We closed our NJ museum last month and we’re re-opening with twice the exhibit space in time for VCF East next month. This past weekend we brought in some big iron: half of our UNIVAC 1219B mainframe, circa 1965; a Cray YMP-EL supercomputer, from 1992; and a StorageTek 9710 Library Storage Module, hailing from 1995.
The UNIVAC is the same model used aboard Navy ships for weapons control. Left to right: UNIVAC 1219B computer, a.k.a. Mk.-152 Digital Fire Control Computer, a.k.a. CP-848; UNIVAC 1540 Magnetic Tape, a.k.a. Mk.-19 Digital Data Recorder, a.k.a. RD-294; Ocean Tech Mk.-75 Signal Data Converter; a custom digital switching unit built Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (which donated the whole system); and UNIVAC 1532 I/O console, a.k.a. MK-77 I/O console, a.k.a. OA-7984.
The supercomputer and tape library will be part of an exhibit of “modern history”. The wall behind them will be painted circuit board green and will have pictures of several dozen other recently-obsoleted products, such fax machines, Rolodex, paper maps, handheld game consoles, and so on. A sign across the top will state: “Everything on this wall now fits in your pocket.” We’ll have trace-like lines going from each item along the edges to a modern smartphone in the center.
Not pictured but also recently moved in: a 1956 Bendix G-15 vacuum tube computer, a custom 1958 George Philbrick analog computer originally built for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s mechanical engineering department, and a 1965 IBM 1130.
Coming soon: lots of minicomputers and dozens of microcomputers!
Vintage Computer Festival West XI happens in five months from now, but it’s definitely not too soon to register your exhibits! We opened registration yesterday and three people immediately signed up. Check out the list.
Our museum in Wall, New Jersey (based at the InfoAge Science Center) closed last month and will re-open in time to host the Vintage Computer Festival East April 15-17. The new facility will have more than 2x the exhibition space of our old facility, along with a small classroom/workshop area and a new double-wide doorway so we can display larger systems such as our UNIVAC 1219-B. We’re also putting in all new furniture and all new signs. It’s going to be MUCH nicer than the old museum.
Save time at the shows! Get your tickets online. Tickets are also available at the gate. (Bring your kids! Free admission for 17 and younger.)
Ticket links: VCF East and VCF West.
Check out the new “Forum” link in our menu.
A collector, Erik Klein, founded the Vintage Computer Forum in the early 2000s at his personal site. It became the largest discussion site for the vintage computing hobby.
As the next step in its evolution, the Forum joined the Federation, and Erik joined our board. Erik and forumites: welcome to our home!
Vintage Computer Festival West is making a triumphant return this summer! The show will be August 6-7 at the Computer History Museum, in Mountain View, California. Click here for details.
We opened registration for VCF East XI exhibits a few days ago, and there are already eight people signed up! Have a look at what’s registered so far and considering doing your own…
We are working hard to post videos from past editions of the Vintage Computer Festival East/West shows.
VCF East talks are going online first. So far we posted video from VCF East 6.0 (2009) and VCF East 9.1 (2014) — the years don’t always add up because we skipped a year here and there.
We’re adding video from other years during the next few days/weeks. Keep checking the link to our YouTube channel!
Several people asked to see a bigger version of our logo. Here it is! Click it for a very big version. May the Force be …. errr, wrong cultural reference. 😉
We bought vcfed.com and vcfed.org. Both of these forward to the real site here at vintagecomputerfederation.org. We also made the submenus indented when you press the “menu” button on mobile browsers. These changes should make things a lot easier for everyone!