Winter is here, and so we at Vintage Computer Federation reflect on the year past, look excitedly to the new year ahead, and think of the many ways for more people to be involved.
Vintage Computer Federation is, at our heart, a user group. Our mission is to enable collectors/hobbyists and to spread awareness of the history of computing. We’re a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
We achieved many of our goals in 2017. Highlights include refreshing our computer museum with digital signage, interactive kiosks, and new artifacts; diving into a massive inventory project; making more of the collection available to restorers; beginning work on a hobby knowledge base; upgrading our museum infrastructure with 208/3-phase power; substantial progress on restoring our mid-1960s Univac mainframe; and announcing the inaugural Vintage Computer Federation Pacific-Northwest with our newest partner Living Computers: Museum+Labs scheduled for February 2018.
For 2018 we’d like to continue working on the inventory, knowledge base, and Univac projects; determine additional regions to expand the Vintage Computer Festival series; begin installation of our dial-up BBS service; offer a wider variety of classes/workshops; select additional exotic systems for restoration; and much more!
We do all this thanks to the hard work of volunteers and those who make contributions to our mission.
There are many ways you can help. At the VCF museum in Wall, New Jersey, we’re always looking for volunteers. We need docents, inventory specialists, and technical restoration experts. At the Vintage Computer Festival events in New Jersey, northern California, and now Seattle, we need volunteers in roles such as setup, class instructors, security, front desk, consignment booth, and cleanup. For the under-construction knowledge base, we’ll need subject-matter experts, and for the Vintage Computer Forum we could always use additional moderators. And of course, we always welcome your suggestions for new ways that we could serve the vintage computing community!
Behind-the-scenes, we ended our previous fiscal year 2016 with $8,368.51 and more than doubled the year-end amount to $20,765.79 this year. Our major expenses include general operations, event venue rental, forum hosting, insurance, rental trucks for large artifact rescue missions, museum improvements, artifact handling, and marketing. As with any growing organization, the more we engage in exciting new activities, so too do costs increase.
Please help us succeed in reaching our present and upcoming goals. Visit https://vcfed.org/contribute/ where you can make a tax-deductible donation. You can also share this post with friends and colleagues via email, social media, or a dot-matrix printout pinned to your company’s lunchroom corkboard. Another way you can help is by including us in your Amazon Smile purchases.
All feedback is welcome! Feel free to reach me by phone or email anytime.
On behalf of the Vintage Computer Federation, I wish you a joyous holiday season and fond moments of vintage computing!