5th Waiblingen User Meeting

As I promised, here is a report of the 5th Waiblingen User Meeting of the German “Verein zum Erhalt klassischer Computer” (Society for the Conservation of Classical Computers). It took place in Waiblingen, Germany, where about 20 people met for one day spending it chatting on vintage computing, repairing old computers, playing, and enjoying the rare opportunity to have around people that share the same strange interest.

I am new to the scene, and it was my first event of this kind, and I had as much fun as everybody else. The mixture of geekiness and mature behaviour of persons who have their own family is much more calm and much more ennjoyed as a seldom event in an otherwise routine life than the gatherings When We Were Young and the same computers we use now were state of the art :-).

Still, the guys (and girl) are geeks which I could tell already from the fact that no one seem to wonder or even asked why I wore my stereo mike headset-look-alike livescribe system with which I recorded the event audio-wise. Obviously, one had seen much more oscure things than that :-).

I interviewed each and everyone on what computers they collect, what they think about buying stuff at Ebay, and what system might be missing in my Ebay list (turns out I have to add the Amiga 1000).

By the massive help of electro-man (well, in fact he did and I watched amased…) I finally got my Tatung Einstein 256 power-and-video cable made using an Einstein not-256 power supply, half a SCART cable and half the provided Einstein 256-to-monitor cable, and it worked. Yeah! All I now have to figure out is which of my TV sets is able to display the UK variant of PAL :-).

On display were several C64s, a Zenith CP/M machine, a Vectrex console, several Amigas, and, my personal highlight, the massively pimped ZX81 of some crazy german guy who added an external keyboard, a floppy controller, floppy disk drives, a hard disk controller and hard disk, a plotter kit, a massive switchable ROM, a central PSU for all that together with a DIY UPS, and a bunch of not-yet-identified extensions that Christian Ortner is currently restoring after having obtained the system. The only PCB not made by the guy himself is the ZX81 PCB, and the hard disk controller…

All in all, it was an event that was really fun and that motivates me to go to other such meetings (maybe the next VCFE).

I’ll try to get some photos on the event.

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