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AuthorTopic: South West Amiga Group Meeting No.1!  (Read 678 times)

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Offline roberthazelby

South West Amiga Group Meeting No.1!
« on: March 17, 2016, 07:28:12 AM »

The South West Amiga Group (SWAG) originally formed in December 1997. They met once a month in Bristol to discuss their favourite computer.  The group continued in various forms until 2005 when the group disbanded.

In 2016, riding the wave of renewed interest in the platform, the group has been resurrected, a new venue found and new events planned.

SWAG embrace both classic and next generation machines, including all Amiga OS variants, MorphOS and AROS.  This includes physical, emulated and FPGA based platforms. All are welcome – but remember … Only Amiga Makes it Possible

First Meeting Details

To get things off to a flying start we’ve arranged to hold our first SWAG meeting in a rather special venue. Open for the first time only a week prior to our booking is the new Swindon Makerspace - http://www.swindon-makerspace.org/ - a fully refurbished building perfect for those wishing to tinker with new and old Amiga hardware and software.

The date of the first SWAG meeting is Saturday 7th May, from 12 noon until 4:00pm.

The Swindon Makerspace can be found at Unit 34, BSS House, Cheyney Manor, Swindon

There is free parking on site, while the venue offers free Wifi plus tea and coffee making facilities.

If You Arrive Early

If you get to the venue early you’ll find the Café Aroma on site, serving all day breakfasts and lunches. A large McDonald’s and the Swindon Designer Outlet Food Court are also only five minutes drive away.

Those who wish to explore the centre of Swindon could do a lot worse than visit the excellent Museum of Computing - http://www.museumofcomputing.org.uk

For Further Information

If you’d like more information then please visit the official SWAG web site at http://www.southwestamiga.org.uk

You can also find us on:

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/groups/southwestamiga
Twitter - https://twitter.com/southwestamiga

And Finally

If you are planning on coming, please drop us an email to let us know. We need to get a rough idea of how many people to expect Also, if you’re planning on bringing any hardware (computers, screens etc.) then please detail that in your email.

SWAG can be contacted at: swag@southwestamiga.org.uk

Offline roberthazelby

Re: South West Amiga Group Meeting No.1!
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2016, 09:48:06 PM »
SWAG Meeting Update!

I’d like to begin by thanking those who have already put their name down to attend the first of hopefully many SWAG meetings.

At present we have 7 people confirmed as coming – a number which means that it’s more than worth us going ahead with the session. Naturally, it’s a case of “the more the merrier”, so if you’d like to come then please drop us an email at swag@southwestamiga.org.uk

Since the initial “all systems go” email we’ve started planning the meeting content. Over the coming weeks we’ll be revealing further details as the date gets closer.

In the meantime...

We know the Amiga was and still is a much-loved gaming platform, and it’s because of this that we’re making sure there’s a good multiplayer element to our first meeting. The 4-player joystick/pad adapter has arrived, and we’ll be firing-up Dynablaster Bomberman and Gauntlet 2 for a mix of fight-to-the-death and co-op gaming. (If you can think of any other 4/5 player simultaneous Amiga games that would be suitable then please let us know!).

For the more technically minded we also hope to run a session on emulating an Amiga on your Raspberry Pi. This session will cover setting up your SD card so that your beloved Pi boots straight into the Amiga OS/Workbench from switch-on.

For those of you unable to make it along to the first SWAG meeting we hope to film parts of the session and take a load of photos. We’ll make these available as soon as after the event we can.

More updates to follow!

Offline roberthazelby

Re: South West Amiga Group Meeting No.1!
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2016, 08:21:08 AM »
SWAG Meeting Update.

As April marches ever onwards, we're getting closer to our first meeting, which takes place on Saturday 7th May.

We've added two further 4-player simultaneous games to our roster. The first addition is the legendary Super Skidmarks. See if you've got what it takes to beat your fellow attendees.

Our second addition is recently released blast-em-up - Tanks Furry (that's how they spell it). We'll have this up and running on the day. Check out this new Amiga title and see how it plays when you're up against three other players.

The SWAG meeting isn't just about the games. We'll also have a good selection of hardware at the session in the form of an Amiga 500 with Gotek drive (see one of these in action if you've not yet made the switch), an 020 equipped A600, and an A1200 with 030 installed.

One potential attendee has also promised to bring along his Amiga One. If if you always wanted to see one of these beasts in the flesh, now's your chance.

Along with all this, we'll also be screening the latest Amiga releases from the recent Revision 2016 demo party.

Interested in coming along?
The date of of our first meeting is Sat 7th May
Time: 12 noon - 4:00pm
Venue: Swindon Makerspace

Offline roberthazelby

Re: South West Amiga Group Meeting No.1!
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2016, 02:04:26 PM »
Final Call for First South West Amiga Group Meeting

With the date of the first South West Amiga Group (SWAG) meeting fast approaching we thought we’d send out one final reminder before this Saturday’s event takes place.

Brief details are:

Date: Saturday 7th May
Time: 12 noon – 4:00pm
Venue: Swindon Makerspace
Address: Swindon Makerspace, 34, B S S House, Swindon, Wilts, SN2 2PJ
The closest entrance is called Access A, next to the Café Aroma

A few of us are planning to meet at the Café Aroma, next door to the venue at around 11:00am for a hearty brunch. If you’d like to join us you’d be most welcome.

Hardware: We expect to have the following systems at our first meeting – Amiga A500 with Gotek drive, Amiga A600 with with 020 installed, Amiga A1200 with 030 installed, and an Amiga One. If you’ve got a problem with your Amiga then bring it along and we’ll see if we can fix it.

Games: Multiplayer will be the main feature of Saturday’s line-up, so we’ll be set-up for 5-player Dynablaster, 4-player Gauntlet 2 and 4-Player Super Skidmarks. We’ll also be bringing the Amiga TOSEC along with us so we should have access to most titles from the Amiga back catalogue should you wish to play that something from your youth.

Demos: We’ll be screening many of the Amiga demos from the recent Revision 2016 event. The Amiga 500 will also be set up with a collection of Amiga demos from down the years.

If you’re planning to come along but haven’t yet told us you’re coming, please drop us an email at swag (at) southwestamiga.org.uk

Offline roberthazelby

Re: South West Amiga Group Meeting No.1!
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2016, 09:12:00 PM »
SWAG Meeting #1 – Saturday 7th May 2016

Venue: The Makerspace, Swindon
Attendees: Approx. 12

The seeds of the first SWAG meeting were sewn back in January of this year when Amiga user Brian Hedley created a thread over on the English Amiga Board, asking if there was a group of Amiga users in the South West. If there wasn’t, would anyone be interested in forming one and helping to set up a meeting.

Fellow Amiga users Steve Netting and Rob Hazelby responded, and in February the three met in a Swindon pub to chat all things Amiga and to discuss the possibility/viability of organising a meeting.

By the end of the evening it was decided that the meeting idea was worth pursuing, with the thought that at the very worst three Amiga users would meet up later in the year for an afternoon of Amiga gaming, tinkering and repairing.

The other decision made that evening was to resurrect the old SWAG name. The South West Amiga Group held its last meeting way back in 2001, and sadly folded in 2004. In its active years the members held regular sessions, and each meeting was well attended.

After numerous enquiries a venue was chosen – the new Makerspace in Swindon, which was due to open the first weekend in May. The members there were happy to have us, and so, on Saturday 7th May the first meeting of the phoenix like SWAG took place.

The afternoon ran from noon until 4:00pm, and during that time approximately 12 Amiga users turned up. The majority of attendees brought kit with them, and as such we had an amazing collection of Amiga and other computer systems. The line-up included:

-   Expanded Amiga 1200 (030 @ 50mhz, Indivision 2, 32megs RAM, Hard Drive, Network Card
-   Expanded Amiga 600 (ACA620 and A604n)
-   Amiga 500 with 512K RAM expansion and Gotek
-   A laptop running UAE
-   Raspberry Pi 3 running UAE for all
-   2008 MacBook used for streaming demos to the plasma screen and for storing an Amiga TOSEC
-   AmigaOne 500
-   Amiga 1200 for repairing

Gamers were well catered for, with some excellent 4-player sessions of Hudson’s Dynablaster Bomberman, Acid’s racer Skidmarks and Team 17’s platformer Superfrog. Numerous other titles from down the years were also fired-up, with one attendee completing Turrican from start to finish in what he declared was his fastest ever run.

The Raspberry Pi 3 did a fantastic job of emulating classic Amiga hardware, with a number of children present glued to Lemmings. The speed of the mouse took a little getting used to, though. It was rather twitchy!

The Macbook was mainly used for streaming a selection of Amiga demos from the recent Revision 2016 demo competition, along with a number of repeated showings of the forthcoming “Amiga Works” documentary by Paul Bridger. When it wasn’t streaming video it was used to transfer files from the Amiga TOSEC to pen drive and then on to an Amiga.

The AmigaOne 500 was undoubtedly the star of the afternoon when it came to hardware specs. Facebook user Amiga Richard had been kind enough to bring his prized posession along, and throughout the afternoon gave guided tours around the system, answering questions put to him by fellow attendees.

The final system was Amiga Richard’s faulty Amiga 1200, which initially failed to display a picture or boot. A dismantling later, the removal of a rogue screw which didn’t seem to actually belong to the system, and the 1200 was back up and running once more. Success!

By 4:00pm the computers had all been packed-up, and the last of those who’d attended were making their way home. What had started as a thread over on the English Amiga Board and a subsequent meeting in a pub, had turned into a fantastic afternoon of classic gaming, tech and general retro chit chat.

Feedback from those who came along was glowing, and as such a second SWAG meeting to take place one Saturday in September is already being planned. An exact date will follow.

In the meantime you can check out a selection of photos from the event by going to: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipM51P87S2uWNNt_5hm54ocWVUE2MpiHRFGh5-Cc63SeOREx-0kNfxd-yEIPcby0oQ?key=X251Qkh6a2Y2aDJjanhPdzVaQjhVVEl6Z1VfblhB

If you’d like to find out more you can find SWAG on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/southwestamiga/ and via their web site at