RetroKomp 2014 Party – Seen and Withessed by Johny


On November, 8th, 2014 on Scena Muzyczna in Gdańsk in Gdański Archipelag Kultury (aka G.A.K., Powstańców Warszawskich street in Gdańsk) took place another, third edition of a RetroKomp event, dedicated to the old generation consoles and computers (and vice versa). As in the previous editions, the attendants could have a direct, personal contact thus experience with the computer hardware produced in the 80s and 90s of the last century.

The collectors did not disappoint and arrived numerously. They were literally in every room of G.A.K. starting from small ones and ending by a concert hall, properly prepared for such an event. The visitors could see, touch, use and play on the all the most commercially successful 8- and 16-bit machines, such as Atari 400, 600, 800, 800XL, 65XE, 1200, ZX Spectrum and ZX Spectrum +, numerous models of the Commodore 64, 16, +4, SX. As for the „stronger brothers” there were all the commercial variants of Atari ST as well as the in/famous Atari Falcon.

Of course, there were also Amigas (is it possible to have a party without Amiga? ;). The Amiga community brought all what a user can imagine, starting from a simple A1000 ending on „boosted” A1200 and A4000. There were also few Timex models as well as CPC Amstrad Schneiders.

Virtually every machine, what a computer enthusiast from the last era, could have seen or read about starting from 1981 was exposed and running in a full glory. There were also some Polish technical „icing on the cake”, thanks to our dear colleagues from the „Technikum Łączności” department. A visitor could have, in most cases for the first time, see and touch such gems like a Polish computer „Bosman 8” or another very well known back in the days - „UniPolbrit”. The organizers (and the exhibitors) did not forget the consoles, even if this domain was not too popular in Poland until middle 90s. One could play on different versions of Sega Saturn, Nintendo, or, certainly, Sony Playstation. What was interesting was a possibility to have a look and read the old issuesof Bajtek magazine as well as Commodore & Amiga treating all the aspect of the informatics for all the platforms from that era.

RetroKomp partner – SaveTheFloppy – delivered special edition t-shirts with a pixeled RetroKomp logo especially made for the event, as well as the SaveTheFloppy t-shirts as well. Here is a interesting fact – the owner of the „SaveTheFloppy” mark is the author and the producer of a special, exclusive tables in form of... 3,5" Amiga floppy disc :). Its special feature is small „cubby-hole” placed under the „disc plate” cover. It looks really innovative and interesting! If you wish to see it – surf on the SaveTheFloppy page.

This RetroKomp edition was a little bit different from the previous one, from 2013. This time it was all about a Retro-exhibition and presentation aspect, without its scene sibling – a nice demo party called „Load Error”. Apart that, everything was the same – lectures, attractions, music performance. We had a possibility to listen to and attend the presentation of how the informatics ideas were developed, evolved (and unfortunately killed) during the communist era in Poland. How the Polish (quite advanced at that time of developing) computers as Elwro, Meritum, Bosman and UniPolbrit were conceived, developed, sold and... withdrawn.

In another room, the attendants could listen to the history of the most, at that time, influential monthly magazine "Bajtek" – its beginnings, challenges, evolutions, difficulties, anecdotes... The lectures were given by its first creators – the dinosaurs and precursors of today's informatics newspapers industry.

Next, what was very awaited by all, took place a lecture about back-then very innovative TV program „SONDA”. The lecture was ended by the presentation of archival emissions.

This lecture came together with a special and sad commemoration – the 25th anniversary of the SONDA author's – Zdzislaw KAMINSKI and Andrzej KUREK's - tragical death. It was an excellent possibility to, for younger attendants - discover and to the other - recall, such a pioneering TV series program.

There were also a scene accent. Yes! A Polish legendary C64 group from Szczecin – „Quartet” - formed in the late 80s was a SPECIAL guest. The presentation, very ably hosted and handled by Pawel aka V-12/Tropyx, let the attendants and scenners to listen to interesting stories in a pleasant way. Quartet members - Polonus, Jemasoft and Hi-Man were openly talking about group's history, the „how-it-was-back-in-the-days”, how the demos were coded, swapped, how relations, work, and the C64 scene looked like then and more... The interview was handled in the way to become interesting for people with non-scene relations at all. And it was so! There were a lot of questions asked by the audience. It was a real show, the public was great and the interaction between the public and Quartet was very lively, which proved a big class a potential of all.

One of this event's important elements was a „RetroKomp Star” statuette giving. The figurines were given to QUARTET group for their scene contribution, pioneering, devotion and, well yes, scene perseverance attitude :). Respect and congratulations to QUARTET.

Another RetroKomp key-event was, unknown until the very last days, music performance by not only than... Władysław "Gudonis" KOMENDAREK, an ex. EXODUS music group musician (not to be confused with any computer scene). The concert was preceded by a documental movie about Wladyslaw KOMENDAREK's life and career. This introduction let the attendants to be better prepared for the gig's reception and ambient. When the performance started, a great sound-system and sound-engineering fully reinforced electronic notes coming live directly from the Master's keyboards and synthesizers.

After the concert, the day arrived to its end. But not for the attendants, since another performance took place. „Night with a demoscene”, what was the show's name, was a show presenting all the most innovative and breathtaking demos released on virtually all 8- and 16-bits platforms.


From the independent persons I was talking with, one may conclude that this 2014 RetroKomp edition, was kept and stood on a very good level and was widely acclaimed by attendants.

These positive returns can be a good reason for the organizers to keep it going with another RetroKomp (and Load Error) editions. What is what I wish them, you and... myself :).

To see the event's web page, please click on the - -.


Translation: Sim / Wanted Team, Lamers, Resistance, Titan...