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Winter Warm Up 2010


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most 10 year old game systems are 2 generations old, leaving them with (at best) small meg's of memory, and 10's of megahertz

 

This rule does need to be revised, under the current rules I can drop in with a 200mhz, 16mb,3d accelerated,networked, sega dreamcast. But cant use my 8mb 90mhz Pentium laptop :-/

 

Personally, I'd suggest an age cutoff. As 486/68040 was just becoming no longer top of the line 15 years ago, I'd make it a rolling 15-year cutoff. So next year, more Pentiums and early PowerPCs would be eligible; and in a few more years, yes, even a Pentium II would be eligible.

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One issue with even introducing PPC G1-era Macs is that because they have so much more capability, there could be a tendency for them to dominate retrochallenge. Considering I keep coming across techie types who talk about building minimal systems with mere tens of Mb of memory and hundreds of MHz, I suspect people are increasingly losing touch with what computing really used to be like.

 

Personally I think that retro should mean the earliest days of the platform. So my kinda retro challenge would be getting an AVR cross-development IDE working on my Mac Plus 8-) ! That'd be good as it provides a bit of a reality check for all the arduino heads who think they need a Quad Core 4Gb iMac to do that kind of thing with ;-) !

 

But maybe there's better ways to consider newer machines. For example, retrochallenge could just introduce new classes of retro, e.g early superscalars and have separate 'awards' for them. Vintage and Veteran categories for example; so there's an easier entry point but still more kudos for the real keen-beans :-) !

 

-cheers from Snial @P

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getting an AVR cross-development IDE working on my Mac Plus

 

Please do!

 

But maybe there's better ways to consider newer machines.

 

A "degree of difficulty" score, like in Olympic diving?

 

games system wise - what would people be doing with them?

 

Well, one of my ideas, for example:

 

Using a Gameboy to emulate a serial LCD (HD44780 or a graphic controller) via the serial port, and also pass button presses. This would be a cheap way to get a display and UI for various microcontroller projects. It should be possible to do that in the 256k of onboard memory so you wouldn't have to use a flash cart.

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In the earliest days of the retrochallenge it was a straight date cutoff, of ten years I believe, however this was changed a few years ago because 1994 seemed retro then, but 1999/2000 doesn't seem so retro now. Weird.

 

What we did back then as well, either the year I hosted it or the year before, was we had a multiplier for each type of platform you might have used. I believe that PPC/Pentium were 1.0, 040/486 were 1.5, 030/386 were 2.0, and it progressed down the line as such, in an effort to make it such that you were rewarded for using even older technology, but that it was possible to participate with something that was ten years old or older.

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In the earliest days of the retrochallenge it was a straight date cutoff, of ten years I believe, however this was changed a few years ago because 1994 seemed retro then, but 1999/2000 doesn't seem so retro now. Weird.

 

What we did back then as well, either the year I hosted it or the year before, was we had a multiplier for each type of platform you might have used. I believe that PPC/Pentium were 1.0, 040/486 were 1.5, 030/386 were 2.0, and it progressed down the line as such, in an effort to make it such that you were rewarded for using even older technology, but that it was possible to participate with something that was ten years old or older.

 

I like the handicap idea.

 

My main impetus for wanting to use a PPC was, yes, because a semi-modern web browser is available. As I've been discovering, trying to use circa-1995 web browsers is impossible. IE 2 and Netscape 2 just don't work anymore. And it's not just lack of support for HTML 3, it's the fact that they don't send their HTTP requests properly. Google.com will not even attempt to load in IE2. Microsoft.com loads the basic text, then gets stuck in some kind of loading loop.

 

Ironically, even Archive.org doesn't work in IE2! Of all the websites to work properly on old browsers, you'd think that would be one.

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games system wise - what would people be doing with them?

 

Well, one of my ideas, for example:

 

Using a Gameboy to emulate a serial LCD (HD44780 or a graphic controller) via the serial port, and also pass button presses. This would be a cheap way to get a display and UI for various microcontroller projects. It should be possible to do that in the 256k of onboard memory so you wouldn't have to use a flash cart.

 

That would be amazing. Someone please do this :D

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My main impetus for wanting to use a PPC was, yes, because a semi-modern web browser is available. As I've been discovering, trying to use circa-1995 web browsers is impossible. IE 2 and Netscape 2 just don't work anymore. And it's not just lack of support for HTML 3, it's the fact that they don't send their HTTP requests properly. Google.com will not even attempt to load in IE2. Microsoft.com loads the basic text, then gets stuck in some kind of loading loop.

 

I don't know about IE 2, but Netscape 2 is still sort of usable. I've been running it on my PowerBook 180c for a few days, and as long as you have the exact version of Netscape 2.02 that allows you to disable Javascript, it is really quite usable, if a bit slow and butt ugly (due to its lack of CSS support). But for the most part, everything works, such as the HTML version of Gmail, and this forum.

 

For a while I was actually going to use NCSA Mosaic, but I've since discovered that like you said about IE 2, it doesn't really work. I couldn't even get Google to load under Mosaic - it got stuck in a loop redirecting between Google.com and Google.com.au.

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we could also do with getting rid of the idea of the RC being about an 'endurance' challenge - largely that was dropped as an active 'idea' a couple of years ago, its really all about 'projects' and 'things'.

nobody just uses retro kit through the month anymore, people push themselves to do something different that they have never done before - its more personal and more fun because of it.

 

to say again, there is no challenge in using a modern machine and no interest either, do so if you wish, nobody can really stop you after all, its just that nobody will be interested and it will seem a bit weird when other folk are messing around with machines 20-30 years old.

 

do it for yourself, do it for pleasure, but to paraphrase, sometimes its not retro, its just old, there is nothing wrong with that, but there is a difference.

 

i will say no more on the matter -just my view.

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