Commodore Vegas Expo - July 2005

Images & Highlights

The Road to Vegas

Robert [1], my wife, Diane and I are natives of California and carpooled from Stockton to Las Vegas in his trusty Crown Victoria. Since he is one of the organizers we took off early in the week so we could rest and gather and organize for the event. The trip about 8 hours was not bad, the roads were in good shape and the air conditioning was nice. Not much to photograph until we get into the desert after Bakersfield. That's when you get to the Tehacapi pass and see all the windmills [2,3], more than what you see on the Altamont pass in central California. There also is some nice rail lines up there that many train buffs travel to check out but I didn't catch them on this trip, though I did see a few trains.

After the pass there was Barstow and lots of desert including joshua trees [4]. We got into Vegas after dark and went straight to our hotel, all the photos at that point were very shaky of bright lights)

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In Vegas

As you can see we computer fans lead a real exciting life, much of the time before the expo was doing some pre-show organizing (and playing with my pocket light saber [5]), getting caught in an errant and exciting lightning and thunderstorm [6], and running other errands such as collecting equipment which Al Jackson was a life saver with his extraordinary Commodore collection [7] (in nice order too!)

One nicety Diane appreciated was we were able to get a Las Vegas library card even though were were visiting, so she got to check out some nice needlework books for a couple days and I was able to go on-line and catch up on the Internet.

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Commodore Vegas Expo - First Day

On Saturday morning we started setting up, didn't get very many pictures till I was done, the Expo was held at the local Power company meeting room which was very nice, spacious had some AV equipment and also an internet connection to set up a webcam and connect to the internet for demos and checking email.

Here is a picture of the Pimped-up “Gold 128” [8] The grand raffle prize, not only was it and the mouse and 1571 drives painted a nice gold sheen. The computer had numerous enhancements including a heavy duty PC powersupply to power all the peripherals and the computer, status lights, drive select switches, jiffydos all over, 64K of video RAM and more. Pure bling!

Center stage was one of Robert's versatile 128Ds [9] with all the extras at the ready, at this point it was using my flat panel LCD TV/Monitor to display Metal Dust the latest in commercial Commodore games. People had mixed view on using an LCD for classic computing, it may be big and light, but not always as vibrant as a CRT.

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Bil Herd & Dave Hanie - Bil Herd and Dave Hanie were two primary engineers at Commodore during the time of the 64 and later, even though they could not attend the Expo to celebrate the Commodore 128's 20th anniversary they presented us with tidbits of history by way of a DVD which arrived just a day before the show. This presentation had a very rapt audience, as we knew it would be interesting.[10]

The video opened up with a 128 style screen [11] which presented the title and credits.

After decades of seeing scant photos of the portable Commodore LCD [12] we actually see there still remains one in existence (believed to be on of three working IIRC). Behind the LCD was some of the many revision boards for the Plus/4 computer and the components of the 128 with the tale of all the confusion of Commodore management it their designs after Jack Tramiel had left.

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Here is a picture of some of the machines set-up for demonstarting programs [14]. The box in the middle was mine as I was trying to get together a demo of the C2n232 interface (didn't get it running, but I did talk about it).

In these [15, 16] Dave Ross, Vice President of SWRAP (The SouthWest Regional Assoc. of Programmers, the Chicago Commodore group) was discussing how to set up RSS feeds for your commodore related websites (not on the Commodore). In 16 you can see Bo Zimmerman (red, white and blue cap), BBS fanatic and fellow Commodore collector.

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[17] Obviously the network grotto, as everyone's laptop huddles next to the network hub.

Cameron Kaiser Showing off his works which include [18] Hyperlink the Commodore Web Browser and [19] Geotrope, a 3-d action game, still a work in progress.

Later Bruce Thomas of of the Commodore Users of Edmunton shows how to install [20 & 21] and configure a Mangeto-Optical Disk Drive into a CMD HD to make it more versatile.

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During both days, Nightlord (aka Bilgem Cakir) [22] a demo coder from Turkey presented a very good insider view of the Europen demo coder scene, not only with some well prepared presentation slides [23 & 24], but with many super examples of what magic people have made with their 64s [25 & 26]!

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Bright Lights Big Buildings

We did get a few moments to go to the strip (after the show was over) these were taken about midnight so a very tired Robert can be seen in one frame.

  • [27] Hard Rock Cafe
  • [28] Excalibur
  • [29] The Luxor, which Diane had see inside.
  • [30] This is the main check-in inside the pyramid, it all looks quite huge.
  • [31] Still inside the pyramid above the casino level, the theater, museum and other attractions are all closed (and there's Robert, what a trooper!).
  • [32] MGM Grand Hotel
  • [33] New York, New York (facade is everything here!)
  • [34] And lastly as we were leaving Vegas, the Rio, colorful even in daylight.

It's kind of eerie seeing all these lights flashing but no sound except traffic (unlike on TV) some of these displays probably would give seizures to eppilieptcs.

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Some various demos and moments

Bruce Thomas speaking on something (maybe the introduction of the new American game 'SPORK 64'?) Though it looks like an ifli screenshot.

Here Rolf Miller [36] is showing how to do PC/64 file conversion with Star Commander and the Write Stuff.

Dave Ross playing Metal Dust [37] (you can see the back of the official CommVex 2005 T-shirt there too, it says, 'Will work for FD-2000')

Bo Zimmerman [38] does his stint at Metal Dust, they know how to get around those side-scrolling shooters way more then I ever would.

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Missed Events...

Some of the things that were not pictured were:

  • The nice buffet gathering Saturday night at the Palace Station Casino, lots of relaxed discussion and good food.
  • The cool stuff for sale as well as some give-away stuff (lots of cool Commodore books and magazines)
  • A suprise visit and impromptu conversation with Lawrence Hiller, (aka Mr. Nike of the Basement Boys Software) about the Basement Boys software and other things back in the earlier Commodore 64 days.
  • As well as a visit from Classic computer fan, Jason Scott,who has recently started selling his BBS documentary DVD collection, also very informative.
  • Jeri Ellsworth did not present but was doing a great job of answering all the questions of her C-One and DTV creations.

[39] One of the ending events was the raffle for the prizes, attendees placed their tickets in individual bags for the smaller prizes and all were combined for the top prize the Gold 128!

And the winner is - Yul Haasmann [40] was the proud winner of the Gold 128, certainly a person who will put it to good use.

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Packing it up for 2005...

[41] Here we are packing it up …But still time for an after show dinner, some folks went over to finish with the guys over at the DefCon 13 conference or had flights out, a few of us had time for one more dinner at a recommended Sushi Bar [42] during which David Holz (Whiteflame, first person in [43])was doing some daredevil wasabi samples. And there I am, next in the picture, all sunburnt and tired.

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And on the trip back

Monday I was still snapping pictures. [44] this is part of a failed water park on the California side of the desert border, would be fun to poke around there someday. [45] Nice bit of desert color. [46] This gave me a smile, if you can see it, the boat has “SS Minnow” painted on the side. And lastly (Barstow IIRC) is this [47] a combination of camouflage and marketing hiding a Cell Phone tower inside a water tower mock-up with McDonalds logo (I hear disguising cell towers is common in rural areas).

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Last modified: 2011/04/17 16:51
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