Anthropologist Margaret Mead famously noted that,“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Curt Vendel, Atari collector and historian passed away unexpectedly on August 30, at age 53, was one of these ‘committed citizens,’ a walking one man archive of Atari history. Vendel was the guiding light behind the Atari History Museum, an online and physical archive of over 15,000 documents from Atari, which he in many cases rescued from oblivion as part of a lifetime of intense collecting efforts. The collection also includes “information, images and personal stories on all items produced by Atari as well as news and links to further assist any and all individuals interested in learning more about the company that helped to pioneer and shape many areas of Video Arcade Entertainment, Home Consumer Electronics, Personal Computer Systems and much, much more.” The Museum is celebrating its 40th year. Vendel was known to be kind, outgoing, and generous with his time. His loss will be keenly felt by the retrogaming and history of computing community. He leaves behind his wife Michelle and daughter Madison, a college freshman.
VCF East will be a virtual hybrid show for 2020.
The dates for the live show will be October 10 & 11. Times will be released after we figure out the schedule, but expect a 9AM to 5PM time range for each day.
We already have exhibitors, class instructors and presenters signed up.
Exhibitors can submit a 5 to 10 minute video or show their exhibit in-person at InfoAge.
Sign up here: https://forms.gle/24CeNpKFDwVmLeMR9
Class Instructors can submit a 30 minute video on their how-to class.
Sign up here: https://forms.gle/kFhoGKuPBcSAWRHKA
I know that this will be a great disappointment to many. I had hoped that after 4 months that conditions would have improved to the point that the show could be in-person, but limitations in indoor capacity makes the effort to organize an in-person show prohibitive. We considered the time, effort, money and safety to make an in-person show.
But don’t despair! Our virtual hybrid show will still be a lot of fun!
We can still make the show great despite being a virtual hybrid.
VCF West, K-Fest and HOPE have shown that a fun show can still be created while being virtual.
What do I mean “virtual hybrid”? Our plan is to have a two day event where there will be a mixture of pre-recorded videos as well as live demonstrations of exhibits. Live attendance at InfoAge will be limited to exhibitors and show administrators.
I see this event as an opportunity to show off exhibitors who normally wouldn’t be able to make the show due to distance or circumstances .
I will be sending out more details about our plans as we develop them.
In the meantime, I will be contacting exhibitors, class instructors and speakers to start making videos to send to me.
The VCF West Schedule and YouTube streaming link have been posted.
Mark your calendars and spread the word far and wide!
Details about the Q&A sessions after each talk will be posted sometime this week.
You can e-mail questions about each talk to firstname.lastname@example.org and Erik will ask the questions live.
The Vintage Computer Federation Museum will reopen starting August 1, 2020 as per InfoAge’s plan to reopen. InfoAge has a plan for everyone wearing masks, providing hand sanitizer, social distancing and controlling the volume of visitors, etc. They are following all the state and local guidelines for safety in regards to Covid-19. If you have any questions, then please let me know.
We have reordered and are able to offer shirts in all sizes again! T-shirts cost $20 + actual shipping and are available in either Classic CRT Green or Classic CRT Amber. Men’s and Women’s sizes are available.
Please see http://vcfed.org/wp/t-shirts/ for details and help support VCFed!
Since it appears that we won’t be allowed to host “large gatherings” in the state of California for the foreseeable future, it is time to plan for keeping the spirit of VCF West alive without the physical gathering.
To do that we want to host the same basic format. Exhibits, speakers and classes along with the “social” aspects of getting hobbyists together.
The only way to effectively do that is to put as much of the effort in advance as possible. That means that contributors are being asked to “virtualize” their contributions with shareable videos, slide shows, etc. Speakers and class trainers as well as any exhibitors willing will be asked to allow for an online Q&A session after the video is aired.
We will also host virtual meetups throughout the day, hopefully with special guests encouraged to visit at predetermined times.
The entire event will be scheduled for 6-8 hours on Saturday August 1st with all of the videos completed, post processed, uploaded and held by the prior weekend (July 26th.)
What we will need:
Committed exhibitors to produce 5 minute (+/-) videos of the systems(s) they would have liked to exhibit. These should be submitted to the VCF West team by early July, at the latest. Sooner is always better!
At least a couple of keynote speakers willing to do 30 minute recorded talks and willing to host a Q&A Hangouts/Meetings call.
Hopefully a classroom teacher or two to do a training video of 15-30 minutes and willing to host a Q&A Hangouts/Meetings call.
Again if you would like to participate in one of the above categories (exhibitor, presenter, educator) please let me (email@example.com) know as early as possible and please get your video done as quickly as possible.
Some video suggestions:
Please have your recording device in Landscape mode.
Introduce yourself and your exhibit to start.
Please ensure that you have appropriate lighting for your video. Remember that different parts of the video may need different lighting. Filming screens is usually done in a darker environment while speakers should find as much light as possible.
Audio is just as important as video. Consider an external microphone, if possible. Find a suitable space to do the recording with a minimum of ambient noise, echo, etc.
If you are speaking while in the video please speak into the camera rather than while looking away, if at all possible.
Play back your work and make sure you like it before submitting it! Our editors will clean up some stuff, but we can’t add things that aren’t there, etc.
I created a sample video.
My raw one is here: https://youtu.be/amSyI3t6JWk
We currently have 12 exhibits, 2 presentations and 2 classes and the list is growing daily. The deadline of July 7 is coming soon, so submit your video quickly if you want to be included!
VCF events might be cancelled or postponed, but don’t be socially distant from this t-shirt!
We are trying out mail order for the first time. T-shirts cost $20 + shipping and are available in either Classic CRT Green or Classic CRT Amber. Men’s and Women’s sizes are available.
Please see http://vcfed.org/wp/t-shirts/ for details and help support VCFed!
What a difference 24 hours makes!
Since last night’s announcement, we have now seen various state governments
recommend cancelling all large gatherings in light of the “continued
outbreak and to aggressively mitigate the spread of the virus.” in the
words of the Governor of NJ.
As such, VCF East 2020 will be POSTPONED (not cancelled) until October 10th
through 12th, 2020. This is Saturday through Monday, Columbus Day.
Over the past week we have been actively working on backup plans for VCF
East in the event it had to be postponed, with several different
contingencies planned based on different circumstances that might arise.
While it is unfortunate that such a circumstance has occurred, the VCF
Steering Committee is pleased to inform everyone that we have secured the
dates mentioned above, along with the needed space at the Infoage Science
and History Museums.
Additionally, we have been reaching out to our Keynote Speakers and class
proctors to lock in their availability. We have confirmed that Bill Mensch,
Michael Tomczyk, Bil Herd and David Murray have all confirmed their
availability as of today. We will update the website, class schedules, etc.
over the coming week to reflect the changes in date as well as filling in
who can and cannot attend based on the new days of the event.
Please stay tuned for more updates as the days and weeks go by, and please,
stay safe and healthy!
VCF Steering Committee
The short story: VCF PNW 2020 has been cancelled
The longer story:
King County health officials are asking event organizers to consider postponing events where large groups of people will be present. As a result, Living Computers:Museum+Labs has closed and will remain closed until further notice.
I’d like to thank everybody for their effort and support.
Update (March 11th, 2020)
Given the uncertain nature of the health crisis we are not going to try to reschedule VCF PNW this year. The situation does not look like it will get better in the next few weeks and later in the year we conflict with other events. Thanks for your support and understanding and stay safe.