Monday, December 31, 2012

Retrochallenge 2013 Winter Warmup

Well, it's that time of year again...tomorrow is the start of the Retrochallenge 2013 Winter Warmup!  I got involved with this event last year, and I actually was named as one of the winners.  I was also involved with their 2012 Summer Challenge event, acting as the judge.  I even mentioned their contests in my talk on retro-computing at LinuxCon Europe back in November.

So Many Projects...

In my previous Retrochallenge entries, I opened specific blogs dedicated to those projects.  They were/are intended to live-on with those projects, beyond the end of the Retrochallenge events.  That is great, but it makes it difficult to post about the smaller, more random projects that I do from time to time.  Those projects don't always relate to a bigger project, and sometimes they don't merit more than one or two posts anyway.

For those random projects, I need a more generic blog.  This blog will still be focused on retro(-ish) computing, but it won't necessarily cover any large or ongoing projects.  More specifically, it will not be dedicated to any one such project.  Projects like that might start here, but at some point anything like that will have to fork off to its own blog...maybe. :-)

Anyway...despite the regular schedule with plenty of warning, I seem to keep finding myself at the start of each Retrochallenge event without any well-defined projects.  In such cases, this blog will also make a nice placeholder for any Retrochallenge blog activities until the need for a more specialized blog arises!

Project Seed

Those familiar with my Facebook postings will know that I've done a little hacking recently with various retro-gaming controllers.  Some of these have been somewhat unique, while others have simply been adapting a controller from one system to work on another platform.  I hope to provide some write-ups of those projects in later entries here.

One of the controllers I built/hacked recently was a rotary controller to use for Tempest 2000 on the Atari Jaguar.  While I was looking at that, it dawned upon me that I could make a similar controller for use on the Tandy Color Computer.  I proceeded to do that, and I like the results so far.  Unfortunately, the uniqueness of that controller means that no software exists to make use of it...

Challenge Accepted

So, I will start this blog by writing-up the work I've already done to create that rotary controller for the CoCo.  That will set the stage for my entry into this winter's Retrochallenge event.  For the Winter Warmup, I will experiment a bit with what it takes to make the CoCo rotary controller useful and discover what sorts of problems or pitfalls might come along with doing so.

Hopefully this work will result in one or more fun things to do with the CoCo.  I have a couple of game ideas in mind, some simple and some more challenging.  FWIW, I'll probably focus on the CoCo3 this time around. does that sound?  Stay tuned! :-)

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