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Geographic Strengths


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#1 snicklin ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 18, 2014 6:28 PM

*** Sweeping generalisations alert ***

(Disclaimer: I know what I say below is not true of all people and there are many exceptions, but I believe that what I say here is the -general- truth)

 

You can generally split the people on this site into 2 groups of people, Europeans and North Americans. There are some others (including myself now with where I live) who don't fit into this bracket, but most are in one of the 2 groups.

 

One thing that I've noticed is that North Americans appear very technically knowledgable. If there is a discussion about electronics, phone lines or perhaps the real high-detail information about Atari chips, the North Americans will dominate.

 

When it comes to software, the Europeans (especially Eastern Europeans and the UK/Germany) will dominate.

 

This is intended as a friendly discussion (please keep it this way), but if you feel the same way as I do, how do you think that this has come about?

 

I have my own theories, but I'd like to hear your thoughts.

 

 



#2 bob1200xl OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:14 AM

I think it's fair to say that the Europeans are at least as technical as the North Americans, and way ahead on actual hardware production. We have talent over here, perhaps, but it is largely untapped.

 

Few people know this, but FJC is an honorary Californian so he counts on our side of the Pond...

 

Bob



#3 Tillek OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:03 AM

Lotharek.... Nuff Said.  Maybe the reason the Europeans don't participate in the talks is that they're too busy churning out the actual stuff?  ;)



#4 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 19, 2014 1:08 PM

I don't know what your experience is, but in the USA it is next to impossible to find low cost readily available parts, save mail order.... and their is no real cheap way to get circuit boards made anymore... nothing is local... and those that know about those solutions appear really tight lipped and not spreading that information... not one of the supply houses of the 10 that used to be around here is open any more.... It's not that we won't or can't... it's that we are prevented.



#5 kenjennings OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:08 PM

Where would you find expertise on a ZX Spectrum or Archimedes?.  (UK)  The knowledge tends to be focused around where the computer comes from and/or the market intended.    

 

Atari 8-bit were originally for the US market.   Later when the US market didn't matter much for 8-bits (and due to relaxed export rules after the fall of the Soviet Union) its popularity picked up in Eastern Europe.   By that time we were deep into the Amiga/ST market period and there wasn't much interest in new hardware for the 8-bits.



#6 Nebulon OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 19, 2014 3:26 PM

One thing that I noticed from talking to people in the European demo scene (A8, C64, ST, Amiga) is that -- on average -- the level of programming education in Europe blows the doors off of what we typically get in North America. My programming courses were a joke, by comparison.

 

Another factor cited by a fellow I met in Norway was that the taxes on computer hardware is so high there that if your parents bought you a computer as a kid, you were expected to really make extensive use of it.



#7 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 19, 2014 5:04 PM

The US guys are lucky to have two major sources for Atari spare parts in the country. Regarding developments, I think the (Eastern) European guys rock when it comes to hardware and software......look at all the Abbuc contest stuff.....the vast majority if not all is Euro stuff..


In the arcade machine scene things are very much US focussed if your "era" is the 70s and early 80s.

#8 snicklin ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:04 PM

I knew that there were exceptions, such as Lotharek for example, but I notice that North Americans seem to be happy enough to whip out a soldering iron and do some work.

 

Then I see that the Europeans tend to be good with demos and games.

 

There are lots of exceptions I know, but in general....

 

I believe that the ABBUC hardware contest means that Europeans/Germans will start producing hardware, but I feel that the average level of expertise across all individuals is different in both places.

 

I like the idea that people had moved onto 16 bit in Europe when Atari became bigger in Europe. That makes sense.

 

And yes, spare parts are more abundant in the US. That also makes a lot of sense.

 

And with the comment about taxes in Norway, well, there's a lot of taxes there for everything!! Don't try and buy any booze there, it'll be as bad as here in Australia!



#9 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:34 AM

Europeans were producing hardware long before ABBUC. Lots of new hardware coming from Europe is the norm rather than an exception, as evidenced by the preceding comments. That's the general situation. They're extremely productive on the software front too.

#10 snicklin ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:45 AM

Well, whichever way we look at this - we can all say that we have a pretty vibrant scene compared to some of the other 8-bits and so we should (and I think we all are) proud of that.



#11 Josť Pereira OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 20, 2014 5:03 AM

Have a look at Spain, they were always a Z80 land and I think the only in Europe that MSX range was really sucessfull. Nowdays they still produce lots of software mostly for Spectrum but many of them are later released to CPC and MSX. They even have real companies selling game tapes and stores, and new concepts like retro pubs where you can play old games in real computers and arcade machines.
Around 3years ago there was here in Portugal a show of Retro stuff oppened for more than 3months and at least in the weekends was full of people mostly man at around 40/50s of age, but nice to see complete families with their kids happy playing the games.
I have a dream that is one day I can open a mix of museum, store and pub/cafe of our stuff and I still think that it could go well, will not make me rich but sure would earn something and the reality is that my sucess it's in the fact that there isn't any retro store or anything similar here soo beeing the first surely will help.

#12 Mclaneinc ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 20, 2014 5:57 AM

For its always been a more Euro focussed item when it comes to actual production of software, the hardware tended at first to be US produced but since then the Euro guys have been on top of that as well. And as nebulon said, when you got a computer as a kid here you really were expected to make total use of it, more  so in high taxation countries.

 

I see the Americans as more current trend people ie always looking to the future whereas the Euro scene is more dominated in retro.

 

BUT, its all good, there's still some wonderful stuff coming from the US AND Europe...



#13 snicklin ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 20, 2014 6:41 AM

I have a dream that is one day I can open a mix of museum, store and pub/cafe of our stuff and I still think that it could go well, will not make me rich but sure would earn something and the reality is that my sucess it's in the fact that there isn't any retro store or anything similar here soo beeing the first surely will help.

 

Me too - and when I win the lottery, you can come and work in my arcade/pub/A8 games business.






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