Commodore fans gather for expo at Alexis Park Resort

Vincent Mazzei of Northern California stood out at the Commodore Retro Expo (CRX) at Alexis Park Resort.

It wasn’t because of his rare Commodore-VIC 20 setup and collection of computer games. At 15, Mazzei was the youngest exhibitor.

He credits his father for introducing him to the hobby. He attends his hometown’s Commodore club with his dad. Mazzei won his first computer at a convention when he was 9 and since has built a collection of mostly inexpensive or donated items, he said. He has been to about seven such expos.

“People may think, ‘Why are you collecting old junk?’ But I say it’s like having an old car. People collect old antiques and we just collect old computers,” he said.

Jim Drew of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, organized the CRX, which brings together Commodore enthusiasts from points near and far. One exhibitor was from Italy, he said. Drew owns CBMSTUFF (Commodore Business Machine), a company that creates and sells software products for retro computers.

Drew and many of the other vendors used to attend another expo in town called CommVEx, but when plans called from changing the location from the Plaza hotel to the New York-New York they decided to create their own, he said. It was held at the Plaza from July 29-30. CommVEx has been going on for 13 years, event organizer, Robert Bernardo said.

This is the first year of the CRX, which was free to the public and was held July 28-30.

“It’s a passion and things they did as a kid,” Drew said. “Everybody has some kind of story to tell.”

CRX featured giveaways and raffles including a Commodore 128, a Commodore 64C and an Amiga 1000 system. There were about 10 guest speakers, including Drew, who owns CMBSTUFF products; Nate Lawson, the creator of ZoomFloppy; and Randy Farmer of Lucasfilm Games (now LucasArts).

Display areas showed the history of Commodore computers, including the original “blue face” PET, which was released in 1977, the Amiga 500 (A500), which is 30 years old, and the latest FPGA accelerated Amiga system.

The event drew programmers, music producers, collectors and educators.

Saj Awan, a DJ and retro producer, displayed a musical setup. He used a Commodore computer, live-performance software on an iPad, a mixer, a handmade drum machine, synthesizer overlays on top of the computer keyboard and a oscilloscope to show the wavelengths of the music he was playing.

“I just always liked the sounds that the Commodore made,” he said. “(But) I don’t want to make the music too video game-sounding. I wanted mine to be more musicial and have cooler sounds.”

Awan is a member of the Clark County Commodore Computer Club, or the 5Cs, a sponsor of the CRX.

John Ferrell of Camarillo, California, said he has been to six expos in Las Vegas. He attended the other event in Las Vegas as well and became a sponsor of CRX, he said. His father bought his first computer, a VIC 20, when he was 5.

Ferrell said that he was less surprised by the items people brought — many of which he and other collectors have seen — and more by the 30 people who showed up on the second day of the event.

“I’d say it’s a pretty nice turnout considering it’s the first year and it’s a split of two events. I hope the other event is doing well also,” he said.

Mazzei said that the relationships he has made via the expos extend beyond the events.

“We know them personally and talk to some of them outside of the expo,” he said. “We (also) get to meet new people and see new — I mean, old — technology.”

Contact Kailyn Brown at kbrown@viewnews.com or 702-387-5233. Follow @kailynhype on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
North Las Vegas Water Meters
Randy DeVaul shows off the new water meters that the city is installing.
Project 150 Thanksgiving 2018
About 100 volunteers for Project 150 box Thanksgiving meals for high school students and their families in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Nov. 14.
Three Square’s Maurice Johnson Talks About Food Waste
Three Square’s director of operations Maurice Johnson talks about food waste.
Parade preparation nears completion
Downtown Summerlin prepares for its annual holiday parade.
Clark County Wetlands promotes 2019 Wetland Walker Program
This year the park will be celebrating the Northern Flicker. The program is designed to teach about that bird, and encourage people to visit the Wetlands and walk the same distance the bird migrates each year.
Poet’s Walk Henderson introduces storytelling
Residents enjoy a storytelling activity.
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County educators debate alternative grading systems
Spring Valley High School principal Tam Larnerd, Spring Valley High School IB coordinator Tony Gebbia and retired high school teacher Joyce O'Day discuss alternative grading systems. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Grandparents on the fire that killed three family members
Charles and Doris Smith talk about the night an apartment fire took the lives of three of their family members. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
New York artist Bobby Jacobs donated a sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden
Bobby Jacobs, an artist from upstate New York, has spent much of the past year creating a sculpture of two separate angel wings. He donated the sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Weather will cool slightly through the end of the week
The weather will cool slightly through the end of the week., but highs are still expected to be slightly above normal for this year. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mayor announces new public-private partnership
Mayor Carolyn Goodman announced the creation of the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE, a public-private partnership that will allocate money to the city’s neediest.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Fall fairytale gets cozy at Bellagio Conservatory
Bellagio Conservatory introduces its fall-themed garden titled "Falling Asleep." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
What the house that Ted Binion died in looks like today
Casino heir Ted Binion died in this Las Vegas home in 1998. Current home owner Jane Popple spent over $600,000 to restore and modernize the home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Rescue Mission employees terminated
Don James, a former employee for the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, talks about the day his team was terminated. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Cupcakes at Freed's Bakery
Freed's Bakery will have Raiders-themed cupcakes available in store and for order during football season. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s fans say goodbye to Cashman Field
Las Vegas 51s fans said goodbye to Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Monday September, 3, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s owner Don Logan's last weekend at Cashman Field
Don Logan, owner of the Las Vegas 51s, gives a tour of Cashman Field before the team's final weekend using the field. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like