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 ( they’re at the bottom of the page)
Check back to see updates new exhibits as they are registered!
The IBM OS/2 Experience — Andrew Taylor — Simpsonville, SC
A history and walkthrough of IBM’s darling late 80s and 90s operating system, covering every major version from 1.0 to Warp 4, all on authentic period hardware. Also including some various epimera related to OS/2
TI-99/4A History and Modernity — Alan Rateliff, II — Tallahassee, FL
Several TI-99/4A systems on display, demonstrating classic back-in-the-day uses for games, education, and drawing with the SuperSketch, as well as modern games and demos, including an arcade-accurate conversion of “Dragon’s Lair” played on a projection screen.
Games on a Chip! — Rob Mitchell — Atlanta, GA
In the mid 1970s, complete video games on one integrated circuit were made available to many game manufacturers by the General Instrument Corporation. The AY-3 family of ICs included Pong games as well as breakout, car racing, tank battle and motorcycle games. Additional AY-3 chips added color and additional sound effects. Examples are presented for the public to enjoy playing vintage video games.
(Smaller) big beutiful boring beige business boxes — James Mahoney — Marietta, GA
A demonstration of a handful of vintage IBM midrange and small systems computers along with their prerequisite terminals.
The RISC Renaissance — Nolan Gilmore — Tucker, GA
For much of computing history, CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computing) architectures dominated the field. Processors such as the Z80, 8086, 6502, and VAX on the high end, were designed using this philosophy. But, beginning in the 1970s, though not really reaching any kind of maturity until the mid/late 1980s came the arrival of so-called RISC processors (or Reduced Instruction Set Computing). RISC promised comparative or better performance with lower costs and simpler designs than what the contemporary Intel or Motorola processors provided. This exhibit will be focusing on machines from the early to mid 1990s, when many companies such as DEC, Sun, HP, IBM, and more were introducing their own RISC chips with the intent to overthrow the ruling CISC designs.
A BBS Thing — David Kuder — Smyrna, GA
What was it like dialing up to a BBS in 1990? What did it take to set up and run a BBS? Find out the answers to these questions and others with interactive examples of digital bulletin boards, SYSOP consoles, and even dial into a few BBSes that are operating today!
#FujiNet / Meatloaf — Jaime Johnston — Jonesboro, GA
We will be demonstrating #FujiNet for Atari & Commodore 8bit systems. #FujiNet is also in development for other platforms including Coleco Adam, Apple II, ZX Spectrum, etc. We will also be introducing “Meatloaf”, an alternative firmware using the same or similar hardware with some extended Commodore specific features. FujiNet began as a network adapter for Atari 8-bit personal computers and has grown into a multi-use all-purpose peripheral targeting multiple vintage computers. The current hardware is based on the ESP32-WROVER module with a microSD card for holding disk images, configuration files, and pdf printer output. Firmware provides wireless access to disk images stored in the cloud using the TNFS protocol. Other “protocol adapters” provide a streamlined interface to telnet, http, ftp, etc.
Tiny Replicas (and some bigger ones too!) — Marc Tessier — Columbus, GA
Come see Marc’s 3D printed tiny replicas of micro computers and game consoles along with working replicas of the Enigma machine and Apollo Guidance Computer! Marc will also be speaking on the creation on the Enigma and AGC replicas.
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!
Sincere Computers! — Theodore A Evans — Marietta, GA
A first at VCF SE — Computers from Europe! We’ve had Japanese MSX machines, but for the first time, we’ll get to see some from Europe. This exhibit will have Sinclair and Sinclair compatible computers Spectrum and QL.
British Computing — David Brown — Cumming, GA
Not just one, but TWO exhibits of Computers from overseas! David will be exhibiting various computers from the UK (including — Spectrum, BBC micro and the RISC PC). All of which will show the history of computing as it progressed to ARM. He will also be connecting to the BBS exhibit!
Hardware Emulator Cards: IBM Compatibility For All! — Christopher Teaderman — Dallas GA
Imagine that you have an advanced Commodore Amiga, an elegant Apple Macintosh, a powerful Sun SPARC workstation, or a revolutionary Acorn Archimedes/RiscPC, content with the native software they can run, but the IBM PC market running MS-DOS/Windows has simply become too big to ignore, with much exclusive software that cannot sensibly be emulated in software at the time. The solution: put an entire PC on an expansion card, and allow it to run in tandem with the host system! All the capability of two different computers, housed in one, complete with elegance such as copying and pasting between the native OS and the PC card. See how Commodore, Apple, and Sun Microsystems made their computers IBM-compatible with one simple hardware upgrade, without compromising what made their system architectures unique!
Close Relatives of the TI-99/4A — Jon Guidry — Dacula, GA
Come look at some close relatives of the TI-99/4A made by TI and Tomy. Included will be the Tomy Tutor, TI-99/2, CC-40, TI-74 and more! Some were personally driven from Texas back to GA!
Amiga 2000: A world of possibility and the digital future — Ryan Ashford — Centerville GA
Ryan will be showcasing the power of the Amiga 2000. Video editing applications with the Video Toaster, Video Games, and the future software documentation for not only Amiga, but for the entire fleet of vintage computers.
DOOM Lan — Sam Lysinger — Atlanta, GA
Gamers behold! The Doom LAN makes its triumphant return to VCFSE 9.0! 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.
RETRO Innovations (Vendor) — Jim Brain — Muscatine, IA,
Computers are powerful, easy to use, pervasive, and here to stay. We consider them a necessary component of our lives, and some of us live our lives around them. But, do you ever consider the machine itself? It’s doubtful you give much thought to the actual system. It’s a means to an end, something needed to run the latest game, write the next novel, or surf the next web page.
It wasn’t always like that. There was a time, in the beginning of the information age, where computers had souls, and people defended their honor. Programs were made to fit the machine, not the other way around. These systems outlived their time period, finding themselves in an era that threatened to pass them by.
RETRO Innovations builds the bridges that span the eras. We augment classic computers with today’s technology, blazing a seamless path from yesterday to today.