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Chicago TI Friday 2019 - Companion gathering to Chicago TI World Faire

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I am happy to announce the 2019 Chicago TI Friday gathering on November 1, 2019, a day-before companion event arranged and held separately from the Chicago TI Computer Users Group International World Faire. This is a free-flow gathering for hackers and tinkerers to work on projects, show off collections, build, break, general mingling, relaxed socializing, and whatever else.

 

Links referenced below can be found here: https://locu.li/CTIFriday

 

This year's event will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn Chicago North Shore/Evanston. Following on the heels of a successful 2018 Friday, we have doubled the size of the event room so we can accommodate more people and provide additional options for whatever needs arise, such as a divided light and dark side for projection, lighted projects, etc. We have the room from 8am until 11pm. As this is meant to be a companion event to the World Faire, participants are encouraged to attend the Faire's Friday dinner.

 

I have set up a PayPal Pool to accept contributions from anyone who wishes to chip in for the cost of the meeting space, $503.25. Any amounts received over the goal will be put toward sundry for the room and participants.

 

We have a block of rooms arranged at the hotel. ANY attendee, whether attending both events or just one, is welcome to book a room in the block for the group rate of $142 per night plus taxes. Rooms are king or double, so attendees can buddy-up, and include breakfast for up to two people and a parking pass for the adjacent garage.

 

You may book using the link provided or an alternate resource. Group code is TICU with a booking deadline of October 17, for check-in on Thursday, October 31, and check-out on Sunday, November 3. Late check-out is available. Extended dates depend upon availability; contact the hotel directly for information.

 

Hilton Garden Inn Chicago North Shore/Evanston
1818 Maple Avenue, Evanston, Illinois, 60201, USA +1-847-475-6400

 

Terms for the block:

  • Any “no shows” are subject to the fee of one night’s lodging plus the applicable taxes, payable by the individual noted on the reservation.
  • All individual reservation cancellations must be made 48-hours prior to scheduled arrival; otherwise the individual will be billed for one night’s lodging plus occupancy tax.
  • An early departure fee of $50.00 will be assessed for any early room departures for guests who have been checked into the hotel.

While discussing options for lowering the room rate for this year it was mentioned that the rooms are double-occupancy so two attendees may share a room.

 

Hope to see everyone Friday and at the Faire on Sauturday!

 

Chicago TI Friday - Companion gathering to Chicago TI International World Faire
https://locu.li/CTIFriday

 

ONCE AGAIN: THE FRIDAY GATHERING IS NEITHER AN OFFICIAL EVENT OF, NOR MEANT TO COMPETE WITH, THE CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL WORLD FAIRE, BUT IS A COMPANION EVENT THE DAY PRIOR.

 

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Quick bump as we are three months from the closing date for booking hotel rooms under the event group.

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If anyone would like to play around with modems (we still use those, right?) during this year's gathering, I have acquired a four-line telephone line simulator.  I also have analog phone to Bluetooth converters which allow an analog telephone or modem to make calls over a cellular phone.  The standard encoding should easily allow for Bell 103 and 212A (300bps/baud and 1200bps/baud.)  No idea about any of the quadrature or trellis encoding standards, but would be neat to try sometime.

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We could set up a BBS and dial in. Or more than one BBS software! 

I don't know if I still have a Hayes-compatible modem though.

 

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1 hour ago, FarmerPotato said:

We could set up a BBS and dial in. Or more than one BBS software! 

I don't know if I still have a Hayes-compatible modem though.

 

 

I have plenty.

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Sadly, my boyfriend and I won't be able to attend or support; constant raising rent prices and car repairs are keeping us from having the money to save up for such a trip. We hope those who can attend or contribute have a good time, though.

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Could we connect 4 consoles to the The Keep BBS and play a cooperative MUD game or something like that? :)

 

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1 hour ago, Vorticon said:

Could we connect 4 consoles to the The Keep BBS and play a cooperative MUD game or something like that? :)

 

No no, not a phone system or PBX, just a line simulator.  Each line can call another line, but there is no telco interface.  Now, with the Bluetooth adapters we could pair them with various phones and all call The Keep.

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8 hours ago, Vorticon said:

Could we connect 4 consoles to the The Keep BBS and play a cooperative MUD game or something like that? :)

 

what he said, but you could totally do that with a wifimodem on each console if it has rs232..  and a router.. OR we can build a terminal server out of a raspberry pi and 4 rs232 cables..  easy

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This has the smell of a great cooperative hacking session for the pre-Faire session. I am tempted to come up with the framework for a simultaneous multi-user game using the serial port, with one of the console acting as the master, which we can refine and debug then. Hmmmm...

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You are welcome to borrow one of my 'Xyplex MAXserver 1600' terminal servers if you are willing to deal with their non-hayes-like comands.

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13 hours ago, jasmaz said:

You are welcome to borrow one of my 'Xyplex MAXserver 1600' terminal servers if you are willing to deal with their non-hayes-like comands.

Thanks for the offer but I was thinking about something much simpler, with one TI console acting as a server, and polling the client consoles for data sequentially, whether via RS232 or parallel port along the lines below. A single bi-directional port on the server is shared with all the clients via a multiplexer. The clients will only respond when their assigned ID is on the port.

  • Each connected client plays one round then prepares a status data packet. Game on that client is paused
  • Server polls each client until all clients have completed a round and are ready to send data
  • Server polls each client for the data packet and processes it
  • Once all the client consoles have been polled and the data processed by the server console, a second round of polling will be occur, this time updating each client with the current state of the game
  • Next round starts

Should be workable for non-arcade games.

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40 minutes ago, Vorticon said:

Thanks for the offer but I was thinking about something much simpler, with one TI console acting as a server, and polling the client consoles for data sequentially, whether via RS232 or parallel port along the lines below. A single bi-directional port on the server is shared with all the clients via a multiplexer. The clients will only respond when their assigned ID is on the port.

  • Each connected client plays one round then prepares a status data packet. Game on that client is paused
  • Server polls each client until all clients have completed a round and are ready to send data
  • Server polls each client for the data packet and processes it
  • Once all the client consoles have been polled and the data processed by the server console, a second round of polling will be occur, this time updating each client with the current state of the game
  • Next round starts

Should be workable for non-arcade games.

Since there is a crossover unit, with multiple RS232 cables I suppose, why not use the CTS mechanism to signal the client? You could have up to 8 CTS signals out the parallel port, each connected to the CTS input of a client. When CTS is high, the client knows to send its packets to the host. When CTS is low, the client just listens.

 

I'm not sure of the electrical behavior of such a scheme. I know from experience that simply joining the RX and TX lines allows 2 TI-99/4As to share the same serial bus - we used to share one modem this way, where both 4As could read the data, and either one could send, except for corruption if both were sending.

 

It might require new isolation on the CTS line. For instance use 3 bits of parallel out to drive a LS138, and insert an optocoupler on each of 8 lines which drive CTS over a particular RS232 connection.

 

This gets to be more work than your scheme of just sending a packet over TX...

 

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SPECIAL UPDATE!

 

The CTI Friday conference room reservation has been extended into Saturday for a full two-day event! We will now have the room from 8am Friday until 11pm Saturday, or so.  This will allow those who want to tinker and hack for a full two days the opportunity to do so.  It will permit any who want to put up their rig but not tear it down or tote it around on Saturday a place to keep it and return to play.  As well, those who want to attend the Faire for the day event but not for its extracurricular food or imbibing can swing back by.

 

I am investigating the option for a three-day gathering next year, starting Friday and ending Sunday, which would give two days surrounding the Faire for those who would come out for both events as well as a full three days of tinkering and hacking for those who are attracted to the idea of a full-fledged hardware and software hack-fest and meeting up with the Faire people but are not necessarily attracted to the Faire itself.  It will depend upon this year's attendance, feedback, and commitment for such an event next year.

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Reminder that both the Faire and CTI Friday are in five weeks, and we are now three weeks out from the booking deadline of October 17th for the hotel room block.  Check out the top post for more information.

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