VCF SE 7.0 — Exhibits

Hands-on demonstrations of historic computing are the heart of the Vintage Computer Festival series. Click here to register your exhibit.   Also don’t forget to check out the Vendors coming.

Check back to see updates new exhibits as they are registered!

Registered exhibits:

Experience the Texas Instrument Home Computer — Mark D Little — Atlanta GA

This display, now in its 4th year at VCFSE, celebrates the 38th year since the official introduction of the Texas Instruments 99/4a Home Computer (June 30, 1981 in Chicago), the home micro-computing market’s first true 16-bit machine. This interactive display includes: a working TI 99/4a console (classic silver/black) with a working Speech Synthesizer; a working TI-99/4  the predecessor to the 4a that was introduced in 1979 (new to the display this year, on it’s 40th anniversary); a rare working TI Program Cassette Recorder; a working Peripheral Expansion Box (PEB) with 32k Memory Expansion and two half-height floppy drives; a pair of original TI remote controllers (joysticks); at least ten command module (cartridge) games for anyone to play, including popular favorites Parsec, Munchman, and Buck Rogers (all in original boxes); and various software on 5 1/4″ floppy disks, manuals and books related to the TI 99/4a. In addition, visitors can “take a look under the hood” of both the TI-99/4a console and inside the PEB. Take-one hand-outs are also available outlining the timeline of the TI 99/4a’s history, from its inception as an improvement to the beleaguered TI 99/4 in 1981, through to the price wars with Commodore in 1983 that forced its abrupt withdrawal from the home computer market in 1984. Finally, this year’s exhibit again features a rare working Texas Instruments CC-40 Compact Computer, TI’s final home computer, which was manufactured for less than a year beginning in March of 1983. (I wonder where Mark got the TI 99/4 🙂 — ed.)

Vector based arcade and home games — Rob & Eva Mitchell — Atlanta GA

This exhibit will show vector based games for people of all ages to play. We will be featuring the Atari sit down cocktail tabletop game for two players. New this year the Atari cocktail contains a reproduction Vectrex circuit inside so that players can play many games on a larger arcade display. We will also have standalone Vectrex consoles for other gameplay.  We will also show howto  upload games to the Vectrex from my palmtop whichis used to develop Vectrex programs.

Use of optical drive emulation and FPGAs in retro gaming — Doug Dement — Atlanta GA

This exhibit will present multiple (playable) examples of modified vintage consoles that are utilizing SD or USB based optical drive emulators (ODEs) instead of the original CDROM drives. Additionally, the exhibit will include example commercial and open source products that simulate original consoles and computers using Field Programmable Gate Array hardware emulation.

The Apple Lisa Documentary — David Greelish — Johns Creek GA
An exhibit about the Apple Lisa and information about the upcoming film, due out Fall 2019.

The Atari 400 & 800 — Randall Kindig — Lebanon IN

True to the 1979 introduction of the Atari 400 & 800 computers, those computers plus some common peripherals will be shown. In addition, some modern upgrades such as SD and CF-based disk drives and a multi-joy interface that handles up to 8 joysticks at once for gaming will be shown. (Randall is one of the co-hosts of the ANTIC podcast which covers Atari computers, so he’s an expert on Atari’s…we have two hosts from this show exhibiting… Randall also does the Floppy Days podcast — a favorite of mine – ed.)

The clicky-clack Tic-Tac-Toe Computer! (1961) — Jim B. Steiner — Atlanta GA

Jim returns with a show favorite, the Tic-Tac-Toe computer!   This device was designed from scratch, using parts and electromechanical relays from 6 pinball machines (and a piece of furniture). The computer  started as a project for the high school humanities class, but when the science fair coordinator heard of it, he encouraged Jim to finish it in time to enter it in the school science fair.  Additionally Jim was further inspired by the 1960 winners,  the inspiration for the movie “October Sky” Rocket Boys from the small town of Coalwood, West Virginia.  Needless to say, their success led him to have it finished in time to enter the school science fair. The Tic-Tac-Toe Computer then progressed from the High School Science Fair to the Regional Science Fair and to the State Science Fair.  Come see it still in operation and try your luck at beating it! (Maybe this year we need to give it other computer opponents 🙂 — ed.)

A Look at the Lynx — Mark D Little — Atlanta GA

This small display showcases the world’s first color handheld console, the Atari Lynx, which hit the market in 1989 and was discontinued in 1994. Two working Atari Lynx II consoles from 1991, one of which sporting a new LCD screen upgrade, are available for hands-on gaming. Additionally, over 60 game cards, all with original manual booklets or posters and in original cartons, are on display, along with various cases and other add-on accessories. Take-one handouts outlining the brief history of the Atari Lynx and its legacy are also available. And Mark Little, host and creator of the Atari Lynx HandyCast podcast, will be on hand in person to show off the system and its small but amazing library of games, many of them ports of popular arcade hits. If you’re a recent gamer, a retro gamer, or you’re just plain curious about seeing this ahead-of-its time system, be sure to check this display out. But bring lots of AA batteries… …just kidding; power will be provided. (Batteries included this time 🙂 — ed.)

A History of the Graphical User Interface — Nathan Lineback — Marietta GA

See where Microsoft Windows started, what GUIs came before it and try them out for yourself, at a blazing 4.77mhz. Interactive demonstrations of VisiCorp Visi-On – a GUI for the PC that came before Windows, Microsoft Windows 1.0, and many more such as GEM, OS/2, Xerox Smalltalk, and even Microsoft BOB! Hardware will include several of the first PC clones, the Columbia Data Product 1600 and Compaq Portable as well as a VM/Emulator machine for all the GUI hardware that just won’t fit. (Maybe Nathan can field a few opponents for the Tic-Tac-Toe machine — ed.)

The TI-99/4A  Then and Now — Alan W. Rateliff II — Tallahassee FL

This exhibit will show what the TI-99/4A did originally, could have done then, and does now. Special exhibit for 2019: “Dragon’s Lair” on the original and unexpanded console!

TI-99 and Tandy Unix — Jon Guidry — Dacula GA

This exhibit will showcase a Ti-99/4A running Dragons Lair, two to play at this show!
For the Unix anniversary, a Tandy 4025Lx running Xenix with a dumb terminal laptop will  be shown.

The IBM PC and Descendants — Nolan Gilmore — Tucker GA

The IBM PC was one of the most important microcomputers of the 1980s. It formed the basis for the PC architecture that dominates today’s computing scene. Showcased in this exhibit will be the original IBM 5150 PC as well as many of its descendants such as the PC XT and PC AT. Also shown will be examples from the less successful (but still historically important) IBM PS/2 line of computers, as well as a few other IBM PCs. And, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Unix, I will be exhibiting a totally unrelated IBM product, a RS/6000 running AIX.

From the collection of the Middle Georgia State University School of IT Technology Museum — Tina Ashford — Macon GA

This exhibit will show some of our small but growing collection.   Plan on seeing and experiencing fully functional IBM XT (with working Seagate ST-412!) and Jr, Amiga 2000, TRS-80 Mark I, Apple IIc, among other items. Some have had well-cared for lives, others were pulled out of dumpsters! Come chat with us and help encourage our students to appreciate our PC technological journey!

The Phone Company — David Kuder — Warner Robins GA

Dial-up networking, BBSes, Phone Phreaking.. The Phone Company made it all possible before the availability of high-speed internet. A recent small office phone switch plays host to dial-up connections available to other exhibitors, and demos of BBS & Phreaking in the 70s and 80s.

Data Entry in the Ancient Days — Ed Fair — Tucker GA

Ed will again regale us with show and tell talks on the innards of keypunches. (If you’ve not spent
time with Ed, and had him share just some of the knowledge he has of early punch card computing, you’ve definitely missed out!  Be sure to spend some time talking and seeing what Ed brings… ed.)

The Atari 800 — Brad Arnold — Lawrenceville GA

This exhibit will showcase the Atari 800 (for it’s 40th Anniversary).  On display will be an Atari 800 running C/PM with 8” floppy.  (Brad is one of the co-hosts of the ANTIC podcast which covers Atari computers, so he’s an expert on Atari’s… ed.)

The Atari XL Line — Wade Ripkowsik — Greenville SC

This exhibit will provide a look at the Atari XL computers and accessories, with Atari Touch Tablet and Plato-term demonstrations.

Celebrating 40 years of Atari —  Brent Carrol — Columbus GA

This exhibit will show redesigned Atari 8-bit computer systems, the 1088XEL and 1088XLD. Both motherboards utilize standard Atari VLSI chips, with the 1088XEL being in a mini-ITX form factor and the 1088XLD designed to fit an Atari 1050 disk drive case.   Also there will be  Atari XL and XE models with various hardware upgrades.  And as a challenge, we will show the first known attempt to network 16 Atari 8-bit computers together via MIDI interfaces to play the multi-player, multi-computer game, MIDI-Maze.

Portable computing from 1984 to present — Jon Moller — Atlanta GA

Portable computers existed long before the smartphones of today, produced in such form factors as calculators, pocket computers, palmtops, laptops, and luggables. This exhibit will showcase an assortment of portable computers and paraphrenalia from 1984 – the Sharp PC-1500A – to present, showing their functions and modern relevance. HP 95/100/200LX palmtops get a special showcase in this exhibit, with several linked to a Linux router via serial cables, demonstrating their use as “thin client” terminals. Feel free to browse the web 1991-style! There will also be a unique and rare laptop terminal connected to the router – a Random Colleague VT220 clone from Cincinnati, Ohio. Also showcased will be two DOS- and Palm OS-based word processors, the QuickPad Pro and AlphaSmart Dana Wireless, respectively, as well as two Palm OS devices and a Zipit Z2 Linux-powered instant messenger from the mid-2000s that was a hacker’s delight. All machines are working and available for hands-on use.

Macintosh Networking and Games — Ben Bolga — Atlanta GA

This exhibit provides a demonstration of AppleTalk, the network protocol developed by Apple and used for Macintosh computers in the 80s and 90s. We will feature several vintage Macs including an SE/30 and some later PowerPC models. The Macs will be connected via AppleTalk and running multiplayer games from early 90s.

6th Edition UNIX — Brian Stuart — Gloucester TWP, NJ

This exhibit shows what UNIX was like during its first ten years. The centerpiece is a copy of the 6th edition of the operating system running on a simulated PDP-11/70. Stop by and experience UNIX of the 1970s.

Primary Connectivity — James Mahoney — Marietta GA

Through out the use of computers, the primary human-machine-interface has been the keyboard. on display is a few boards from my personal collection that show the layout variations in time, and brand.

Commodore Hits — Peter Rittwage — Augusta GA

This exhibit will present hands-on examples of Commodore’s biggest-selling computers, including the PET 8032, Vic-20, Commodore 64, Amiga 1000, and Amiga 3000. Each will have various games, peripherals, and expansions to play with, both classic and modern.

Vintage HP Collection & FPGA-Based GameBoy Replica — Shon Huang — Atlanta GA

An exhibit of Vintage Hewlett-Packard computers & calculators, including the next-generation of the first 16-bit architecture computer HP-9825B, HP’s first touchscreen business computer HP-150, the portable “computer” HP-75C and various accessories. Some HP RPN calculators will also be exhibited.  In addition, VerilogBoy, a modern FPGA-based GameBoy hardware replica in a tiny form factor will also be shown ( available from ZephRay).

It’s a UNIX system! I know this! — Kyle Owen — Huntsville AL

I will bring a small taste of UNIX systems from the 1980s running various flavors of UNIX, along with a completely unrelated PDP-8/M running Conway’s Game of Life.

Palm Orchestra — Eric Lyons — Roswell GA

Listen to 16 Palm handhelds play music! Learn how Palm introduced handheld computing and smartphones to the world.

1,2,3,4 Sun — Earl Baugh — Johns Creek GA

This exhibit will showcase example models of the first four Sun machine types. A Sun 1/100, Sun 2/120, Sun 3/110 and Sun 4/110. It will show the design and technical evolution of the early Sun Unix workstations.

Commodore Amiga — Start to Finish — Christopher Teaderman — Dallas GA

This exhibit presents the Amiga 1000, the groundbreaking multimedia computer released by Commodore in 1985, and puts it alongside the final expandable desktop model, the Amiga 4000 from 1992. Both systems will have a functional Workbench/AmigaOS environment, games and demos for hands-on use, showcasing the Amiga’s evolution from a 68000, 512k RAM and OCS to a 68040, 18MB RAM and AGA.



Open Enigma and Open DSKY (Apollo) Kits— S&T GeoTronics — Columbus GA

Check out the projects that started on Kickstarter and how have been realized as real replicas of the Enigma and DSKY ( Apollo Guidance Computer) kits. (These kits are pretty amazing, we saw them last year, can’t wait to see what has been done since then! — ed.)