Monday, November 5, 2018

The Time Has Come for Tandy Assembly

In a few short days I'll be making a 600 mile drive from New York to Springfield, Ohio for the second annual Tandy Assembly.  The truck will be packed with Tandy Radio Shack computers and my son will be sitting next to me riding shotgun. In my book, it really doesn't get much better.

I've always loved driving and taking long road trips.  When I was a kid all I wanted to be was a truck driver.  I dreamed of having my own rig and spending my life driving across the country like Sonny Pruitt from the 1970s television show "Movin On'" or BJ McKay from that other classic 70s trucking show, "BJ and the Bear".  I still have that dream today so the annual trip to Tandy Assembly helps me live it a little bit.

And once we arrive, what a time it will be.  So many Tandy Radio Shack computing enthusiasts packed into one exhibit hall.  Friends that I haven't seen in a year will be there.  Some of those friends I have been in frequent contact with, like my podcasting mate Ian Mavric.  But, it's always great to meet up with good friends in person.  With the others that I have not been in contact with, it will be time to catch up on what's been happening the past year.

Once again, we sold out the exhibit space.  The speaking schedule is also full and the Saturday night festivities will be huge fun.  Stewart Cheifet will be speaking!  I was always so excited when I found the Computer Chronicles playing on PBS.  Certainly, one of my favorite shows.  I'm really looking forward to hearing him relate tales of those days.

Tandy engineer Mike Yetsko will be speaking Saturday night.  If you don't know Mike, be prepared for some great stories.  Mike worked all across Radio Shack back in the day.  From managing a store selling TRS-80s in Pennsylvania to working as an engineer in Fort Worth, Mike has seen it all and will let us know what it was like to be part of the company during those glory years.

Arno Puder and Sascha Haeberling will be speaking about their TRS-80 App Store.  They have a hardware component that will connect your TRS-80 to the internet and allow you to download TRS-80 apps, like you favorite games from Big Five Software.  Simply incredible!

Speaking of Big Five Software, we'll also have Arthur Gleckler talking about how he developed a TRS-80 game and sold it to Big Five Software when he was only a teenager!

So many more great speakers and tons of exhibits are on tap.  If you are a fan of Tandy Radio Shack computers, there really is nothing that comes close to attending Tandy Assembly.  If you can't make it this year, try to plan on doing so next year.  If you are coming this year, stop by my Model II exhibit and say hello.  I love talking about TRS-80s!

Monday, October 22, 2018

The excitement is palpable!

There is a frenzy of activity amongst the organizers of Tandy Assembly.  It’s starting to get exciting!  Scratch that… it IS exciting!

I’ve worked with the awesome folks at GCCC the past couple of CoCoFESTs and now with the Tandy Assembly crew and I have to tell ya, these people take events very seriously.  They (we) really want a great show and it looks like it’s going to happen. (again!) 

Honestly, after attending the last Penn Fest in 2000 I thought that was it.  A sad, but nice way to go out with a bang.  And then, 14 years later, whilst randomly googling around, I was amazed to see the community still going strong. (even without me!) That’s not how this is supposed to work.  These things are supposed to die… slowly… But that seems to be just the opposite in this community.

My First Computer was a CoCo 2 so sorry about my bias TRS-80 folks.  I Certainly love the other TRS-80 products as well and I’m seriously excited about these groups merging to bring all these great Tandy products under one umbrella that we call Tandy Assembly.

I am honored to be a part of this event and I appreciate all that I’m learning from the dedicated, caring, enthusiastic folks I’m working with.

Come to Tandy Assembly.  This is going to be one great show.  I’m only concerned with how we’re going to top it next year!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Tandy Assembly is Good Therapy!

As I write this, we're just 52 days away from the second Tandy Assembly! I'm looking forward to seeing everyone there and our great lineup of speakers. My summer has been brutally busy. Work, family, travel, home repairs, all the usual time stealing suspects. :-) Sometimes we underestimate the benefit of taking a break from things.

Last weekend, I attended VCFMW in Chicago. I had planned to attend since early spring, but I did have thoughts of skipping it because I was just feeling tired and worn out from the business of life. Well, thankfully, I did attend and I was really overcome by just how much I needed it. It was great therapy being at a retro computing show, hanging out with friends, and even picking up a cool bargain or two. I was only able to stay for Saturday, but what a difference it made! I returned on Sunday, with renewed energy for my retro computing hobby and felt more connected with my friends.

Our passions need to be fed to keep them going. Tandy Assembly is a great way to do that. If you're on the fence about attending this year, I hope that you'll reconsider. We have new venue with more space, better amenities, better services, and ample power this year! You deserve a break from the non-stop demands of life. Why not join us at Tandy Assembly for a break? Springfield, is just 30 minutes away from Dayton International Airport, hopefully making it easier for those of you flying in for the event.

We're delighted to have Stewart Cheifet, host of the PBS show, “The Computer Chronicles” as our keynote speaker this year. You don't want to miss this! I'm looking forward to a great time with everyone this year at Tandy Assembly. As always, we invite ALL Tandy and RadioShack computers to the event. Its not too late to reserve a table and setup that Tandy 1000, Tandy Sensation, Model 100, CoCo, pocket computer, <insert your system here>, even if you only want the space to work on your own system or to get help and advice from others at the show. I plan to bring a Model 4 that I want to upgrade.

So I welcome everyone to the second Tandy Assembly! Its the people that make it great. We hope that you will like the changes and we thank for your continuing support. We want to make Tandy Assembly better each year. I'll see you there!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Tandy Assembly .2

Getting Ready For Part Two

It’s shocking that it’s already been a year since our inaugural Tandy Assembly. It doesn’t seem that long ago since John Linville, Mike Rowen and I were kicking around the idea of having a retro computer fest dedicated to Tandy computers. Now thanks to our guest speakers and all of you who came out to support our event we are now able to bring you the second Tandy Assembly.

We have created this event to celebrate all great things about Tandy. With all great retro computer fests, these conferences provide opportunities for individuals to reach beyond their computer screens and talk one on one; in essence, to find a sense of community. In this community, at these conferences, we are able to go beyond the auctions of eBay and stumble upon a rare ancient artifact in the back of a trunk which travelled here from Tennessee. At these conferences, we are able to show up with the most challenging of issues whether it be hardware or software related and know that in the room there are 5 different people with 5 different solutions available at your fingertips. At these conferences, you are able to sit back and listen to the ideas of your fellow community members and return home with inspiration for new projects and plans for the new year.

As the second annual Tandy Assembly approaches, I, Neil Blanchard, invite you to join celebrate celebrate hardware and software of these amazing computers….to celebrate the beginning of new ideas and inspiration….and most importantly, to celebrate the friendships that these conferences bring.

I look forward to seeing you all there.