20th Edition – Forever 8-bit Party – Graphics Competition

Every year, on the third weekend of March, a multiplatform 8-bit computers party is being held in a village near Trenčin, Slovakia. Fans of Atari, Commodore and ZX Spectrum computers arrive in large numbers, but more rare platforms, like BBC Micro, Sharp or Amstrad are usually represented as well.

The event is mainly a social one, being an occasion to meet, drink together, exchange gossip, technical knowledge or latest demos, utilities or graphics files (yes, it is still being done, even in the internet era, we just do not usually use floppy disks for that purpose anymore). On he official agenda there is usually a number of 8-bit related presentations, but the highlight of the Saturday are the competitions – commonly refered to as “compos” – where amateur productions for each platform compete in several categories – usually music, graphics, intro (a short demonstration code, usually size limited to 1 kilobyte or 16 kilobytes) and demo (a longer demonstration program, usually containing multiple graphics, effects and specially composed music).

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BBS History – ANSI Art

Back in the day, when the Internet was being used predominately by the military or a handful of academic institutions, common people with computers and modems were communicating and exchanging files via Bulletin Board Systems. Most of those systems were simple home computers, with modem and a landline or two, multiple floppy drives for file storage, running software that allowed remote access over the phone with a simple text terminal.

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LEGO minifig scale model of HWK-290, part 1

Having some thoughts on how should the Star Wars HWK-290 Light Freighter look inside, and how much room you can actually expect there, and being a big fan of creating floor plans to the ships we use in our campaigns, I’ve decided to try building a model of the ship, as a proof of concept.

I’ve chosen LEGO bricks for the job, for various reasons. First, and foremost, I like LEGO. It is a lot of fun building from physical bricks, but with the advent of modern computing, you can also design in Lego Digital Designer directly on your PC , having access to all the bricks in a world, be able to tear down and rebuild in the matter of minutes (well, ok, it takes some time to get used to the interface, and some time to get a feeling where all those bricks you need are located, but once you are familiar, it gets much more fun). Second, my daughter likes LEGO, too. And she likes Star Wars. A year and a half ago she got the LEGO 75105 Millennium Falcon set, and it is still one of her favourite doll-houses she plays in, so creating a minifig scale ship of my own design, provided it will be accessible and have all those interactive parts inside, looked like something she might be interested in as well.

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So, how long is HWK-290?

In my last article, I’ve tried to compare several silhouette 3 starships from the Star Wars universe within Fantasy Flight Games RPG systems that are capable of a longer hyperdrive travel and can accommodate a minimum of two persons on board. One of them was HWK-290 Light Freighter – not the cheapest choice, but my personal favourite. I do not really have a good reason for that, I’ve never played Star Wars: Dark Forces, and this is where it was introduced, so I do not have my sentiments there. I guess I just like the lines of it, and the concept of a very small, yet a bit more elegant craft, that would give you some degree of independence.

The problem with HWK-290, however, is that there are multiple visions of how does it look like inside, how many persons it can accommodate, can you expect cabins, flashy corridors, or maybe it is more like an interior of U-96 submarine.

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Life inside U-96 submarine source: https://bluekidontheblock.wordpress.com/tag/germany/

On the next pages of this entry I will try to dig through the limited official and more frequent not so official materials we have on HWK-290 and figure out, what version would match the FFG specs we have best.

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Long range starship for a couple

Choosing and tweaking a starship is an important part of every Star Wars RPG campaign. Han Solo had his Millennium Falcon, Boba Fett had Slave I, Luke Skywalker traveled with an X-Wing, and most probably your group of characters will need their signature vehicle, too. Unfortunately, there is a bit of a gap in the area of 1-2 persons crafts that are capable of a longer hyperspace travel in decent conditions. I will try to list and compare the options we have as of December 2018.

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Episode IV – A New Hope

I’ve been trying to set up a blog multiple times already, and most of the time I ended up with a domain registered and set up, and no post or any activity whatsoever. There were plenty of ideas of what it should be about – Aviation? Travel? 8-bit Atari computers? Maybe I could describe my journey on finally learning some electronics? Well, maybe. But I still do not know much about electronics, so I guess I’ll just start writing some posts, and I’ll figure it out later.

I have always been a fan of Star Wars, hence the name of the blog will be Duro Sector, for now at least. Duro is a home world of one of my favourite alien species in Star Wars universe, early spacefarers – Duros. Heavy industrial development left their world a bit of a mess, as is this blog now, but some incredible inventions had been made there, namely the hyperdrive. It allowed practically limitless space exploration of the galaxy.

I will try to put articles here on whatever I find enjoyable at the moment. Hopefully, you will find the journey through the peaks of multiple sine waves of my interests amusing, too. Any comments are welcome, also when you think that I suck at the language – I do not usually do a lot of writing in English, that obviously is not my first language, so when I do suck, let me know, so I can do something about it.

Have fun!

 

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NGC 2683—aka UFO Galaxy—and it was discovered on February 5, 1788 by William Herschel. This image was made from “two adjacent fields observed in visible and infrared light by Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys.” Source: https://gizmodo.com/5897977/astronomers-find-the-star-wars-galaxy