISCOS show at the end of October and I have a feeling there wil be quite a large abug/stardot/retro contingent so why not put that in your diary?


Yes London is not a problem, officially it is still where I work (11 years now after I always said I would never work in London). Plus the family can go about there business without needing me to taxi them around due to the tube

We've decided you have too many books and are barred from all further book related ebay auctions!


I'll start collecting china figurines then.

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Re: New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby Gar2293 » Wed May 20, 2015 11:59 am

@Dave H , fear not plenty of space for your Nespresso , we also have dual Tassimo's - redundancy is king :)

Gary

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Re: New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby jbnbeeb » Wed May 20, 2015 2:56 pm

Thanks Dave and Gary for putting this lot together! I'm looking forward to visiting! :)

So much kit - including some quite rare stuff too! I'm intrigued by the System (3?4?5?) box and would love to have a go on all that Music 5000/etc gear!

I like the sofa arrangement in the centre too.. the Beeb mugs are a great touch as well.

This is a great resource to have so thanks for making it available. I'm afraid I've not bought any books re the Abug fund, but shall donate when I'm next at a meet up.

Cheers,
jbnbeeb
I'm going to ..
ABUG North Halifax June 10-12
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Re: New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby davidb » Wed May 20, 2015 9:57 pm

So this is one of those "northern powerhouses" I've been reading about in the press? ;)

It all looks good. So many obscure goodies to play with as well, and saving the best (the Electrons) for later. :lol:

Definitely looks like it's worth a visit. :D

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Re: New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby oss003 » Thu May 21, 2015 7:22 pm

Looking great Dave/Simon/Gary, can't wait to visit the venue ..... :)

Greetings
Kees

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Re: New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby ukretrogamer » Fri May 22, 2015 7:49 pm

Dave, if you need an extra pair of hands with anything, you only need to ask. As you're aware, I'm literally only 5 minutes away on the Bolton/Manchester border.

Looking forward to the first meet-up there.

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Re: New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby Gar2293 » Wed May 27, 2015 7:08 am

Hi all

A little update,

have ordered a Kyroflux device for club usage / preservation project

installed some internet connectivity, both wi-fi and old school wired, connected via our main network feeds, should be good for around 3-400 Mbits ( or faster depending on where you are going and network usage - example speedtest.net graph attached )

Gary
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Elminster
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Re: New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby Elminster » Wed May 27, 2015 8:20 am

Looks good. If we all want to watch different HD You Tube stuff at the same time while downloading the entire STH archive we should be fine :-).

Looking forward to my November trip.

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Re: New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby Gar2293 » Wed May 27, 2015 10:27 am

Calling beebmaster / tea people
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Re: New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby Prime » Wed May 27, 2015 10:52 am

Elminster wrote:Looks good. If we all want to watch different HD You Tube stuff at the same time while downloading the entire STH archive we should be fine :-).

Indeed, that's not standard broardband.....

I have 80M Zen FTTC, and that's about 4x-5x faster, more like what i get at work on the Warwick bit of JANET.

Cheers.

Phill.

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Elminster
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Re: New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby Elminster » Wed May 27, 2015 11:01 am

Prime wrote:I have 80M Zen FTTC, and that's about 4x-5x faster, more like what i get at work on the Warwick bit of JANET.
.


How I miss JANET. Used to sit on one of the primary nodes at Cambridge in ye olden days. Had massive 30Mb/s. Doesn't sound much now till you remember that at home I had an equally blisteringly fast (for then) 56K modem.

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Re: New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby sweh » Wed May 27, 2015 4:32 pm

My JANET access used to be primarily via 9600baud serial ports, connected to the Oxford Gandalf PAXC; from there I could connect to a PAD and from there to LANCS.PDSOFT to download (via kermit or ProComm) lots of useful stuff... including (to keep it Beeb relevant) the 65C02 assembler :-)

Ah the nights I spent downloading stuff... I had a key to the computer room (no network access from our own rooms!) so I could go in any time of the day or night :-)
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Elminster
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Re: New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby Elminster » Wed May 27, 2015 4:58 pm

sweh wrote:My JANET access used to be primarily via 9600baud serial ports, connected to the Oxford Gandalf PAXC; from there I could connect to a PAD and from there to LANCS.PDSOFT to download (via kermit or ProComm) lots of useful stuff... including (to keep it Beeb relevant) the 65C02 assembler :-)

Ah the nights I spent downloading stuff... I had a key to the computer room (no network access from our own rooms!) so I could go in any time of the day or night :-)


I worked there so I could in theory go there anytime but living 45 min drive away I tend to use dialup.

Ah. PAD another acronym from the past. Cant remember what it was though.

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Re: New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby jgharston » Thu May 28, 2015 10:37 am

Elminster wrote:Ah. PAD another acronym from the past. Cant remember what it was though.
Packet Assembler Disassembler.

I too had a key to a university computer suite and let myself in at all hours. The year after I left they put a suite in my hall of residence.

Code: Select all

$ bbcbasic
PDP11 BBC BASIC IV Version 0.25
(C) Copyright J.G.Harston 1989,2005-2015
>_

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Elminster
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Re: New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby Elminster » Thu May 28, 2015 10:44 am

jgharston wrote:
Elminster wrote:Ah. PAD another acronym from the past. Cant remember what it was though.
Packet Assembler Disassembler.

I too had a key to a university computer suite and let myself in at all hours. The year after I left they put a suite in my hall of residence.


They tend to do that on purpose. I was lucky they built a brand new computer centre for my second year at Uni, but they didnt build decent halls of residence opposite uni till I left. The ones they had were pretty dire, 15 story ex council block of flats, and several miles away from Campus. Certainly no access to Uni Computer centre from there!

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Arcadian
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Re: New venue for the Northern Acorn & BBC User Group

Postby Arcadian » Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:51 pm

Called in again yesterday and Gary's already got plenty of snacks in for the first meet in June!!
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And yes that's a Microwave behind Beebmaster's Tea - so if people want to bring pies/rolls etc to heat up you can!
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