Memoirs of a Spectrum Addict Film interview at the Centre for Computing History
May28

Memoirs of a Spectrum Addict Film interview at the Centre for Computing History

Those of you who have seen me the wrong side of the camera lense on my YouTube channel will know beyond any doubt that I’m never going to be a film star. So imagine my surprise, mild panic, anguish and a few other emotions when Andy Remic decided to include me in his interview list for his upcoming feature length film – Memoirs of a Spectrum Addict. Me. In a film. Aaargh. The iconic Sinclair Building, 25 Willis Road, Cambridge 6 King’s Parade, former offices of Sinclair Research Will gets to grips with Jet Set Willy on the Tatung Einstein Taking a rollercoaster ride on the Oculus Rift. Playing on my old friend, the ZX81. Interview begins! Andy Remic, myself and Mark Howlett Memoirs of a Spectrum Addict, which was successfully Kickstarted in August last year, is unsurprisingly about the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, the effect it had on a generation of coders and gamers and the enduring legacy that came from it’s popularity. This is done through a series of interviews with gamers, developers, designers and (where I come in) fans. To think I will be in the same film as such Spectrum legends as Rick Dickinson, The Oliver Twins, Jonathan Cauldwell, Clive Townsend and Steve Turner is mind-blowing. Filming was on Saturday 20th May at the Centre for Computing History in Cambridge and I journeyed over with my friend Will, who also happens to be a big Sinclair fan. We decided to make a day of it and had a mini Sinclair ‘pilgrimage’ to 25 Willis Rd and 6 King’s Parade – both former addresses of Sinclair Research, before heading back to the Centre for filming where we were made to feel most welcome by Jason Fitzpatrick, the Centre’s curator. Nerves-a-jangling, I was filmed in the Centre’s Archives (a treat in itself) by Andy alongside fellow Spectrum fanatic Mark Howlett AKA @Lord_Arse who I had previously never met but often chatted to via social media. Mark turned out to be a real pleasure to meet and be interviewed alongside whilst Andy helped keep the nerves at bay during filming and was a true professional. Thank you both! All in all, an amazing day out in some great company and in an amazing setting that was tantamount to letting kids loose in a sweet shop. More information about Memoirs of a Spectrum Addict can be found on the website here, or to pre-order a copy visit the pre-order page on the Remic Media website.   Links Memoirs of a Spectrum Addict Website: http://www.spectrumaddict.co.uk Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zxspectrumaddict/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/spectrumaddict Centre for Computing History Website: http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/computinghistory Twitter: https://twitter.com/computermuseum Mark Howlett...

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Show us your collection: #35 Dana Meddings
May16

Show us your collection: #35 Dana Meddings

Dana Meddings (@Dane83) describes himself as an ‘average every day guy who just happens to love collecting video games’. He started out with the mighty Amstrad CPC 464 at an early age and amassed a large collection of games (many of which he has recently sold off to fund collecting other things) before going on to the Master System, followed by the SNES. He says: “The PlayStation blew me away and I’ve stuck with SONY for my new consoles ever since. I originally got back into older systems in the early 2000’s, but in an unwise move for beer tokens sold them all at car boot sales. Hence why I can be found most weekends at my local car boot sales hoping to get them back. The outcome of my finds can often been seen on my recently launched YouTube channel.” The Collection Main gaming setup Dana with the Astro Wars that started it all Dana with his mallet – signed by Timmy Mallet himself The handheld collection Dana is also a prolific collector of figures! Q and A with Dana Meddings When did you become interested in video games and what was the first video game you played? Dana: Being the youngest in my house, I always saw my brother playing his C64 and Spectrum, but as I was a lot younger I was never allowed one until one birthday or Xmas (I was very young and they are only a month apart so I can’t be exact) my parents got me a CPC 464 first with a green screen. It didn’t take long for me to break the screen, but the shop we got it from replaced with the colour screen (bonus). The very first games I played was the Amsoft pack in games mainly : Oh! Mummy, Roland on the Ropes and Roland in the Caves. So gaming was a part of my life from a very young age as much as say watching football was. What was the first games console or computer you owned and how old were you? Dana: As above. What got you into collecting videogames, computers and consoles? Dana: In my early 20’s I had a period where I went into playing older consoles, but I moved them on. Just before I turned 30 I fell out of love with my current console, the PS3, mainly because everyone had moved onto the Xbox one or PS4. I hadnt got the time in my life to update games constantly or play games that had essentially become more like movies, I wanted something I could pick up and play. One day I went up my Mom and Dad’s loft and found an old Grandstand Astro Wars we had once upon a time and it all went from there… Seeing what...

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Show us your collection: #34 Retro Rich
Mar26

Show us your collection: #34 Retro Rich

This time round we visit the games room of Richard Evans AKA Retro Rich (@Richard31337) who first got into gaming via the Sega Master System at a young age. He admits to being quite new to arcade collecting and got his interest sparked by a friend who had a cab and lots of arcade PCBs. In early 2015 Rich started out building his own with help from Andy at Arcade World UK who helped him source parts and supplied the flat pack kit which he used to construct his first cabinet. In June the same year he purchased his second cab which was an Electrocoin Neo Geo MVS 6-slot system in need of restoration. Since getting that cab he has managed to secure 3 Twin Galaxies world records in Pulstar, Blazing Star and ZuPaPa. Gaming world records appear to run in the family too, with his son Ethan holding no less than 6 Twin Galaxies world records in Mario Kart Wii! His latest additions to the arcade are an orginal Irem R-Type board which is now housed in a Video Wizard cabinet with custom R-Type marquee and an original Sega Shinobi board set. He is now gunning for the Twin Galaxies record on R-Type and says that his Pulstar and Blazing Star training has stood him in good stead. Watch this space! The Collection New arcade layout Playing in the JAMMA wired cab I built from flat pack and customised New Video Wizard cab customised to R-Type with original Irem R-Type PCB set Shinobi original board set playing in Video Wizard cab Hyper Neo Geo 64. Samurai Spirits 64, very rare game! The game “cart” Playing in the JAMMA wired cab I built from flat pack and customised View from my Steel Battalion cockpit :) AV console setup Neo Geo MVS collection Console games collection Q and A with Retro Rich When did you become interested in video games and what was the first arcade game you ever played? Rich: I think I must have been about 5 when I first played on an arcade game. My uncle owned a pub and whenever we visited I got to have a go on a cocktail Space Invaders table he had in the bar which I loved. I think that’s maybe my earliest memory of an arcade game. The next time I recall playing on an arcade game was Atari’s Xybots which I remember vividly as it had a twist joystick which was a really cool way to turn giving the game a great 3D feel to it. What was the first games console or computer you owned and how old...

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Show us your collection: #33 Simon Pring
Jun16

Show us your collection: #33 Simon Pring

Simon supplied so many photos of his unbelievable collection that we hardly knew where to start. His games room is a shrine to old school gaming and in particular his love of all things Game Boy. His original Nintendo display cabinets are bulging with every kind of Game Boy and accessory imaginable. We’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking (oh, and Simon himself in our interview with him below the images). The Collection Click on images to enlarge Q and A with Simon Pring When did you become interested in video games and what was the first video game you played? Simon: Wow that is a tough one!! I started gaming in the early to mid eighties, as far as the first game I played? …no idea but it would probably have been Pac-Man or Space Invaders on an arcade machine. What was the first games console or computer you owned and how old were you? Simon: The first computer I owned was the Sinclair ZX81 – I was only about 7 or 8 and i remember being very proud when I input the code to make it repeat happy Birthday across the screen in Marquee style ! What got you into collecting videogames, computers and consoles? Simon: Well, I didn’t get the opportunity to own very many consoles or games as a child, but the Game boy had been one of my all time favourites, so with the advent of Ebay in the early 2000’s I discovered I could start buying all the things I had always wanted as a child, it started with just a few Game Boy items and soon spiralled into a passion for all things retro. Where do you source most of your retro purchases from (ebay, flea markets etc) ? Simon: Ebay has been the main source of my purchases for a lot of the rarer items from Japan and the US but I always keep an eye out for items at boot sales or charity shops, it is getting much more difficult to get hold of retro from shops now as most people are savvy to it now. What is your most prized retrogaming possession and how much did it cost you? Simon: Almost impossible to pick!! it would probably have to be my factory sealed 1989 Game boy it took a while to get hold of one through Ebay and the price…  well lets just say it had three digits and the first digit was not a 1! What makes Nintendo your favourite game and console manufacturer? Simon: I think Nintendo of the 80’s and 90’s had a...

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Show us your collection: #32 Jamiu Buir Balogun
Jun13

Show us your collection: #32 Jamiu Buir Balogun

Another Retro Collective Europe member and another mind blowing collection of retro goodness. Jamiu has been gaming since the days of the NES and is known for his exceptional fairness and generosity amongst his fellow collectors in the collective. Jamiu is well on his way to his ultimate goal of collecting the full PAL SNES game library. Check out our interview with him below the collection photos. The Collection Click on images to enlarge Q and A with Jamiu Buir Balogun When did you become interested in video games and what was the first video game you played? Jamiu: Must have been Pac-Man or Space Invaders as my first games. My brother and I went halves on a NES and it went on from there. I remember my parents getting me a commodore C16 for Christmas and I had Rig Attack for it. It took me ages how to play it, but I when I did I loved it. What got you into collecting videogames, computers and consoles? Jamiu: I loved the worlds that you could play in. At first I was just a SNES guy until ’95 when I moved to Swindon and people were selling me their Mega Drives and other systems. I was buying collections keeping what I wanted then selling off the rest. Where do you source most of your retro purchases from (ebay, flea markets etc) ? Jamiu: I have got a load from Facebook pages. It is lethal I tell you!!! Lol. I normally work late so finish and home by 11.30pm. A lot of people put their games up about then. I see them and get in first. I tried to give up buying games for lent. That lasted for about three weeks. From the 14th of March I spent over £1500 on games and systems. The best place that I get games from is Retro Collective Europe. The people on there are a sweet bunch. I have done some sweet deals with people on there. What is your most prized retrogaming possession and how much did it cost you? Jamiu: Radiant Silvergun (£96) and Metal Slug with cart (£50) both for the Japanese Saturn. I had just got back from a trip to Japan and only brought 1 game while I was out there. When I got back I went on ebay and saw them on there. I was in a bidding war with a few Americans. At this time the pound was worth two dollars, so I could throw money at them. What is your favourite hardware manufacturer (Sega, Nintendo, Atari Commodore etc.), and why? Jamiu: I’m a Nintendo fanboy...

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Show us your collection: #31 Gary Ptaszek
May06

Show us your collection: #31 Gary Ptaszek

Number 31 in our amazing collections series and this time it’s Retro Collective Europe member Gary Ptaszek’s turn to show off his awesome collection. Gary is also proof that gaming can be good for your health. Check out his Q and A to find out how… The Collection Click on images to enlarge The mancave setup. The Nintendo shelves Great uncommon sequels Some uncommon games More uncommon games My Famicom collection How I keep my Game Boy games Controllers and accessories drawer Gameboy drawer Coffee table reading, original CIB Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong JR Game&Watch, Club Nintendo re-issue Ball Game&Watch Mancave panoramic view Q and A with Gary Ptaszek When did you become interested in video games and what was the first video game you played? Gary: I was quite young but I remember it well, the first video game I ever saw was ‘Alex Kidd in Miracle World’ for the Sega Master System. I remember charging along on a motorbike through colourful blocks, I was mesmerised by all the colours and the music was so catchy. I also remember the first time I was ever excited about a ‘new game’, it was Dick Tracy for Master System (how naive). However in my wild anticipation, whilst holding the controller as my older brother popped the game in, I pulled the console off the TV table onto the floor. That was the end of my first console, luckily I never got to play Dick Tracy and sometime later my Dad replaced the broken Master System with a cool new Sega console. My Mum bought a Gameboy and later a SNES which really kickstarted my love of Nintendo. What got you into collecting videogames, computers and consoles? Gary: My teenage years were spent skateboarding, playing guitar and gate crashing house parties but I always had time for video games on rainy days. My friend Dann and my older brother introduced me to emulators, so I began downloading NES games. We used to take turns playing ‘Metal Gear’, ‘Skate or Die’ and ‘California Games’. Years later I got a Gameboy Advance SP and started buying all the ‘Super Mario Advance’ games aswell as older Gameboy titles but it wasn’t until I stumbled across a certain Youtuber by the name of ‘The Angry Nintendo Nerd’ that I really took an interest in collecting games… particularly NES games. My girlfriend bought me a NES for Christmas one year so I decided I’d quit my £70 a week smoking habit and instead spend money collecting games. I haven’t had a cigarette since. Where do you source most of your retro purchases from (ebay, flea...

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