Maplin’s Sale

Maplin’s prices have generally always been much higher than other retailers. This is probably a large part of the reason why they are closing down.

They have been slowly selling off all stock from their stores including fixtures and fittings. We’ve been going there every couple for weeks and looking to see if there were any bargains. Even with 50% discount much of their stock is better priced elsewhere but in the past couple of weeks they have been increasing their discounts and selling some stock at one-off prices.

We popped into the Slough branch yesterday and managed to pick up some bargains. A Samsung Smartthings hub for £50 (usually about £100), a Meccannoid robot for £50 (usually £200+. This one has no box was but was fully working), a MakeyMakey for £24.99 (usually £49) a Makerbuino about £20 (usually around £70) and an aluminium display stand for £3. Apart from the robot and sign, all new and boxed. The only thing you have to consider is they will not accept returns unless the items are faulty but you still get warranty with the manufacturers so this was not really a concern for us. Now to do something with the Makey Makey and get the smartthings hub working in our house.

Meccano Meccanoid Robot

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Shop display sign from Maplins £3

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Samsung Smartthings Hub £50

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Makerbuino ready assembled

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Makey Makey

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Revival 2018

Just booked our tickets for the Revival event 2018 at Banks Stadium in Walsall. Can’t wait to get playing all those retro arcade systems and perhaps pick up some toys to bring home for the personal collection?

https://www.revivalretroevents.co.uk/

Computing with the Amstrad Vol.3 No.4 April 1987

Computing with the Amstrad Vol 3 No 4 April 1987So, as part of setting up virtual museum, I obviously have to play with all the consoles and games! So more fun today in between lessons with my students.

The first section I’m going to create will be solely based on my Amstrad machines and I have found a pile of Amstrad computer magazines. Anyone of a certain age will remember these or something similar where you had to type in the program listings line by line only to find there was a typo and you then had to wait until the next week when they published the correction to find out where the error was.

When I was a teenager attending a school in Bracknell, I used to have walk past an MOD base there. Because my dad worked there I got to know one of the armed guards on the gates. Often when passing I would pop up to his guardhouse and we would swap computer games. This felt quite cool when you’re a youngster. Looking back though, I’m not sure if I was inadvertently compromising the security of the barracks?

Below is my first attempt at scanning one of my old magazines complete with some program listings:

Computing with the Amstrad Vol 3 No 4 April 1987

 

Sega Outrun 2019 Megadrive TV Game

Bought this from Ebay for about £10 used.

Its based on the original Sega Megadrive game, Outrun 2019 but is built into a little console you plug into your TV using RCA cables.

The main console plugs in to the TV, is powered batteries and has a wire attached to a handheld gamepad that looks a little like a racing wheel. You hold it in your hand and the wheel sort of slides up and down to move the racing car left and right. There are some other buttons for additional functions like turbo and accelerate. It uses original graphics and is quite good fun if you remember playing original Megadrive games.

Made by Radica in about 2004. This is a self-contained little Sega Genesis, Megadrive console running this one game. 25 courses and 5 different levels. Radica made a range of LCD and retro console games like this.

Virtual Computer Museum Project

The aim of the project is to get my whole computer and retro technology collection out of my loft and various other storage places, set them up, test them, play with them and finally use our Matterport 3d camera to capture images of all of them and convert these into a 3d virtual tour that can be viewed through a VR headset. Really, its just an excuse to spend the next few weeks playing games on computers from the 70’s through to current systems.

Virtual visitors will be able to view the collection set up on desks and click on information points to get information about the particular consoles, handhelds, computers etc. they are interested in.

I have already got most of the items to work in a storage area and have started cataloguing them. I just don’t have enough TV’s and monitors and space to set up them all up at once so have decided to capture them in batches based on Make/genre etc. The first scans i’m working on now are going to be for a display of Amstrad computer technology and will incorporate the following:

  • Amstrad GX4000 boxed with homebrew cartridge & other misc games plus spare controllers
  • Cpc464 plus
  • CPC6128
  • Dmp2000 printer
  • Games/software titles
  • Joysticks
  • TV modulator
  • Add- ons
  • Light pen
  • Amstrad CPC464 (57539)
  • Amstrad Colour Monitor CTM644-2 (541-7532830
  • Amstrad CPC464 (5316803386)
  • Amstrad CTM640 Colour Monitor (87360)
  • Amstrad CPC464 (185969 K31-58) – some keys not working
  • Amstrad PCW16
  • NC100 (Some keys not working)
  • Amstrad PC1640 with 3.5″ external HDD, dust covers, printer switch box
  • Amstrad DMP4000 Printer
  • Box of 3.5 and 5.25″ disks
  • Speech Synthesiser
  • Amstrad User Magazines

I will update this list over the next couple of days and post pictures when finished

More junk from the Car Boot

We went to Taplow car boot on Sunday. The weather was pretty miserable and started raining as we left. We couldn’t stay long as we had somewhere else to go but we managed to walk round the whole car boot.

Lots of buyers, not so  many sellers.

Managed to pick up a vintage 80’s calculator Sharp EL-509A (£1 – selling on ebay £12) & a Pam Ayres signed DVD (£1 – selling for £10+ on Ebay). There was no provenance with the DVD but I looked at other signatures from her and this one looks the same.

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