Amstrad User Group
Purpose of the user group
The Amstrad Gebruikers Groep (GG) is a user group of the Hobby Computer Club HCC, Haarlem (Holland). The GG aims to support the users of Amstrad/Schneider computers, more in particular the CPC464 / 664 / 6128, the Joyce (all using CP/M) and the Amstrad PC's (and Amstrad-licensed Schneiders). Support also spans the various emulators and the programs in public domain.
News & bulletin (in Dutch)
Here you can find the March issue (in Dutch only, PDF format, loads in new window) of the Joyce Computer Club, the group dedicated to the Amstrad PCW "Joyce" in specific.
We were invited to participate in the MegaCompUser 2009 meeting in the H.F. Witte Centrum in De Bilt. For a full report from the organization itself, please see the MegaCompUser website. On the left a picture of our delegation.
The computers featuring, from left to right, a Schneider 6128 with the familiar green CRT, an Amstrad PCW 8512 with 3.5" disc drive, an Amstrad CPC 6128 with colour screen and an Amstrad CPC 464 with colour screen. Not visible in the picure are an Amstrad NC 100, an Amstrad PPC 640, an Amstad PDA 600 and a few portables (non-Amstrads), one of them was contineously playing the DVD's with the English series of The Apprentice starring Sir Alan Sugar (ex-president of Amstrad).The gathering was well attended by some 600 visitors: smaller and shorter, of course, than the three day of the HCC!Dagen but visited by motivated users and we exchanged many an experience. We were even promised a donation of a PCW 8512 by someone who lives very near our secretary (it still is a small world, even in the computer age...)!
What can we do for you?
These photographs have been taken during the HCC!dagen of 2006 (November 24-26, Friday to Sunday), the last year we attended.
That year's stand was on a corner with two desks, a closet and two foldable tables. The latter urgently required a few table cloths because the finishing was not in white plastic (as ordered) and rather poor.
The photo on the left shows a non-Amstrad Pentium IV (with the monitor temporarily turned inwards the stand. This computer was used for a contineous display of a Powerpoint presentation on Amstrad and has all Amstrad emulation and conversion programs installed plus the complete Amstrad public domain software library). The strange silhouet of the PPC 512 is visible next to this PC (running it's own software). Next to it is the successful Mega Windows/Sega PC/games console and a CPC 6128 (running either The Addams Family or Pinball Wizzard). The right photograph shows, on the right side, a Schneider CPC 464 (with Quick Snax. a version of Pacman), a PCW 8512 (running Head Over Heels) and an ALT-386SX with Minesweeper. The NC 100 and PDA 600 were 'in reserve' in the closet and have not been used frequently because of the risk of theft or damage.
As we were located on the island 'The first steps in time and knowledge' we have adapted the program.
First of all, we had the Powerpoint presentation on Amstrad computers with a couple of interesting old film fragments: this presentation ran contineously and turned out to be very successful. We will look if it is possible to include it on these web pages. We will expand it next year, using a beamer and a wide display screen.
Furthermore we focussed on classic games that have been ported for more than one computer platform and had selected games that could be compared using the various Amstrad computers available. They featured Head Over Heels (on the PC, PCW, CPC), Ping (CPC, PC), Lemmings (PC, Sega, CPC), PacMan (CPC and PC), Tetris (PC, CPC, PCW) and Pinball (CPC and PC).
The most succesful of these quickly turned out to be Lemmings and Pacman. The beloved (by me, that is) Head Over Heels did turn out to be less known and it took too much time to play (let alone finish), while Ping (with the two vertical lines functioning as bats) turned out to become boring pretty fast.
The same was not true for Tetris but the real attraction that year was really Lemmings. Lots of visitors recognised the game from their DOS-days and it was cause for many conversations. The CPC version was discarded and the DOS versions (Lemmings I, Lemmings the Tribe and Oh No, more Lemmings) were also found inferior to the Sega version ran on the Mega. A simple matter of higher resolution and better sound. A lot of players were surprised to learn that the game has been abonded and can be loaded free of copyrights nowadays. If half of the intentions will be actually realised, we will have promoted retro-computer to a great extend during the HCC!dagen. We have committed ourselves to supporting users that no longer feel confident in the DOS environment.
What can you do for us?
We will be pleased for to accept most Amstrad related donations. We usually do not pay but we do collect and (try to) arrange for a new home. Or, alternatively, use the equipment as spare parts to keep other machines running. Besides that, we always welcome people with the same interest and enthusiasm in their hobby.
Liability in law
These Internet pages contain quite a lot of information of a technical nature and programs: we have checked the origin and nature to the best of our abilities. We do not involve ourselves with the illegal copying of software. All the programs, available on this site, are either without copyright or we have obtained the distribution rights. In the latter case you are responsible to respect possible author's rights (when shareware is involved, instead of free- or abandonware).
The user group does not accept liability for any (ab-)use of the information presented. Potential consequences are at one's own risk: this applies especially to the tips and technical diagrams. Damage resulting from static electricity, for instance, is at the expense of the reader, not the user group.
We would like to emphasize that Amstrad computers often use less common parts or constructions. Spare parts are usually no longer available in the common market and the machines are by now collector items that deserve to be treated with respect and caution. We are, of course, always willing to help out to the best of our ability. We have a large supply of spare parts as well as information and experience. You are warned, though, that we are a non-profit organisation and reject liability for (interpretation of) information presented on our web pages.
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