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Print Page Chess Computer Community
    General Category => Discussions about Chess Computers => Message started by: snaggs on March 13, 2005, 06:47PM
	

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Title: Upgrading from my Novag Allegro
Post by: snaggs on March 13, 2005, 06:47PM

I know its an old computer.. but I'm still proud that I have finally begun to master this machine. I have to play it on level 8 now, and I had it on the ropes last night until I made a fatal mistake in my end game. However, with 10 minute waits between moves, I started to loose my momentum!

So I'm looking to upgrade. This doesn't have to be a FINAL upgrade, just another step up the ladder. I'd like something larger, and looks are important.. I dont like ones with black and silver pieces etc. Funnily enough, I like the plastic woodgrain of my Novag Allegro ;) I guess its a bit nostalgic as its looks like the chess computers I grew up with in the 80's!

From what Ive gathered from the net, my Allegro is from the 80's.

One said mentions it as being from 1986 Tafelmodel/2K Rom/6MHz whilst another says its programmer was David Kittinguer, Single chip/15Mhz, from 1987 with a ELO of 1450.

So, choices which I have locally are:

(1)
Novag Carnelian (pretty cheap at A$175) : Will this be much faster and better than my Novag Allegro ? Pieces look like wood from the pictures (which is good), looks larger, but hard to say. However, it says its only 8mhz.. does that mean it will be slower? or is it a more advanced chip?

(2)
Novag Universal Chessboard A$549.00
Novag Novag Inferface A$99.00
Novag Novag Printer A$95.00

How do these work? Do I hook it up to my computer? Are cables etc a pain? Can I hook it up to Chessmaster 9000?

(3)
Mephisto Mondial II A$215 : Dont know what this looks like or anything.

(4)
The final option was just to save up and buy a new Mephisto Exclusive which looks pretty swish. How does the computer know where you have put the pieces if its not a press down?

Sorry for all the questions, but finding information on chess computers on the net is hard!

Cheers,

Daniel
Perth, Australia



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Title: Re:Upgrading from my Novag Allegro
Post by: Ismenio on March 13, 2005, 06:59PM

Hi Daniel and welcome to the forum!

Thank you for sharing your battle with the Novag Allegro with us! I see myself in the same situation with my oldies here! I guess you can say I enjoy being beaten by them! ;)

I think I'll get some responses from the other members but for now I'd like to comment on the Mephisto Exclusive since I have one and it is a wonderful, beautiful machine! I love the size, the looks the feel and the great, intelligent German program! I think that's one of the best combinations of technology with the good old traditional chess table. Regarding the modules, its great that you can replace/upgrade them and there's a coming upgrade by Ruud Martin that will transform the Mephisto boards into the strongest dedicated chess computers ever!

Best regards,

Ismenio


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Title: Re:Upgrading from my Novag Allegro
Post by: Dick Schneiders on March 13, 2005, 07:49PM


on 1110768476, snaggs wrote:



(4)
The final option was just to save up and buy a new Mephisto Exclusive which looks pretty swish. How does the computer know where you have put the pieces if its not a press down?

Cheers,

Daniel
Perth, Australia




Welcome Daniel.

I love the Exclusive board. I recently purchased one on eBay and it is simply fantastic. The best thing about them is that it uses modules that are easily upgraded by the user into more powerful ones as they are made available. That way, it should be a long time before it is obsolete.

Mine is an older one from the early 1990's, with what is called the Polgar set of modules, at 10MHz. Plenty strong enough for me, and I can always get stronger modules later if I need them. As I recall, the Polgar module is rated about 2050 ELO.

The Exclusive board is auto-sensory. It, and other auto-sensory boards, use what are called reed switches. The chess pieces have magnets in the bottom of each of them, and that will trigger the switch under the squares to let the computer what piece is moved. This is so much better than having to press down on the square to record the move. You simply pick up the piece and move it, just like on a "real" chess board. ;)

I don't know anything about your other choices, though, others will probably have opinions.

Dick Schneiders
Salina, KS USA


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Title: Re:Upgrading from my Novag Allegro
Post by: alainza on March 13, 2005, 09:31PM

Welcome Daniel,

like everybody here, I love the Exclusive which is both a pleasant and strong machine (too strong for me with the module available in new Exclusives, i.e. the Senator)

The only drawback with my Exclusive (I think old ones are a bit different) is that it cannot play on batteries.

[quote author=snaggs link=board=1;threadid=93;start=0#msg598 date=1110768476]
Novag Carnelian (pretty cheap at A$175) : Will this be much faster and better than my Novag Allegro ? Pieces look like wood from the pictures (which is good), looks larger, but hard to say. However, it says its only 8mhz.. does that mean it will be slower? or is it a more advanced chip?
[/quote]
Can you get an Novag Obsidian ? It is stronger and seems beautiful (I only have seen pictures of it).

[quote]
Novag Universal Chessboard A$549.00
Novag Novag Inferface A$99.00
Novag Novag Printer A$95.00
[/quote]
They have to be connected to some Novag computers. The Universal Chessboard can be used with Super VIP, Sapphire, Sapphire II which look like small calculators... and are quite strong.
The UCB is very pleasant and can be connected to a PC.
Question : do you mean that you can still buy these things in Australian shops ? or did you see them offerred as second hand ?

Best,
Alain



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