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Vintage Computer Festival East XI
Vintage Computer Festival East XI was held April 15 – 17, 2016 at the InfoAge Science History Museum in Wall, New Jersey. The festival featured dozens of hands-on exhibitions of historic computers, peripherals, and software.
The oldest hardware there was a DEC PDP-8/E minicomputer and a Kenbak-1 microcomputer, both from 1970. One exhibitor, Brian Stuart, showed his homemade simulation of the ENIAC from 1945!
Most of the exhibits focused on 1970s-1980s minicomputers and microcomputers, such as DEC VAXen, S-100 “homebrew” systems such as the famous Altair 8800, and 8-bit home micros from companies like Apple, Atari, Commodore, Radio Shack, and many others. Other exhibitors demonstrated homemade software and modern hacks, such as a Commodore 64 multiplayer Space Command! game.
The InfoAge center is also home to a computer museum hosted by the Vintage Computer Federation, which is the nonprofit organization that leads the Festival series. The museum’s artifacts include gems such as various analog and digital mainframes from the 1950s-1960s — even a UNIVAC that formerly belonged to the US Navy.
Disclaimer: I am the president of the Vintage Computer Federation.
Anthony Becker and Bill Winters demonstrated video capturing and processing on Commodore Amiga systems.
Apple II clones
People associate clones with the IBM PC series, but there were also Apple II clones.
Apple II clones, the sequel
Here are more of Tony Bogan’s Apple II clones.
Michael Hill, of San Francisco, showed this version of Space Invaders running on a Commodore PET.
Commodore vs. Arduino
Chris Fala, Doug Crawford, and Todd George teamed up to demonstrate interesting ways of connecting various Commodore computers to Arduino microcontrollers.
Rotten to the core
Jeffrey Jonas is a fan of a core memory, which preceded RAM as we know it.
Corey Cohen, who consults to major auction houses for Apple 1 sales, demonstrated the real thing.
Anthony Stramaglia and Bill Degnan each brought DEC microVAX minicomputers and networked them to each other.
Kyle Owen brought out his DEC PDP-8/M minicomputer. The PDP-8 series turned 50 years old in 2015.
Would you like to play a game? Here’s an IMSAI 8080 with an 8-inch floppy drive and homemade joysticks. Bill Sudbrink showed it powering an early digital camera and color graphics.
Bill Sudbrink’s Cromemco Dazzler showed color graphics of the mid-1970s.
Todd George brought us good old Pac-Man.
Here’s an authentic Cromemco Cyclops digital camera for the IMSAI 8080 computer, as built by Bill Sudbrink.
Peter Cetinski and son Alex demonstrated Galaxy Invasion on a TRS-80 Model 1 connected to the internet.
Mike Loewen’s Xerox machine shows us the office system of 1982.
French computers: Victor
A whole team of Canadians and Frenchmen brought this Victor setup.
French computers, the sequel
Victor wasn’t left alone throughout the show: he had Alice!
Herb Johnson brought out S-100 computers from Ithaca Intersystems connected to an ADM-3A terminal.
Jeffrey Brace and Dan Roganti wrote an eight-player version of Artillery Duel by using modern hardware to network Commodore 64s. Even the server is a Commodore 64!
Upcoming events in the Vintage Computer Festival series include VCF Europa (April 30-May 1, 2016 in Munich), VCF West (Aug. 6-7, 2016 in Silicon Valley), and VCF Midwest (Sept. 10-11, 2016 in Chicago).