VCF East — Exhibits

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Current List of Exhibits

VCFed: The History of The Gui – by Ian Litchfield, Thomas Gilinsky, CJ Reha, Douglas Crawford
Since the dawn of technology, the interaction between mankind and machine had been limited to rudimentary mechanical or electronic interfaces, oftentimes designed more to the limits of technology than to the capabilities of people. This fundamentally changed with the introduction of the Graphical User Interface – though it took time for its true potential to be realized. The GUI’s original killer app – WYSIWIG text editing, as delivered to the masses by the Macintosh – is demonstrated next to its mechanical ancestor in the form of a 1950’s vintage ‘Vari-Typer’ cold typesetting machine.

The GUI’s history did not begin with the Macintosh, of course – another major contributor to GUI computing were the LISP machines, represented here by a Texas Instruments MicroExplorer, an example of an attempt to wed the pioneering principles of LISP machines with the market success of the Macintosh. And the history did not end with the Macintosh, either – also demonstrated are early GUI systems for the nascent IBM PC-Compatibles and the then-emerging UNIX Workstations. Sit down and use these primordial GUIs, from an era before the near-universal acceptance of Windows and X11. Were they more limited? Were they less refined?

Or were they ahead of their time?

TRS-80 Model II Boards Collection – by Pete Cetinski
I will be exhibiting a collection of almost every board produced for the Model II/16 line of computers (appx 30 different boards), including some rare examples like an x86 compatibility board and a 4MB XENIX board. I will also display a working open Model II computer to show the computer architecture and demonstrate how the boards were installed in the computer.

More Motorola MC88k processor UNIX workstations – by Maki Kato
I’ll have a Tektronix XD88 model 10 – unix workstation, and another working 88k unix workstation.

Think Different: The Legacy of Apple’s RISC Revolution – by Charlie Bauer, Adam Bauer
Step back in time and rediscover the roots of the tech revolution with three legendary Apple machines: the Apple II+, the Power Mac G4, and the Power Mac G5. Apple II+ – Where it all began. Remember the clacking of the floppy drive and the bright green glow of the CRT displays? The Apple II+ wasn’t just a computer, it was a portal to a world of possibilities. From text adventures and pixelated graphics to AppleWorks, the ][+ empowered a generation to code, create, and connect. Power Mac G4 MDD – Speed & Style take over. Also known as: The sleek beast that redefined power and design. The G4’s iconic curves housed a roaring processor that tackled video editing, music production, and 2000s gaming with ease. This wasn’t just a machine, it was a statement piece that declared, “the future is here.” Power Mac G5 – A peek into the future. The G5’s futuristic aluminum case housed a revolutionary 64-bit processor, making Apple one of the first to discover the next generation of computing. This wasn’t just a PC. This was a revolutionary innovation that inspired every modern PC or Macs. These Macs are much more than just machines, these are stories. Each click, whirr, and chime tells a story of creativity, innovation, and the evolution of technology. Come explore these iconic Apple computers, relive the past, and imagine the future. Join us on this journey through time and discover the magic that lives within these machines.

The Seequa and the Homebrew, Two Z80 Computers – by Edgardo Saez
First showcasing a rather odd PC Clone known as the Seequa Chameleon, this oddity has both an 8088 CPU and a Z80 for MS DOS and CP/M. Not much is known about its origins save for the manuals I have for it. And next in line is a Z80 Homebrew of my design; The BittyZ80! 2 years of design and development leads to a fully functional homebrew with Video, Sound, Serial, and PS/2 Keyboard compatibility!

The Dutch computers you’ve never seen – by Bart van den Akker, Johan Grip
From the HomeComputerMuseum we’ll bring in a few true Dutch computers. The Netherlands were, together with the United States and United Kingdom, one of the first countries to adopt computers. The Dutch are using computers since the 70s and since 1980 in schools. The Philips P2000T is a computer which we’ll bring and is used in schools in the Netherlands. We’ll also bring a few, for US, never seen computers to demonstrate. Of course we can also tell you why an Exidy Sorcerer is common in the Netherlands and what the computers were back in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

BigBadBench: repairs and restorations – by John Castorino
On my youtube channel (, I repair and restore all manner of vintage computers. I’ll bring a few different styles (at least one Mac, one PC, and one SGI) that I have restored on my channel. The systems will be booted to their GUIs and have software/games installed for people to play with. I’ll also bring an array of soldering and diagnostic equipment to do some repairs of boards live during the event.

40 Years of Macintosh – by Ryan Burke
Starting with the Lisa and Macintosh, this exhibit will have every Compact Mac, plus some unique oddities from Apple’s line. Launching in January of 1984, the Macintosh computer is now 40 years old! To celebrate, there will be one of each of the compact Macs, plus the Lisa 2, and some other unique and weird Macs from over the years.

Early IBM Midrange from The System Source Computer Museum – by Ryan Schiff
Sixty Years of IBM Midrange Computing

Colorful Apples and Weird Systems – by Steven Matarazzo, Mike Stanhope, Sean Malseed
Come see a variety of graphics-capable systems with unique video capture, color dot matrix printers, and high-resolution displays!

Doing more with less with GEOS – by Jonathan Sturges, Alex Jacocks
GEOS/GeoWorks on C64, C128, Apple II and IBM XT clone

The Serial Port – by Ben Grubbs
The 1990s come alive through a showcase of Cobalt RaQ web server appliances, a popular solution for your local ISP needing to serve up webpages! Fire up Microsoft FrontPage, one of the first WYSIWYG editors, to craft classic web pages complete with marquee texts and flashy GIFs. We’ll crawl through Geocities archives for the coolest GIF icons and embossed logos. Web pages will be hosted on an operational Cobalt RaQ server, managed with its cutting-edge web based control panel.

Genericable – by Brian L., Jesse C., Mike B., Ethan B., Kelby B., Nikki C., Ari W., Kyle S., Mike M.
Ever wonder about the equipment that you would see in a Cable TV Headend? We demonstrate the local forecast computers from The Weather Channel, Prevue Guide, Emergency Alert System (EAS), analog channel scrambling, community broadcast character generator, DOCSIS Cable Modem system, and the Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial (HFC) equipment that delivers RF over light, miles to your house! Interact with our headend gear, as if you’re the headend operator of the 90s and see it live! Also, surf the retro-internet through a cable modem and ‘watch TV’ from the comfort of our exhibit!

80’s Luggables – by Nicolas Mailloux, Nicolas Rousse
Interactive exhibit featuring what was considered portable computing in the early 80’s. Games and other programs will be made available for you to interact with a Compaq Portable (MS-DOS), an Osborne Executive (Z80 CP/M), a Macintosh SE and finally and Altair 8800 with a paper tape reader !

OS What-Ifs: Two 90s Operating Systems That Never Made It – by Katherine Ahlskog
Behind the scenes of commercial software development there are always products that never make it to stores. Mac OS Copland and Windows Neptune were two such examples from Apple and Microsoft, intending to replace their older operating systems, but both were canceled mid-development for various reasons. Both of these never-released operating systems are running on (mostly) period accurate hardware to showcase the features and quirks that never made it to any production software.

Macs & Hacs – Collin Mistr
A unique collection of handheld Hackintoshes, vintage Macs, and official Mac clones, being exhibited by dosdude1 and DosLab Electronics. Display includes machines such as the Sony Vaio UX and Toshiba Libretto ultra-mobile PCs, along with interesting Macs, such as a G4-upgraded iMac G3, and a Motorola StarMax Mac clone, all running various forms of Apple operating systems.

PDP-8 Computer Art – David Gesswein
PDP-8 with plotter art and ASCII art.

FujiNet: The First Five Years – Jeff Piepmeier

Five Years of FujiNet! This is the year of new “bring-ups,” exciting advances, and more features for FujiNet, the multi-peripheral network device for vintage computer enthusiasts. FujiNet made its way onto two new platforms and will be demonstrating the compact Macintosh (68k) and the TRS-80 Color Computer prototypes. The team made firmware and hardware advances for the Apple II+/e/c/gs and Commodore VIC-20/64/16/Plus4 and will be showing the Apple II production FujiNet device. Atari 400/800/XL/XE remains a perennial favorite seeing the development of aNode Desktop and moar High Score Enabled games – you can compete with your friends and other Atari gamers! The game lobby and original multiplayer games emerged onto the scene leveraging the distinctive network device and protocol adaptors. More vendors are producing devices enabled by FujiNet’s open source licenses making FujiNet more widely available. The team is more active than ever and looking forward to reaching all vintage platforms.

Heathkit Corner – Alex Bodnar

This will exhibit the heathkit h89 floppy system and also the Heathkit H11 which is the Heathkit version of the PDP11/03.

Clones of South America – Ricardo Setti

In the 80s, both Brazil and Argentina had legislations that were focused on sponsoring the local technology industry. However instead of achieving the main goal, the scenario was open for clone manufacturing, giving birth to a whole industry of computer copies.
The Drean Commodore, from Argentina, and the TK line, from Brazil, are a few examples we will bring to the expo.

RCA COSMAC 1802 Computers – Josh Bensadon, Walter Miraglia

RCA COSMAC 1802. The 1802 Microprocessor by Joseph Weisbecker. Several RCA, 3rd party and homebrew computers which use this special chip. Directly from RCA, the COSMAC Development system, Microtutor Trainers, VIP Computer and RCA Studio II Game Console. 3rd Party Netronics ELF II, Quest Super ELF and World ComX-35. Home brew ELF as it appears in the Popular Electronics Aug 1976 article, VELF, and JVIP. Also displaying some of Ed Keefe’s Reproduction computers. Unfortunately, we will not be displaying the Galileo Space probe, as it was crashed into Jupiter and could not be retrieved.

Pushing Heathkit to New Heights – Glenn Roberts

The venerable Heathkit H8 and H89 computers were early pioneer systems that adapted well in the face of rapid changes in the early 80s. Supported by an innovative third-party vendor community and a unique blend of loyal hobbyist and professional users, these systems found useful lives well into the era of the IBM PC. This exhibit will highlight ways users have pushed these systems to the limit with high resolution graphics and CPU and storage enhancements. Today’s vintage computerists have found innovative ways to marry old and new. Examples include using the Tang Nano FPGA board to drive HDMI graphics output, solid state modules to support USB/Flash drive file transfer, and porting the RomWBW ROM-based implementation of the Z-System and CP/M 80 to the H8 platform. The venerable UCSD P-System will also be demonstrated as one of the earliest microcomputer-based integrated development systems. The exhibit will also show how modern 3-D printing and other Maker technologies have made it possible to replicate and repair older components that have been lost or damaged over the decades.

The Plot Thickens: Pen Plotter History and Artistry – Paul Rickards, Erin Sicuranza

Learn about the history of the pen plotter, its use in the development of early computer graphics, and recent rediscovery and use today in fine art. See live demonstrations of plotters from HP, Roland, and more.

Dave’s Retro Video Lab – David Distinti, Gregg Allen

Dave’s Retro Video Lab Youtube channel checks out old video gear from yesteryear. Dave reviews and tests vintage consumer video gear from the 80s, 90s and 2000s.

Modern Add-Ons for Classic Amigas! – Dave Test, Amiga Bill

The hobbyist hardware scene continues to make amazing add-ons for our beloved classic Amigas. From new cases, RGB lighting, and quality-of-life improvements to massive speed and RAM boosts, fast networking, cutting-edge RTG graphics, and new ARM and FPGA-based systems, come see the latest hardware and accessories the Amiga community has to offer!

iiiDIY Cleaning Station

Bring your retro device by this booth for a “self service cleaning station”! I will have plenty of cotton swabs, IPA, Windex, paper towels, and rubber gloves for you to clean up your new-to-you acquisitions! Along side the supplies, I will be showcasing some 90’s Apple Hardware that the supplies cleaned up “As Seen On TV” (aka my YouTube channel, iiiDIY). If they are behaving well, I’ll bring out the TAM for Apple’s 40th, along with some other odd-ball 90s machines.

IBM’s Odd Duck: The Life and Times of the PCjr – Dan Fitzgerald

A spectacular commercial failure and a major corporate embarrassment for IBM, the PCjr was a weird little machine priced without a market and given a feature set that left nobody happy. And yet, it managed to leave an impact that would be felt for a generation of PC gamers. Come meet the system that gave the world King’s Quest, the first commercially-available wireless keyboard, and spawned the “Tandy-compatible” PC gaming market of the late 1980s.

Fun with a DMD 5620 – Tommy Johnson

In 1993 or so I bought an AT&T 3B2 400 computer and a DMD-5620 terminal off
Usenet. Sadly I no longer have the 3B2, but the terminal lives on. So what
makes a DMD terminal cool is that it runs an early GUI windowing system named layers.
Come play Gebaca, or Maxwell’s demon (Bell Labs has interesting taste in

Graphics on Serial Terminals – Ethan Dicks

“Examples of RS-232 terminals that support graphics in addition to the usual 80×24 text display. This type of terminal began with the DEC VT55 with limited “”waveform graphics”” through and continued with ReGIS graphics on the VT125 and later models through the 1980s. There were other vendors with graphical terminals, notably Tektronix, first with their model 4010 storage scope terminal, but later to include several raster graphics terminals that supported the same command set.

This display will showcase a range of capabilities with the DEC VT105, the DEC VT241, and the Tektronix 4105 or similar.”

Interactive Core Memory – Core16 and Core64 

Stop by and get hands-on with the latest Core Memory kit, Core16! Core Memory was the most common form of computer memory of the 60’s, notably in the Apollo and Gemini Space programs. A Core Memory kit gives you the opportunity to weave your own Core Memory and bring it to life in an interactive way. Stop by to play a game of Pong in Core Memory!

DEC PDP-11/03 and Tektronix Color Graphics – Douglas Taylor

The Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) PDP-11/03 computer was very popular in the 1980’s for use in research and industrial environments. Coupled with a Tektronix color graphics terminal it could display your data in a colorful manner. The downside of this was that you had to write your own code. On display is a DEC PDP-11/03 making plots on a Tektronix 4207 color terminal.

Revisited: Classic GVP & Amiga Hardware – Robert Miranda

We, Robert Miranda & Pete Keretz, were in the trenches of Great Valley Products’ Technical Support from ~1989-1994 (combined). We were regular maintainers of the GVP BBS, and we frequented the online FidoNet discussion groups for the Commodore Amiga and GVP Tech Support. We tested many 3rd party hardware and software offerings as part of our day job. That fed our growing passion for computer technology. Stop by to see some of our collection of Amiga expansion gear, and feel free to engage us in the technical memories from the classic Amiga era. ”

Never Obsolete – The race to the bottom – Tyler Schrimf

“A brief look into the computer that started the value priced desktop craze – the late 90s Emachines Etowers. A full matching boxed setup including an eMachines Etower and Monitor, as well as a few accessories. Working and on display, running Windows ME. ”

Usagi Electric: Hawk Drive Madness

“Once upon a time, hard drives were big. Like over 100 lbs. big. Minicomputers in the 70s often used a drive manufactured by Control Data Corporation called the Hawk. This drive features one 5MB fixed platter and one 5MB removable platter for a whopping total of 10 MB spread across 150 lbs. of hardware. The platters are a stunning 14″” across, and the entire drive is open air, using the Bernoulli effect to fly the heads over the platters.

Triad Minicomputers in the 1970s used exactly this drive, and it just so happens that someone is crazy enough to let me take a swing at restoring. So swing on by and come help us turn wrenches and wrangle this old forgotten beast of a drive back to life.”

PiDP-10: replica of DEC’s PDP-10 and the MIT AI Lab – Oscar Vermeulen, Otto Oosterwijk

“The PDP-10: DEC’s 1968 mainframe that became a hacker playground at the MIT AI Lab.

The MIT AI Lab, with a PDP-10 running the ITS operating system at its heart, was hugely important in computer history, with many ‘firsts’ on its record. Over the past decade, a group of enthusiasts did a full reconstruction of the Lab’s hardware and software as it stood in the 1970s. The PiDP-10 replica kit gives a physical shape to this project, we regard it as a ‘computer history capsule’. A self-contained, compact replica that gives an experience as close as possible to the real machine and the AI Lab. But now at home, perhaps even in the living room.

Our goal is not just to show computer history, but to keep it alive through a hands-on experience. The PiDP-10 lets you operate highlights of the AI Lab hardware, the ITS operating system, and hundreds of applications as they evolved during the late 1960s and 70s. One particular example is Shrdlu: the first demonstration of AI that in the 70s, triggered the first massive wave of interest in the field.”

NABU PC – Henry Rietveld

Nabu PC setup with serial and floppy drives. Nabu PC setup running the Retronet.


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Updated April 8, 2024.