VCF SE 8.0 — Exhibits

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

We are currently full, please e-mail to see if here is an opening.

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 celebrates the 40th 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 machine with a 16-bit processor. This interactive display includes: a working TI 99/4a console (classic silver/black) with a working Speech Synthesizer; a working TI 99/4 console released in 1979, the predecessor of the 4a; a 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 twenty command module (cartridge) games for anyone to play, including popular favorites such as Parsec, Munchman, and Buck Rogers (all in original boxes); various software on 5 1/4″ floppy disks; and manuals, books, and period advertising 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 mammoth PEB. Take-one hand-outs are also available outlining the timeline of the TI 99/4a’s history, from its inception all the way through to the price wars with Commodore in 1983 that forced Texas Instruments’ abrupt withdrawal from the home computer market in 1984. Lastly, 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.


European 8 Bits — Jacob Nutting — Palatka FL

This exhibit will showcase several classic 8 bit computers mostly from Europe. This will include an Amstrad CPC 464, PCW 8256, PPC640, NC 100 & 200, GX4000, Philips VG 5000, Wavy23 MSX2, and Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128.  While they may be unfamiliar to some, this will be a chance for you to see and use some that never made it here to the states.


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!


A Look at the Atari 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 McWillLCD screen upgrade, are available for hands-on gaming. Additionally, over 65 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 GeoWorks, GEM, OS/2, and even Microsoft BOB!


The IBM PC and Descendants — Nolan Gilmore — Tucker GA

40 years ago, IBM introduced their Personal Computer. While it wasn’t the fastest or most innovative system on the market, it’s IBM nameplate and relatively affordable price (for its market) led to it being swiftly adopted as the standard computer platform for business. This exhibit will showcase the original PC and follow the history of IBM’s machines, as they attempted to stay the leader of the market as they faced new competition from companies such as Compaq, Dell, and the countless other clone manufacturers that sprung up to take on IBM. Other systems on exhibit include an IBM PC XT, IBM PC AT, a PS/2 model 80, and more.


Iconic Rivalries in the History of Computing — Ryan Ashford — Centerville GA

This exhibit will showcase 3 of the many computing rivalries that helped shape the personal computing market, which will span over 4 decades of personal computing history.  You sill see what has been, at times, a fierce competition between platforms


Before Macintosh : The Apple Lisa — David Greelish — Roswell GA

This exhibit will provide information about the completed Lisa documentary film, as well as the Apple Lisa in general.


ENIAC Diamond Jubilee — Brian Stuart — Gloucester Township, NJ

The ENIAC was unveiled to the public in 1946, ushering in the age of general purpose electronic computing. This exhibit celebrates the 75th anniversary of the unveiling with two artifacts. The first is a 1/10 scale 3D printed model of the full ENIAC. The second is a set of 4 ENIAC accumulators at 1/8 scale showing the ENIAC in operation. The indicators on these accumulators are driven by an ENIAC simulator controlled by a replica of the portable control station.


Texas Instruments Orphans and Descendants — Jon Guidry — Dacula, GA

Texas Instruments, it it’s later years, made several systems that either didn’t make it to market, or had TI technology adapted into them by other manufacturers.

The TI CC-40+ was a never released descendent of the TI CC-40 handheld computer; it had the inclusion of a cassette interface and a TMS70C40 CPU. This computer ended up becoming the TI-74 handheld PC. Accompanying the TI CC-40 is a RS232 peripheral and a never released Wafertape drive.

The TI-99/2 was meant to be a Timex Sinclair competitor. However, by the time it was released in 1993, TI had already lowered the pricing of the TI-99/4A to the price the 99/2 was supposed to be introduced at, so the project was cancelled. The 99/2 is a black and white system with a TMS9995 CPU, no sound, chicklet keys, and features the Hexbus interface for I/O.

Lastly, is a system not made by Texas Instruments, but rather Tomy. The Tomy Pyuuta, or Tomy Tutor as released in the US, was architecturally similiar to the TI-99/4A. It included the TMS9918A for video as well as has a chunk of TI Extended BASIC in its ROM. Tomy also upgraded the CPU to the TMS9995. We will be demo’ing the Door Door homebrew game for this system.


The Radio Shack Color Computer, 6809 & Nitros 9 — Henry Strickland — San Jose, CA

This exhibit will display both original & modern emulations of the the various Radio Shack Color Computer “CoCo” models, the 6809 CPU (which they were based on) and  the OS9/Nitros9 operating systems which is still in use on 6809 systems.


Macintosh Networking and Games — Ben Bolgla– 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 the early 90s.


The rise of MIDI in DOS gaming (vintage + FPGA) — Doug Dement — Atlanta, GA

This exhibit includes an IBM PS/1 (486) with Roland MT32 and Roland SC55 synthesizers playing early 90’s DOS games supporting MIDI and SB16. In contrast, it will also include an FPGA based simulated 486 and raspberry pi emulated MT32 to show a modern means to play vintage games through hardware simulation and emulation.


Windows and DOS: From Shell to Integration — Andrew Taylor — Simpsonville, SC

A brief look at the evolution of Microsoft’s DOS and Windows operating systems during the 1990s. From Windows 3.0 to Windows Millennium Edition, experience the transitionary period of Windows from am increasingly complicated DOS shell to a full-fledged standalone operating system, along with the end of DOS and the Windows 9x family. Each operating system will be showcased on a variety of period computers with an assortment of popular games and software to demo.


Big Boring Beautiful Beige Business Boxes James Mahoney — Marietta, GA

IBM “midrange” machines where the heart of many a small business, one of the most popular of these machines was the IBM system/34 (5340), a small microcosm of computer design at the time, these machines are actually multiprocessor monstrosities resembling more a modern SOC than anything in their competitors repertoire. Independent of if my machine is working or in the process of becoming; this machines guts will be on display for all to see and learn from!


Text-Based Games: The Start of Video Games — Eric Lyons — Roswell,  GA

Text-based games employ text-based user interfaces with encodable characters such as ASCII instead of bitmap or vector graphics. Text-based adventures like Zork and games from Creative Computing Magazine will be on display.


Vector Based Video Games — Rob Mitchell — Atlanta, GA

In the late 1970s and early 1980s several arcade companies featured vector based coin-op games. They featured crisp gameplay and a unique graphic experience compared to other TV games. In 1982 the home vector game console called the Vectrex was released and continues to excite gamers still to this day with new game releases. Visitors are challenged to find vector based arcade games in the arcade nearby.


PalmPilots: A Computer In Your Pocket!  — Eric Lyons — Roswell,  GA

Palm, Inc. created PalmPilots, the first critically and commercially successful PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants) and Treo smartphones, the first critically and commercially successful smartphones. In addition to a presentation about Palm, Inc. and its products, numerous Palm handhelds and smartphones will be on display. Finally, a Orchestra of Palms will play music together with their tinny beeper speakers!


Commodore Gaming — Pete Rittwage — Augusta GA

Commodore  commputers (C64, VIC-20, etc.)  were a mainstay of 80’s home computers and many games were produced for them.  This exhibit will showcase various Commodore computers and tons of games to play with.


The Commodore Amiga: From OCS to AGA — Christopher Teaderman — Dallas, GA

Come experience the groundbreaking Amiga line, widely considered the first multimedia computer – from the early days of Commodore’s production run to one of their final models!

On one hand, the Amiga 500 represents the OCS era of floppy-booting games and demos, and was the most commonly targeted model due to its low price and high sales figures. It has a simple, very console-like experience to its use – insert the floppy and turn it on!

On the other, the Amiga 4000/40 represents the AGA era of hard drive-based OS setups and a more advanced chipset, featuring AmigaOS 3.2 – released earlier this year, on hardware released in 1992! Most games and demos are simply a click away with WHDLoad.

Both systems can showcase many of the Amiga’s signature games and demos, and visitors can decide whether the A500 or the A1200/A4000 experience is more to their liking.

In addition, several methods of transferring files between a modern PC and an Amiga will be demonstrated as needed to help Amiga newcomers make use of their systems.


Gottlieb PC Dev Station — Brian Jones — Montverde, FL

This exhibit will display the original development station that belonged to gaming designer Tim Skelly. This includes the PC, Chassis, custom boards and development game board, sound tool and monitor from the system.  Currently this machine doesn’t boot because of some hardware issues.


DOOM Lan — Sam Lysinger — Atlanta, GA

Gamers behold!  The Doom LAN makes its triumphant return to VCFSE 8.0! From its humble introduction at the first VCFSE 1.0, the Doom LAN has triggered memories of LAN parties of days past and introduced many a single-player emulation to the original, raw, period correct, DOS IPX,
multi-player experience.  No LCD panels, no Internet, no Windows key on the keyboard, and… no mouse! *gasp*  You won’t get any more authentic than this without a Pizza and 2-liter bottle of Dr Pepper orMountain dew.  Stop by, fight the forces of Evil, and tell tales of great battles fought and won.


RetroTech Replicas — Mark Tessier — 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. Also this year we will showcase the VFD Clock, Tube Amps and more!!  Don’t miss our collection of over 80 MINI 3D printed Computers and Game Consoles”