Chris Fala – Chairman of the Steering Committee
Chris Fala is a longtime member of VCF and a steering committee member
Doug Crawford – Steering Committee Member
Alex Jacocks – Steering Committee Member
Jason Perkins – Steering Committee Member
Is a new member of the steering committee starting in January 2022.
I’ve been fiddling with computers, and by proxy vintage computers about as
long as I can remember. When you’re just getting started cast-off old
machines are your playground!
In 2003 my father and I made the trip from Michigan to DC to visit the
Smithsonian museums. At that time there was a whole section at the National
Museum of American History dedicated to the history of computers. I was
really looking forward to this – and was so disappointed. Static machines,
turned off, behind plexiglas. There was an Alto that either had the worst
case of screen burn, or the CRT replaced with a plastic slide. In either
case it wasn’t illuminated. There was an IBM PC and Mac 128k, behind
plexiglas, turned off.
This is one of the main things I like about VCF: We are able to present
systems that work, systems you can touch, systems you can experience.
Having a static display of “Oh, look at this hunk of metal and beige
plastic” just doesn’t do it for me.
Dave McGuire – Position Statement for Steering Committee
I’m an engineer in my 50s, and I’ve been passionate about
technology since I was a child. As a teenager in the mid-1980s, I lucked
into a DEC PDP-11/34A, a powerful computer system about the size of two
household refrigerators placed side-by-side, and it resided in my
bedroom. It wasn’t an “antique computer” at the time; it was just old
enough to be mostly unwanted in a typical commercial environment. But it
belonged to a class of systems known as “minicomputers”, which are
powerful, serious machines designed for scientific or business
applications. While all of my friends were playing games on their little
Atari, Apple, and Commodore systems, I taught myself a half dozen or so
programming languages on that big PDP-11. This naturally and directly
led to my career as an engineer.
Using large, powerful computers both at work and at home is just how my
life has always been. I loved my systems, and I ended up just keeping
the old ones as I upgraded, occasionally running them for fun an
nostalgia in my free time.
I’ve been peripherally involved with VCF for many years, starting early
in the MARCH era, helping out here and there behind the scenes with
hardware donations and swaps, donation transport, and general advice and
guidance. If elected to a Steering Committee seat, my intention would
be to provide further, much closer guidance and technical assistance on
the “big iron” side, to round out the VCF presentations a bit. And, as
the head of LSSM in Pittsburgh, another big focus of mine would be much
closer collaboration and involvement between VCF and LSSM.