VCF West — Exhibits

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Hands-on demonstrations of historic computing are the heart of the Vintage Computer Festival series. Click here to learn about becoming an exhibitor at the show.

Following are the registered exhibits. This page is updated often.

Current state of the art in Apple II — Lester Barrows and John Valdezco, Mountain View, California — The promise was “Apple II Forever”, and there still exists a vibrant community of software and hardware development for the Apple II line of computers. Our exhibit focuses on current projects which are bringing new life to a hardware line that launched in the 1970s. Software includes new releases of ProDOS and GS/OS, as well as new products such as Ninjaforce’s Kaboom! and Michael Packard’s current project, Alien Downpour. Also on exhibit will be new hardware such as Nishida Radio’s IIgs DVI adapter, new IIe and IIgs memory cards from A2Heaven, the 4play modern joystick adapter from Lukazi, a new 4-channel sound card from Manila Gear, the CFFA 3000 CF/USB storage device, and the new prototype TransWarp GS board from UltimateApple2. Manila Gear’s John Valdezco will be here to talk about his current Apple II hardware projects. At least two Apple IIgs systems will be running live demonstrations, including Ninjaforce’s 4 player Kaboom! game.

Newbear 77-68 — Simon Wynn, Redwood City, California —  I will display a fully restored and functional Newbear 77-68 Motorola 6800-based system. The 77-68 was one of the first home computers available in the UK. It was available as a kit and I’ve owned the system that will be shown since 1979. The system was restored and expanded to include a simulated floppy drive system using an SD card, and it now runs FLEX OS, BASIC, PL/M etc. I will have a full set of documents, photos, and articles.

Late 70s, Early 80s: Microprocessor Look ‘n’ Play — Jon Kenneke, Albany, Oregon — There will be several common (and not so) single-board computers connected to terminals for demonstration and hands-on hacking. Most of them are modern systems using vintage processors such as the CDP1802, 6502, 6802, 6809, Z-80, 6120, INS8060, MK3850/3853, and even a Raspberry Pi.

Adventure — Thomas Conrad, Morgan Hill, California — Play the first “Adventure” game on a 1982 IBM PC. Input via keyboard, lots of fun!

Alice Group: New hardware and obsolete software — Bradley Grantham, San Jose, California — We’ll demonstrate two computers we’ve built in our group’s quest to run old software. The Alice III surface-mount single-board computer runs CP/M 2.2 from a microSD card using an original Z-80 coupled with contemporary CPUs for I/O and memory. Festival attendees can run Sargon Chess, WordStar, and Microsoft Basic at the console. We’ll also demonstrate a brand-new YM audio player written in C. The Alice 4 handheld computer runs Silicon Graphics IrisGL demos circa 1984. Alice 4 contains a dual-core contemporary CPU and a custom GPU on an FPGA. A touchscreen LCD with an analog joystick provides interactive control of the 30-year-old demos, including multiplayer “arena” over wifi.

MOnSter 6502 — Eric Schlaepfer, Sunnyvale, California — The MOnSter 6502 is the world’s largest 6502 microprocessor, built from individual transistors to be an exact replica of the renowned 6502 microprocessor chip. Unlike the original, the MOnSter 6502 has over 300 colorful LEDs so you can actually watch the processor operate! You will be able to type in BASIC programs, experiment with Forth, or even write machine code. If you saw us last year, you will be delighted to see the second revision which has more LEDs than before. We’ll also be demonstrating the new version of our 6502 host computer, the MIM-1.

The First Practical Chess Computers — Cole Erskine, Portola Valley, California — The game of chess has been an attractive, yet intractable, problem for computer researchers since the mainframe era. Nearly 60 years ago, a program for the IBM 704 could play a complete game at an amateur level. Less than 40 years later, the reigning World Chess Champion was defeated by IBM’s Deep Blue in a six-game match. In 1977, the first chess computers accessible to consumers were introduced. On exhibit will be Applied Concepts’ Boris, the original Fidelity Chess Challenger, and a Synertek SYM-1 running Peter Jennings’ MicroChess.

Classic Atari Computers — San Leandro (California) Computer Club —  SLCC is an Atari enthusiast group since 1980. We will demonstrate first- and second-generation Atari 8-bit home computers. We will have a complete 800 system with all 12 original peripherals. We may also show a working 1400XL and the very rare 1450XLD. We’ll also show a 4160STE, Mega STE, Falcon030/FX-1, STacy, and STBook.