Yes indeed, in the dim and distant past, there was
a meeting Number 1! At the time there were 53 members of UKVAC,
and so the 11 attendees made up 20% of the group.
The old single pager UKVAC website, originally
setup by Ian Boffin, and handed on over the years, slowly passed
away to become to become just a memory.
But wait! The content lives on – and here it is again – Ian
Boffin’s original, unmodified words, from all those months ago. (Someone must
have the pictures on their hard disk. Own up! Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and let everyone in.)
Meet 1’s words are Ian Boffin’s,
not mine. All I’ve done is fix some spelling mistakes – P.J.Eaton
|The Meet 1.0 attendees were:
|1. Andy Jones
3. Frank Suffling
4. Martin Thompson
5. Karl Doe
6. Marshal Aver
7. Ian Boffin
8. Des Gibbons
9. John Cassells
10 John Keay
|The first UKVAC meet took place (as
many of you know) on Tuesday 4th February at Andy
Jones place in Milton Keynes. Andy provided
a great selection of games, beers to drink and
pizzas to eat for us all... so first off - a big
thank-you to Andy! The second round of thanks
must go to XY-Man for organising everything -
there wouldn't have been a meet (or a UKVAC!)
without him. Cheers!
Well, for those of
you who couldn't make it along... here's a brief
report on what happened, and what to look forward
to next time...
The games on show included:
A Vectrex with 13
+ A whole load
of PCBs I never got round to seeing
|All the games were
in great condition... the Lunar Lander could have rolled
off the production line just yesterday! and the Asteroids
cocktails looked immaculate. Sadly, the Deluxe cocktail
monitor went on the blink before I had a chance to play
that one :-( ...the perils of XY monitors!
As well as Andy's games, a number of rare
and collectable items were brought along to the meet. XY-Man
lived up to his name with some immaculate 'NOS' side-art
stickers for Black Widow, Major Havoc and Star Trek.
These are almost undoubtedly the only such items in the
country, and even pretty rare in the US. He also brought
along a couple of extremely rare PCBs for Holeland and
Holeland is a strange cross between Space
Invaders and Gremlins by Tecfri, with some really cool
and bizarre graphics. I seemed to be the only person that
remembered this game from the early '80s. I was still
hopeless at playing it though!
|Super Locomotive is
something of a lost classic by Sega. No collectors in the
US appear to have this game, which is known to have a
production run of only 25 boards! Some of you may,
however, remember a couple of games on the C64 called
Loco (surprise!) and Suicide Express which were obviously
inspired by the Sega original. It takes a bit of getting
used to, but it is a really fun game - great music too!
The beer and pizzas were accompanied by a
viewing of some super-rare Atari
promotional videos. These included clips for Tempest,
Gravitar, Space Duel, Centipede,
Millipede (super-cheesy forest setting!), Pole Position,
Liberator (another "lost" Atari game - a sequel
of sorts to Missile Command - Cool!), Xevious and Dig-Dug.
The Dig-Dug video was especially amusing, featuring an
all-American family getting excited by the game -
especially the cocktail
version! I guess you had to see it! The videos showed all
the operator modes and explained the game mechanics in
great detail. It somehow made Gravitar sound like the
most complicated game ever!!! Also, we all now know how
to flick our dip switches the Atari way(!) and clean our
by rubbing a piece of white cardboard under them.;-)
brought along his extensive collection of
Williams and Atari flyers dating from Pong all
the way to the present day, and a number of
promotional enamel badges from the early 80s.
|Figure 1: Badges
item on show was an Atari CATBOX. This is used
for faultfinding any Atari board you can name,
and it is an incredibly rare and valuable item.
XY-Man has already been offered a Quantum PCB and
marquee for it - and we all know how rare they
are! Don't worry... I have it on good authority
that the CATBOX will be staying in the UK for the
foreseeable future (and rumour has it that the
Quantum is still scheduled to be here for meet#2!!!).
Figure 2: Atari
Figure 3: Atari CAT
Box Control Panel
|The rarest item on
show was an Atari CATBOX. This is used for faultfinding
any Atari board you can name, and it is an incredibly
rare and valuable item. XY-Man has already been offered a
Quantum PCB and marquee for it - and we all know how rare
they are! Don't worry... I have it on good authority that
the CATBOX will be staying in the UK for the foreseeable
future (and rumour has it that the Quantum is still
scheduled to be here for meet#2!!!).
In all, it was a great night out (left
about 2am!) and I hope everyone else who attended it
enjoyed it as much as I did. If nothing else it was great
to put some faces to those names that crop up so often on
UKVAC and RGVAC. A special mention should really go to
dedicated Des Gibbons who flew in
from Belfast to be there. It was also a great place to
sort out deals and trades and find those leads on your 'must-have'
games. ...at last I have that elusive Space Duel control
Maybe next time the Tempest will have a
monitor in it! It's probably a good thing it didn't, as
it might have been tough to drag me away from the game in
that case! It was also great to get a good challenging 2-player
game of Joust, and I must apologise to Andy (and John -
Oops!) for racking up all
the highest scores on Robotron, Defender and Gravitar! ;-)
Meet #2 will hopefully be courtesy of XY-Man
and his 'Puny!' (thanks Karl!) collection of vector and
laserdisc classics in Manchester. The numerous rare items
he brought along to meet #1 will be there too, and more (such
as Marchen Maze by Namco and hopefully that Quantum:)).
No doubt more details will be available
nearer the time.
Here's to the next one...