VCF West 2020 will be a virtual event.

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:

  1. 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!

  2. At least a couple of keynote speakers willing to do 30 minute recorded talks and willing to host a Q&A Hangouts/Meetings call.

  3. 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 (erik@vcfed.org) 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

The cleaned up version is here: https://youtu.be/_1GKSVyuLRk
Update 6/24/2020

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 East 2020 Update – Postponed till October

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

VCF West 2020

With due consideration for the current Corona virus situation, our hopes are that The Vintage Computer Festival West 2020 will take place, as usual, at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA on August 1st and 2nd.
 
This year, however, we’ve decided to take over the entire second floor of the CHM.
 
This will give us a real auditorium and stage for our presentations away from the hustle, bustle and noise of the exhibit area. It also allows us to put Consignment in a contained area nearer the freight elevator and, by doing so, free up the classrooms for, well, classes.
 
I’ve opened exhibit registration on the vcfed website and have posted our preliminary schedule, exhibitors guide, FAQ and so on, all linked from here.
 
Please feel free to sign up for exhibits as soon as you are able. Please tell your friends, family, coworkers, acquaintance and random people you meet on the street about the event. Especially those in the vintage computing community or related areas who might be interested in exhibiting or presenting.
 
We have a much bigger space to fill and I’m looking forward to a huge, awesome show.
 
But we still need lots of things:
 
  1. Speakers – If you know someone working on a special project, with a connection so some bit of history, with a passion for something in our field, etc. please let me know and let’s get them signed up to share!
  2. Classes – If you have a talent or skill that you can teach others about, please consider conducting a class. Anything in the restoration, vintage software, preservation and other hobby areas is encouraged!
  3. Exhibitors – we need lots. We’ll be expanding beyond the traditional VCF focus on just computers and related gear. We’re looking for collectors of slide rules, mechanical and early electronic calculators and other “computing” equipment from days gone by.
  4. Volunteers – This show requires a lot of work and we’re looking for anyone interested in lending a hand. Responsibilities include running the front desk, consignment, the AV boards, running mics for presentations, helping with setup and tear-down and more. Students in need of volunteer hours will get letters for credit.
We will, of course, continue to monitor the Corona Virus situation closely and we will make timely decisions on how that might impact this show. The hope is that things settle down significantly in the intervening 6 months, for the world’s sake, and that we can proceed.
 
We’ll keep you posted. Please let me know if you have any comments, concerns, questions or whatever.
 
Thank you!
 

VCF PNW 2020 has been cancelled

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.

-Mike

VCF PNW 2020: Exhibitors needed

What: Vintage Computer Festival Pacific Northwest 2020
When: Saturday March 21st and Sunday March 22nd
Where: Living Computers:Museum+Labs in Seattle, Washington.
Web site: http://vcfed.org/vcf-pnw

Why … So you can share your favorite old computers and projects in person with like-minded others for two full days at a great venue. This is one of the many ways we celebrate computing history while reaching out to a larger audience, and hopefully inspiring others.

As of this writing we have seven exhibitors, three speakers, and a handful of volunteers signed up. We are looking for 20 to 25 exhibitors in total, another speaker or two, and a few more volunteers. While returning exhibits are welcome, we want to encourage first-timers to step up and try it out. (It is fun and rewarding!)

If you know that you can bring an exhibit please look at http://vcfed.org/vcf-pnw/exhibitor-registration and then fill in the registration form. (Potential volunteers and speakers – send me an email instead, as there is no form.) If you are “on the fence” or just have questions please send me an email and I will get things sorted out for you. The registration deadline is January 31st but if you know you can commit now it will make project planning easier.

A description of the event can be found at http://vcfed.org/vcf-pnw. General information for exhibitors including links to pictures from last year, a link to the registration form, and a FAQ can be found at http://vcfed.org/vcf-pnw/exhibitor-registration. Feel free to email me with questions.

Thanks,
Mike
michael@vcfed.org

Remembering Chuck Peddle

Chuck Peddle, a pioneer in the personal computing industry passed away on December 15th.

Chuck was on the team at Motorola who worked on the 6800 microprocessor. Based on his experience and belief that a lower cost alternative was needed, Chuck and several engineers left Motorola to create the 6502 microprocessor at MOS technology. When released in 1975 the 6502 was far less expensive than competing processors; the low price point enabled products such as the Atari 2600, the Apple ][, the Nintendo Entertainment System, the Commodore 64, the BBC Micro, and many others. It was an important part of the home computer revolution.

Chuck gave the keynote speech (via Skype) at VCF East 4.0 (in 2007) for Commodore’s 30th Anniversary. Dave Haynie, Bil Herd, Jeri Ellsworth and other Commodore fans were in attendance. Here is the YouTube video of his keynote: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBnmJhEOdC8&t=854s

Chuck will be missed and remembered for his immense contributions to the early home computer revolution.

Chuck, thanks for all of the opcodes!

The MOS MCS6501 chip which was pin compatible to the Motorola 6800. Chuck Peddle created it to irk Motorola his former employer. An “in your face to Motorola.” Motorola sued and MOS stopped making it, but this forced Motorola to reduce the price of the 6800 because of competition with the 6502.