Commodore Vegas Expo v3 - July 2007

Images & Highlights

Plaza Hotel & Fremont Street

Commvex again was again at the Plaza Hotel on 1 Main Street in Las Vegas, This year we spent the week at the Plaza instead of the Nevada Palace, which was a good idea as it saved having to commute as much. This year it was evident the Plaza has been going through a renovation and looks just as good in person as it does in their web site photos [1]. From our room on the 15th floor, Diane and I could look south towards the Vegas Strip and the larger casinos [2], a very nice evening panorama (not as spectacular in the day). Robert was facing the opposite direction which gave a closer glimpse of Fremont street and overlooked the pool and tennis courts[3].

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This is at one end of the old town Las Vegas' Freemenont Street, home of the “Freemont Street Experience,” which includes Many old time casinos decked out in classic neon (Fremont Street is the location of the Neon Museum also, check this site for a history of Fremont Street) During the day it looks like just about any open air mall [4], at night when the lights are on it takes on a wondrous glow [5] And several times a night the “experience” plays, which is a display that spans over 1,000 feet on the overhead canopy[6]. The display is a sight and sound presentation, which vary from time to time, some are no more special than an 'after dark screen saver' while others are a real audio visual feast.

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During our few days before CommVex...

we did a few errands - a big thanks to Commodore devotee Al Jackson for again supplying us with the necessary monitors and supplemental equipment for the computers. Other errands included shopping for a large LCD TV to use a a display (I needed a new one anyway.) Along our journeys we stopped at Fry's Electronics, (if you are a nerd and haven't been in a Fry's Electronics, you are missing out on a 'real' electronics store, from resistors to refrigerators Fry's has just about anything. Many of the Fry's stores have a theme inside and out - the Vegas Fry's [7] theme is Vegas History sporting a classic mechanical slot machine facade but not as much decoration on the inside as some. (For more details on Fry's designs on the inside and out look at the Fry's Photo Project). I was able to get some wireless gear for connecting CommVex 8-bitters and wired laptops to the hotels wireless network. For those curious, Circuit City had the best prices/selection on large LCD TVs we could find I would check them out if you were shopping for one.

A bonus for Diane was being able to visit with her daughter, Margaret, who come in with a friend from Missouri, here is a photo of the two of them [8].

On Friday evening, before CommVex, things started picking up in Vegas, there was a lot of free entertainment on Freemont street, musicians as well as performers, in this photo [9] you can't see very well but there are three motorcycles zipping around in that little ball, very exciting.

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CommVex v3!

Friday: Setup day

I was able to get Robert to sit down for a breakfast at the little snack bar, here he is enjoying one of those huge sausage and egg muffins which I think were only $3 [10]. Much better then the huge hot dogs sold nearby (not worth it unless for novelty value.)

As the last year CommVex started unofficially on Friday afternoon as we were setting up tables and what people's equipment that had arrived [11]. It was nice to see old friends and a few new faces come in, the turnout was good and we worked until 9 or so.

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CommVex 2007 Begins

Unfortunately I can't recall the order in which the talks went on - so these may be out of sequence.

We started off with the Commodore Engineers Video which was from VCF east that year and featured the 30th Anniversary of the PET which had Chuck Peddle as part of the panel via internet (not pictured). Lenard Roach gave a great presentation on their work on developing a battery backup for the 64, Lenard's 100% Commodore produced book, Run/Stop Restore (I got my copy autographed!), and a demonstration of “the Envelope Addresser” program [12] & [13]. Around the room there were lots of goodies and computers to check out - [14] Robert's DTVs, VIC-20 (which we saw a demo of a new for 2007 game) and a European Plus/4 (which I had brought of 1581 discs with PAL Plus/4 games to try out). [15] Andrew Wisklow had a setup a PC with TCPSER to connect to his BBS, Cottonwood BBS, a couple laptops and Robert's PET 4032 - a true classic Commodore [16] - here is a front end view, running the Cursor Game BETS, next to it is a light pen for the PET.

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Robert at the registration desk [17], still a few raffle prizes awaiting Lucky winners. Behind him is the excellent Commodore 8-Bit computer poster available from Eric Kudzin doing some checking out during battery replacement on a 1970s era Commodore LED watch[18].

Andrew Wisklow did a couple demos as well, one was using TCPSER to connect a 128 to the Cottonwood BBS over the internet [19], and a demonstration of the popular Kaleidoscope C/G editor [20] - an essential tool for Commodore BBS sysops, this version was the lateast version by the author. I think he has Kaleidoscope available for download on his site: Cottonwood BBS Site. Charles Gutman of 8-Bit Designs shows off his User Port Commander and Universal Video Module[21].

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One of the other videos was from the Commodore 64 Anniversary Party put on by Commodore Gaming (current holder of the Commodore 8-bit rights), which happened in Southern California[22]. Another (pictured) video was some archival footage of Jim Butterfield who died earlier that year, some from another Commodore event (Lucki Expo) as well as a clip from some TV presentation he did for Canadian TV (Bits &l Bytes) - We will all miss Jim. One of the many CommVex Raffles, Conner Krantz was the the official random element to the drawing this year[23].

R.W. Bivens and John Armstrong of demonstrates Silo 64 [24] by Seth Sternberger and passes out some copies of it and Weird World II. Seth Sternberger 8-Bit Weapon Musician dropped by from his stint at Electronic Games Expo down the road at the Riviera [25] instantly homes in on Robert's Synthesound cartridge for the VIC-20 - and before he leaves has purchased it.

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Jeri Ellsworth made a few appearances between CommVex and Classic Gaming Expo, usually accompanied by some of her friends and fans. I was able to get some helpful suggestion on debugging my DTV mod (it makes smoke but no picture), as well as got a great signature on the black cased one in photo [27] - Collection of DTVs, Version 1, European Version 2 and Hummer Vers.3, along with my Hummer DTV mods in disk cases. (fan boy tip: have along black and white “paint pens” with your stuff - just in case)

Robert gave a few presentations this year - a demonstration of the next generation of GEOS - Wheels 128 [28], a 'real live' JiffyDOS for the VIC-20 [29], and a quick try out of the game exclusive via eBay Clonimals [30]

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See a video pan of CommVEx 2007! (2.5MB MPEG Video)

Other things that aren't pictured:

Rob O'Hara dropped by also, he had recently published - “Commodork: Confessions of a BBS Junkie”, which is probably the best read about being a C64 software pirate and BBS junkie back in the golden days of the 80s and 90s before the internet.

Many people who were there and didn't get in frame (OK, Cameron Kaiser was in frame but he didn't show off anything.) as well as the nice late-night session on Saturday that went till midnight.

Some pics on the road to/from Vegas

Going to Vegas on the right - A couple shots id the Windmills at Tehacepi Pass [31] & [32], they a lot more impressive than the Altamont Pass windmills probably because they the hillsides are facing the road more.

And on the right Coming Back - the SS Minnow[33] - Some humorous fellow has parked their boat on the desert pass and painted the Minnow on it, which I find quite funny. (For those of you scratching their head, the Minnow was the ship that washed the castaways onto “Gilligan's Island”) And a shot of what I think is a Borax plant [34], looks like a good setting for some Science Fiction ore processing facility to me.

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Last modified: 2011/04/17 16:51
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