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OVGE - The Trip to Tulsa and Pre-Show Activities - Ubikuberalles Inarticulate Grunts [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
ubikuberalles

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OVGE - The Trip to Tulsa and Pre-Show Activities [Aug. 24th, 2006|11:37 pm]
ubikuberalles
Here's a chronicle of my trip to OVGE. Sorry, it's not brief. It's a bit rambling but I wanted a record of the trip that's more than just a summary.

(NOTE: The names given here are the Digital Press usernames of the individuals involved. They may or may not have a LJ username).

Preparations for OVGE

Back in May - after I posted in my Blog about showing off my Altair 680 systems - PDF invited me to bring my Altairs to OVGE. He also paid for an additional table to display my Altairs. I felt honored and set to work on my display. I actually didn't get much done until the summer semester ended (August 2nd) but I was able to complete my tasks before leaving for Tulsa.

After getting most of the artwork done, I set up the Altairs in my den to reflect what I planned to setup at OVGE:

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The floppy drive for my Altair doesn't work and it hasn't for years. As a result I've been loading BASIC programs into the Altair by using my laptop connected to the Altair via serial cable (until a few years ago I used to use my Atari ST for the task). Initially I would just cut and paste text files but the Altair would drop most of the text (it was too slow!!!). I ended up writing a script that would make the laptop wait after entering each line of code. It took a couple days to perfect the script but once it was completed, I was ready for the show.

Pantechnicon was eager to go to OVGE and so we agreed to go in his car. Friday morning, while waiting for Pantechnicon to show up, I decided to put my stuff in the trunk of my car to figure out the best way to place things in Pan's car (the trunks of both cars are about the same size). I first put the Altair 8800's in place and DISASTER STRUCK! I broke one of the switches to the 8800B!

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OH NO! OH NO! OH NO!

I settled down quickly, applied Scotty's philosphy to the situation ("no sense crying over it"), pocketed the broken part and repositioned the computers so they wouldn't get easily damaged again. I also grabbed my soldering iron and a spare front panel so that I could repair the panel when I got the opportunity in Tulsa. After figuring out the best configuration for the equipment, I took the equipment out of my car and finshed packing my clothes and other stuff.

Mr. Flibble had already finished packing and was waiting patiently:

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He was also watching the weather reports (upper right corner) so that we all knew what was ahead on our trip.


The Trip Out to OVGE

Before long Pan showed up and we quickly packed the equipment in his car. Mr. Flibble took his place in the car and was greeted by someone else who was along for the trip:

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Here's Pantechnicon driving the car. He drove the entire trip without complaint. What a champ!

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The bulk of the trip was driving through the panhandle area, which is very flat and very boring. Before long, Mr. Flibble let us know how he felt about the local landscape:

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However, whenever something interesting would show up - like a grain silo or large building - Mr. Flibble would sit up and take notice:

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East of Amarillo there's this GIANT cross. 200+ feet tall (a sign claimed it was the largest cross in the western hemisphere). Even though I took a picture of it last year, I wanted a picture of it for this time out:

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Oh. I guess I should wait until we get closer (we first spotted the cross more than 5 miles away - it's that big).

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Um, Mr. Flibble? Please get out of the way. I'm trying to take a picture here.

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Mr. Flibble? :/

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MR. FLIBBLE!!!!!!!!!! >:(

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Ah, much better!

Not far from the cross is this water tower that's tilted at a wierd angle (leaning tower of water?):

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It doesn't look like much here but in real life it looks like it's about to fall over (just like last year).

Farther east, in Oklahoma, there's this wind farm featuring these huge wind towers:

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Not as impressive as the wind farms in California but cool, nevertheless. Each tower is probably 200 feet tall and would give the cross a run for it's money:

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Flack told me about a mall located between Tulsa and OKC that was completely destroyed by a tornado in 1999. It's near the town of Stroud and I wanted to take a picture of it. However, all you see is a slab of concrete and it was rather boring to look at. So I didn't take a picture after all but it was pretty wild to see how much damage a tornado could cause.

Before long we pulled up to the hotel and we were ready to check-in:

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Pre-OVGE activities

Before getting to Tulsa, I talked to Flack and we all decided to get together and have dinner. Mr. Flibble wanted to come along because he didn't want to be alone in the room. Alex, Pantechnicon's son, assured Mr. Flibble that he would be alone since Alex brought his Pokemon friends along:

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(That's Alex in the center, in case you were wondering).

Flack told us to meet him where the show was to be held. If we had any doubt where to go, this sign erased it:

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Alex is showing me where to go while his dad, Pantechnicon, looks on.

I met a couple new DP members that evening and we all agreed to eat at the nearest Bennigan's:

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Left to right: Funkbuddy, Flack, icbrkr, Alex, 98Pacecar and Pantechnicon.

It was cool to get together with these fine folks and the meal was very good. After all that traveling and good food, we were all tired and went to our room. When we got to the room, we discovered that Mr. Flibble was already in bed:

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The next morning we got up early so I could get my table set up. We met PDF outside the show and we quickly set up our tables. Here's what my table looked like soon after I finished setting it up.

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I also powered up the Altair and loaded the Star Trek game. I had a couple problems at first but I was able to resolve them by reseating the boards in the computer. By the time the show started I had Star Trek loaded and I was good to go:

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I even gave Flack a demonstration of Star Trek and he played the game briefly. I realized, at that point, that perhaps the game was a bit too complicated for the show (after thirty years of playing the game, I forgot how much training was needed to play the game). Eh, perhaps I'll give more demos to interested spectators.

Here's a picture of a display case I built for the show:

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I wanted to put the display on the table, for easier viewing, but there wasn't any room on the table.

Just before the show started (9:00 AM) I was able to complete my work on the table. I was ready for the show. :)

In my next blog entry, I'll talk about the show andwhat we did afterwards.
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