When Richard Barfoot at the King Edward School in Stratford-upon-Avon first contacted me about this fair I
was a little daunted because the requirement was 20-24 working machines as the Retro exhibit for a fair that was primarily
aimed at older kids/teenagers to introduce them to programming using a Raspberry Pi and BBC Micro:Bit.
'How hard can it be to get that many machines running' I thought to myself, after all my machines are well stored in a reasonably
ambient environment. The last exhibition I'd done was 10 years previous and surely nothing much had changed in the state of silicon!
It turns out that 10 years in a box in a garage or spare room hasn't been kind to various components and I found myself on an
uphill battle to get anything working reliably. What I ended up doing may be useful to someone else so I've noted
it all down here.
Oric Atmos + Cumana floppy interface and drive
Commodore PET 4032
C64 + SDC2IEC flash drive
Grandstand TV Pong (winner of 'most popular exhibit')
ZX81 left in 'WHSmiths' fashion, ie not running anything
Spectrum + IF1 + Microdrives
Enterprise 128 + EXDOS + floppy drive
SEGA Master System with Sonic
BBC Micro + cassette!
Einstein TC01 (running Chuckie Egg, very popular exhibit)
I was also chuffed to receive a working PET 3032 from one of the RiscOS visitors and I didn't get his name, thankyou!
The day went SO quickly it seemed like I'd only just finished setting up when it was time to tear down again. As usual at events
like this there's always fascinating people to talk to as well as parents who are as equally keen to play on the exhibits as their
One thing that surprised me which I guess shouldn't have done was that today's kids don't know what a joystick is or which way up it
should be held. There was no problem with the d-pad for Sonic on the Master System but some of the youngsters had to be shown which
way the fire buttons go on a joystick. Note to self for next time!
Thanks to Richard for inviting me and his team of helpers who got me packed back up into the van in record time!