Camping VCC Style

03 May 2011

I don't know about you, but when I go away camping I must have a list to work to, to ensure I pack everything required. The only difference is I generally need to pack away some sort of vintage tech. Whether it is some emulated systems on a handheld, or like today an Amstrad NC100 which I use when I find myself in the mood for some writing. I'm trying to get in the habit of writing more, as content is the life blood of the myriad of sites I have on the go. Plus you never know, maybe somebody is actually interested on what I do with my vintage collection!

I often find myself in need of a 'fix' when I'm away, and luckily the Amstrad has BBC BASIC built in which helps. Often this is overlooked in this device, as if you just picked it up and used the menus and coloured buttons you would never find out that Function-B gives you access to this powerful programming language.

I also own a Cambridge Z88 which pre-dates the Amstrad NC100. Sometimes I may take this away with me it depends on how long I'm away and also what I intend doing on the devices. If I intend doing any number crunching then the Z88 wins over with it's PipeDream application. If it is just text documents then I may favour the Amstrad.

Although I would love to pack up a ZX Spectrum or BBC B, in reality the equipment I take has to be battery operated and also be easily re-charged via 12V or have replaceable batteries. The Amstrad wins here as it takes a convenient 4 AA Cells and can run from re-chargeable ones. It has a lithium 3V coin cell which acts as a backup for when the main batteries are low or are being replaced.

I also own the grown up Amstrad NC200, but with its bigger C size batteries, and awkward requirement of 5 of these, its portability is more limited. Anyone that has used one would attest that the machine can only operate on batteries with the backlight and floppy drive in use for a matter of minutes anyway! When I do take this device I need to make sure I have Mains electric, and also a good table to sit at.

So while others are packing some good books, I'm making sure that I've got plenty of batteries and some machines with keyboards that I can tap away happily on for a week or so.

Happy Camping!