Steering Committee Member Doug Crawford

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Doug Crawford – Steering Committee Member

Greeting VCF members.

Here’s my primer on what being a Steering Committee members means.

The Steering Committee is a governmental body concept, one that is credited to Adam Michlin for proposing, and designed to bring our best minds to bear on all of the activities of the Mid-Atlantic chapter of VCF.  As such the committee’s decisions often have to do with the museum, the warehouse, and relations with InfoAge.  This was an innovation that has led to a lot of healthy direction since its inception. Steering Committee candidates mainly serve to lend their minds, and don’t have to be the most talented technically or most available.  They are lending their practical judgment, passion, and interest.

It seems to me these are some important attributes for Steering Committee members: caring about the health of the hobby, caring about the artifacts, caring about effective relationship with InfoAge, caring that projects in progress, and a vision for the future of what VCF Mid Atlantic can accomplish.

Here’s an example.  It had always been a working assumption that the only way to run the Mid-Atlantic VCF efforts was having one person in charge of managing all the aspects.  Chris Fala was the first to suggest that this wasn’t necessarily the case.  This turned into a proposal by me defining a set of manager roles under the direction of the Steering Committee.  Behind the scenes interested parties refined the plan and then it was presented to the Steering Committee.  The Steering Committee liked the idea, refined it further, and passed it. Things are running pretty well like this now, and the burdens are distributed.  And the “jobs” are transferable in the future.  Its sustainable.

Perhaps some of this background info will help in framing what you are voting for and your expectations.

Now having been deeper inside “the machine” than ever before, and additionally serving under the new manager roles as Museum Manager and Warehouse manager,  I began forming an assessment of where we have been and where we might go.

In short I see a whole host of yet-to-be-realized potential created by all the effort that has come before. I think we are not yet capitalizing enough on the retro craze and making it count on our campus. Chiefly, we do not get as much of the general public coming to see the exhibits of  VCF East, not near enough traffic coming to the museum, and too little growth to the membership. In a response to these observations, I crafted an expanded Mission Statement with details that I believe will inspire action to make practical improvements in these areas.  The Steering Committee recently reviewed, refined and voted to adopt it. Working this mission statement in earnest should lead to some good results.

My primary focus with the museum is to grow the Museum‘s stature to become a well-known, “must see” destination.  *** the very health of InfoAge and our continued presence there, it turns out, depends on our development of traffic to the complex ***  As such we must cultivate visitor in categories like these and more:

– general public curious about computer history

– students that might need inspiration to develop an interest in technology

– budding STEM students that will would be encouraged by an infusion of computer tech and concepts that build upon what they know.

I believe our crew of “veterans of the computer revolution” can provide a thoroughly excellent experience to visitors. And it would be great if we could have a program that encourages visitor that we inspire to have a continuing relationship with VCF.

And last, here are some of my technical background and vintage computer work: – some restorations and my “about me”

– The Spreadsheet “Killer App” VCF exhibit

– Kermit Exhibit – with the Superbrain building an early executable of CP/M Kermit VCF Exhibit

– Computers with multiple personalities Exhibit with Chris Fala and Todd George

– C64 assembly language introduction VCF class

– A docent going back to the MARCH days.

– Taking vintage computer exhibits to science fairs with Chris Fala and Todd George.