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
Underground home was built as Cold War-era hideaway
The underground house at 3970 Spencer Street is one of the valley’s most unusual homes built 26 feet underground in 1978 by Girard “Jerry” B. Henderson, who, planned to survive the end of the world there.
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Bump stock manufacturers under fire
The Justice Department said last month that it had started the process to amend federal firearms regulations to clarify that federal law defines bump stocks as machine guns.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
Sir Richard Branson announces purchase of Hard Rock Hotel
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has acquired the Hard Rock Hotel with partners and plans to turn it into a Virgin-branded property by the end of 2019.
3 Centennial High School students killed in Calif. crash (Full)
Three Centennial High School students were killed Thursday morning in Southern California when their vehicle was struck by a suspected drunken driver while they were enjoying their spring break, according to a family member of one of the victims.
Retail Restroom Sexual Assault Suspect
Las Vegas police are asking for help finding a man they said groped a woman in a south Las Vegas Valley restroom. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Mojave Max at Springs Preserve
File footage of Mojave Max at Springs Preserve. (Springs Preserve)
Companies bet their futures on cryptocurrency
Two Las Vegas entrepreneurs talk about finding their niche in blockchain enabled technologies and digital currency.
Solar panels reduce energy bill for CCSD
Wilbur and Theresa Faiss Middle School is one of 42 CCSD schools with solar panel installations, saving approximately $514,000 per year in energy costs.
Red carpet at MGM for Dan Reynolds Believer screening
Kats on the red carpet for the VIP screening of "Believer," the documentary by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds about how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Driver dies in single-vehicle crash
One person is dead after an early Wednesday morning crash in the northwest valley. The single-vehicle crash was called in about 1:35 a.m. on Jones Boulevard just north of Deer Springs Way, according to Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Robert Stauffer. The driver, who was the only person inside the vehicle, died at the scene.
Uber Health to Improve Patient Ride-Hailing Services
Uber Health to Improve Patient Ride-Hailing Services On Thursday, Uber launched its Uber Health platform for healthcare providers. Medical facilities, rehab centers, clinics and hospitals can book rides for patients from a centralized dashboard – no app required. According to Techcrunch, Uber Health general manager Chris Weber noted some 3.6 million Americans miss appointments due to lack access to reliable transportation. Uber’s endeavors into health care trace back to 2014, when Uber first offered on-demand flu shots in large markets across the U.S. Since then there have been similar efforts throughout the world, from diabetes and thyroid testing in India, to subsidized rides for breast cancer screening in the U.S., to many more. Last summer, over 100 healthcare organizations joined the platform during a private beta. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas firefighters put out blaze along Bonanza Road
Las Vegas firefighters put out a blaze that burned for about 15 minutes Feb. 20, 2018, along Bonanza Road, across from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. (Jeff Mosier/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like