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About This Club

The year was 1983. The club was KC-ACE...Kansas City Atari Computer Enthusiasts. The place to be for all things 8 bit Atari. It's time people. Tonight we ride......
  1. What's new in this club
  2. If you are back near the old Peaches, do yourself a favor and eat at Wyandotte BBQ right across 75th (south side) from where Peaches was. They were around and one of our family's regulars when I was a kid back in the 70's/80's, and they are still there. They recently shut down for about a year or so due to a bad kitchen fire, but they were actually able to make it back.
  3. ha, i looked up 75th & metcalf on google maps & i see there's presently 1 or 2 bbq places around there, good. yeah, i dunno about how the people in lawrence have changed, i'm not there enough, but BITD you could definitely find just about any kind of person to hang out with. i also enjoyed how you'd get a break from people over the summer, the place would empty out, then they'd come crashin' in again in august. austin must be brutal fwiw, i remember being stuck in their interstate traffic for most of an hour, multiple times when i was truck-drivin', & it wasn't even rush hour. i'm sure it's fun when ya get settled somewhere tho. ha, like you i saw my first concert in lawrence, in 1973. sonny & cher, lmao. at allen fieldhouse, no less. i was 5. i went to the bottleneck a bunch in the early '90s, "quarter draws" woo, but i wasn't smart enough to figure out how to tip on those, i'd get 4 at a time & tip a buck, so i was tipping 100%. my present house-mate did sound a few times BITD at the outhouse, they mentioned him in the documentary about that place, 'cause a band came to town & didn't believe the promoter when he told 'em the sound guy got beaten by cops & had his mouth wired shut at ku med center, so they drove all the way to see him. he woke up & thought 'what are these guys doing in my room'. it was bad brains.
  4. You are correct! We got the 400 for xmas '79. Don't know why I said 77...LOL. I am definitely more familiar with KS side too. I grew up in Shawnee/Lenexa and I know the EXACT Peaches record store at 75th and Metcalf you are talking about. I am at the intersection ALL the time now a days now that I am living in OP. My gym is the Matt Ross Community Center which is just south up Metcalf by a half mile or so. I completely agree with about Lawrence. Not only is it more crowded, but it has completely lost that independent Gen-X vibe that it had. Back in the day, Mass street was filled with little independent shops/bars/restaurants with people from ever stripe of life politically, socially, musically, artistically, you name it. I saw my first concert there in 1984 Black Flag with Tom Tricoli's Dog's opening at the old Lawrence Opera House when I was in jr. high. My buddies older brother was a DJ at the independent school radio station KJHK. Now the all that stuff is just one big monolithic group think corporate bullshit thing. Everyone on campus and in town has their signs/banners "We support the current thing!". It's all bullshit and it's sad nowadays. Which sucks because Lawrence was completely awesome in my youth/high school.
  5. sorry for the slow response, long recovery from the football sunday night. wow ok, 75th & wornall, i'm more familiar w/ 75th & metcalf, ks side obviously, peaches plus the old used record store, plus bk & a bbq place. <thumbsUp> yessir, i mentioned Video Concepts because you did, i def grew up comfortably but not like THAT. was still fun to check that stuff out. nice, are you sure it wasn't the vcr you got for xmas 77? i thought the history said that commercial VCRs came out around october 77 & the atari 8-bits came out around november 79. no, i'm not living in lawrence anymore, still like it but it's too crowded now for my tastes, i'm back in topeka & tho it's bigger, it's more spread out & i know people here, so it's my best situation. hope you're doing well, wish i could be better-connected to the point of this club, but what can we do. regards.
  6. Hey, glad to make your acquaintance and thanks for posting all that. I love hearing about peoples old school memories with the machines that we all loved. I can help you with that! I spent every spare dime from my paper route or fast food job I had that didn't go to going to movies or playing video games with my friends. As I said before, I was in the KC-ACE who was sort of unofficially headquartered out of that place and the owner, Larry Copenhaver was the president or some other leader of the club. It was located just south of 75th and Wornall on the east side of Wornall. This was the exact location: here There is a tattoo parlor there now. This is where KC-ACE club met one Wendesday every month: here at this Jewish community center/temple of some kind. I want to say it was actually a church back in the day, I know we sat on pews at our meetings, but it might have been a Jewish place of worship back then as well. Funny you mention that. I was just like that. There was a Video Concepts at Oak Park Mall that we used to frequent. We bought our VCR there and my dad actually bought our first computer, our Atari 400 and 410 tape drive there for Christmas '77. Don't sell yourself short. I'm VERY noob level when it comes to 8 bit hardware. I basically like to find it/use it. I can program it somewhat, but I know next to nothing to the hardware involved or repairing it/modding it, so you are not alone at all. Are you still living in Lawrence?
  7. Hi everybody, I was encouraged to post by Max. I'm trying to latch on to AtariAge 'cause of a friend of mine, RogerPoco, would prefer to message here rather than on twinGalaxies. I joined this group because I had an Atari400 when I was a kid, tho I didn't do much with it--in fact I never bought a storage device for it. So the one time I programmed anything of length (a bit from a good Rachmaninoff piece), I couldn't keep it. Also, I lived in Topeka 'til I graduated high school in 1986, then Lawrence, so I would've had to drive to KC, which I could start doing in May 1984. Plus I was really not likeable back then, so I'm glad nobody here knew me, ha. Anyway, if I could do it over again, I'd definitely be way more into it, & if I knew about the The Computer Room I would've tried to go there plenty. I didn't catch where it was, I hope you could enlighten me. So back in the day we used to go to KC pretty regularly, usually either for Royals games or 'cause the mom & sister wanted to shop, so I enjoyed checking stuff out at the Video Concepts stores as well, especially salivating over the VCRs & movie videotapes. Tried to get mom to take us to Eddy's Loaf 'n Stein & Happy Joe's Pizza as much as possible. Also had cousins in the Lenexa area I believe it was, they were into soccer themselves (since Max mentioned something about that). Unfortunately, I was into gaming too much, buying records as well, playing piano, those had my attention more than computers, it's a shame. We had a Computerland store in Topeka, but it was kinda isolated, so I barely ventured in there, only after they'd put a Golddigger's arcade in close-by. At some point tho, a neighbor got an Apple ][, which I found wonderful & fascinating, tho apparently their dad didn't want me on it, pricey as it was. So I accepted that, & watched what they did with it, including playing Castle Wolfenstein, I loved how jarring it seemed, probly my favorite Atari 8-bit bit now, I beat the final rank on it, yay! So nowadays, I've been submitting some Atari 2600 & 8-bit scores on twinGalaxies, tho I've slowed down lately 'cause I've been messin' with a lot of old 8-bit software that doesn't involve scoring. I'm generally going chronologically, with an occasional exception, so I'm mostly looking at 1980 and earlier right now. LOVE messin' with the old cassette software, especially with the emulator, since you can throttle it w/ F1 and get that damn loading thing over with. : P That might've driven me nuts bitd, I dunno. I love checking out the educational cassette stuff with the cassette audio--Auto Mechanics, Basic Psychology...and the languages, Conversational Spanish... So hardware-wise I have an 800 w/ the full old standard memory modules, and a couple of 800XLs. I keep buying joysticks & paddles in hopes of finding fully working ones, but ugh, ya know. I also got an Uno Cart, which is wonderful, unfortunately the atarimax flash cart worked for less than half of the stuff I tried, but it was enough to get started with. Recently picked up the S-drive Max, it looks promising. Oh, I also have a 2600, a couple flashbacks, a Donkey Kong cab, a Power Putt pedestal / tv combo, a Flip Flop! pinball machine, & a couple cabs that don't work, Clowns & Looping. I could use some help w/ a couple or more things, like trying to fix my slightly broken Uno Cart, trying to get some programs to run, I'll have to figure out where to post that stuff. Unfortunately, I'm not nearly as technical as a LOT of you guys I see on here, so, noob alert! Thanks, & thank you for the website guys, peace.
  8. Just reaching out again to stay in touch. Wasn't sure how often you log on and if you got my last. I know when I first found AA, I only logged on every few months...now it's every day
  9. Sorry..I JUST saw this response....or perhaps I saw it and messaged you long ago and forgot. I'm getting to that age Your memory is spot on. The Computer Room was THE Atari resource in the KC metro area. You could go to the Radio Shack/Tandy stores, or Toys R Us, or Sears or whatever and see C-64, some Atari, and some PC stuff...but The Computer Room was ALL Atari all the time and the local Atari computing community really seemed to build around it. There was also a place at Oak Park Mall over here in OP called Video Concepts. It was a national(or at the very least KS/MO/regional chain) that we bought our Atari 400 from in 1979 and got various Atari things at before then. When my dad got us the 800XL in 83, we had been to The Computer Room a few times. He found out about it from a guy he worked with who was REALLY into Atari computers..had like every peripheral and all. Interestingly, the dude was insane! and an alcoholic to boot. When the guy offered to copy and entire briefcase full of games/programs for us, when we went to pick it up, he was living in a disheveled home and sleeping on a couch in the basement and there was foil everywhere and he told us how the government was beaming a radio signal to his fillings in his teeth and he was trying to block it. I thought we were going to die in that basement, honestly...LOL. I always felt sorry for him as my dad told me he got divorced and was having problems, clearly. Even when I didn't have money to buy things I'd spend some weekend afternoons hanging out at The Computer Room because you could learn so much from Larry and his right hand man(forgot his name) and from all the regulars who would come in. Did you grow up in Raytown? I had a few friends from Soccer over that way. We are probably about the same age, I graduated from high school in '89 over here in OP. Sorry took so long for me to notice/respond to this...but enjoy the conversation and wondering what gear you have and what you are doing with your machines?
  10. Indeed it is cool to meet a fellow Kansas City Atari Enthusiast! I imagine there are some more on here who just haven't found this thread and were part of the scene back then and knew all about the Computer Room. If I recall, (and I was just a kid so who knows if this is right) it was the only real Atari place. You could, of course, go to the big box stores and get the equipment -- but if you wanted to talk to someone who knew it you had to go there in KC (again maybe there were other places too -- but that's where we always went). Getting back into this stuff brings back such nostalgia. I've had a ton of fun over the last several days just typing in program listings from old copies of books and learning (and in some cases re-learning) stuff that I forgot from back then. In any case great to make contact! Edit: almost forgot to answer your question. I'm still here in KC -- been in Raymore (near Belton) for the last 20 years or so.
  11. No worries...THANKS for reaching out and I'm glad there is someone else to share the awesomeness that was The Computer Room. I haven't really done much yet, as you noticed, but that is really more my own fault. I got my old hardware back from my kid days...a 400 and an 800XL just recently and have only begun to use them again. I lived away from KC for over 25 years and only recently moved back..I live in Overland Park now. Do you still live in the KC Metro?
  12. I realize this post is almost a year old now but your post brought back a ton of memories. I remember going into the Computer Room and looking at all the Atari stuff as a kid. In fact -- my father and I went there (I think it was an evening after the store closed) and Larry did a workshop with us and several other people to install a 256KB upgrades into our Atari 800XLs. I was pretty young maybe 10 - 12 at the time -- but I think that was the first time I was introduced to the concept of a Ramdisk. I definitely remember this store and the proprietor (though I had forgotten both the store name and his until I found your post!). I remember going to several Atari user group meetings as a kid too -- but I want to say it was maybe a different group. We lived north of the river (by Worlds of Fun) and I think there was a North Kansas City group. I wasn't super involved -- and most of the members were adults so I don't think I went to many of these (my parents weren't into the computer at all -- it was just me). I'm just now getting back into the Atari (I bought one about a year or so ago -- sadly my machine from back then is no where to be found) but hadn't had much time to dig into it. I'm starting to teach myself 8 bit programming (I'm decent enough with modern languages and platforms -- but it's a lot of fun digging into the machine that started it all for me). In any case thanks for your post coming up on search when I was trying to remember this place. Did you end up getting a KC-ACE going (I expect this was a tough year to get anything like that moving though).
  13. Give us a little background...when you first became an Atari home computer fan. Where you are from..what you do for a living and for hobbies....you name it. Hope to talk soon.
  14. I've recently begun the search to recover the gear from my youth. I mean how can the founder of the new KC-ACE not have a working Atari computer? I am primarily looking for an 800XL, and I've got a couple leads. My biggest unknown at this point is whether to go with original disk drive or one of the myriad of SIO solutions which would make loading files much easier, not to mention storage. Then there is the display and other interface options I need to consider. What I've learned, is that there are so many options, I need to learn a little more before pulling the trigger. Any suggestions from anyone here?
  15. What is this club? What would we like it to be? I know what I would like it to become, but that doesn't mean anything without others. First, a little history...apologies for the nostalgic nature... Like many of you, I had the Atari 400 and later 800XL back in the late 70's, early 80's growing up. I'm a software engineer today I think partially at least because of that. In those days in Kansas City, there was club called KC-ACE: Kansas City Atari Computer Enthusiasts. No internet in those days, and I hadn't discovered BBS yet as I didn't get my modem for another year or so, so the place to get your Atari community related news was the most excellent store, simply called The Computer Room. The name suggested generic home PC wares..but this place was the defacto Atari HQ if you knew better in KC back in the day. Run by a man named Larry Copenhaver, if I recall. This guy was the man for the Atari community in the KCMO/JOCO area back in the day. Anyway...Larry was about the best friend you could have if you were a kid getting into Atari computing back then. Once my main chip fried because a direct lightning strike our our tree right next to our home jumped the surge suppressor. Larry figured it and because he had a drawer full of extras, he replaced it and sent me on my way, no charge. He was more interested in having you back to his shop to talk about the latest home Atari project you had or latest game you finished, more interested in seeing another young person engaged in his passion for Atari computers, than he was in simply having a customer. If I could ever find that guy, I'd love to thank him for those days. One of my biggest laments about the crash of the Atari PC market in the late 80's was seeing his shop go away. Anyway..it was there that I learned about the KC-ACE club..and if memory serves, I think The Computer Room was the main sponsor and Larry might even have been president. We used to meet at the old church that is now the Ohev Shalom temple at 75th and Nall in Prairie Village(a suburb of KC on the Kansas side). This will only mean something to someone actually in or from KC. I believe the club met the first Wed evening of each month...and I anticipated that day every month and my dad took us often. I don't remember how long I went for., but every meeting was some technical presentation on how to modify or hack your Atari, or some peripheral that you might want...and some Atari news, club news..and then a swap session for hardware, games..including some ..ahem ...sector copyable ....games on disk for sharing. So, if you asked me, I'd want the club to become something actually in person in the KC area as well as online presence. Something where we could see/share our rigs. Share resources. Learn about all the myriad of peripherals for making them easier to use in the modern day. Essentially capture the spirit of that old club. Just my 2 cents. Is anyone out there actually from the KC area interested?
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