VCF West 2023 Exhibits

VCF West — Exhibits

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Exhibit Registration for VCF West 2023 is now closed.

If you need to register a late exhibit or change the details on your existing registration please contact me.

Registered Exhibits:

Tele-Typin’ Zone: “TTY? You mean a Teletype?” Yes, but no! Come see the revolutionary technology that enabled the deaf to communicate freely for over half a century, all from the comfort of their own homes.

Supercharged Macs of the 90s and 00s: Yeah, 90s and 00s Macs are cool on their own, but they can do so much more, too! Our exhibit shows off these Macs but with some awesome upgrades (some period correct and some not) that really shows off what they can do.

x86 from the 80’s to the 90’s: Play games on an Turbo XT (10Mhz) XT class computer, 386 DX-33Mhz, 486 DX4-100. A variety of other, newer but still vintage machines will also be available.

Reviving Dialup Connectivity: From 56k to ISDN: Did you never get to experience how slow 56k is? Never get to experience how fast ISDN is? Here is your chance! We’ll have everything from a proper dial-up First-Class BBS to Browsing the Web!

C64i Commodore 64 Improved: New C64 motherboard with modern features

The Compact Macintosh Garden: A collection of various compact Macintosh computers from 1984 to 1996.

British 70’s & 80’s computing – ETI Triton – Acorn Atom Repros: Original and repro Computers from the late 1970’s and 80’s.

Silicon Graphics Twin Tower Chassis:The Silicon Graphics Power Series (and Professional IRIS) were housed in a very distinctive split pedestal deskside. This machine was originally configured as a 4D/220, but is currently housing the boards for a Silicon Graphics Crimson!

TSS/8: Timesharing on a PDP-8/m: In 1968, Digital Equipment Corpration introduced TSS/8, a timesharing system that ran on a PDP-8 minicomputer with 12K or more of core memory.  Come play with a PDP-8/m running the TSS/8 Timesharing system and experience the freedom of having your very own virtual 4K PDP-8!

Vintage Apple and Space: An amazing set of Apple and Space related artifacts up for auction at RR Auctions!

Portable Mac Garden: To complement the amazing Compact Mac Garden from last year, I’d like to showcase as many designs of Mac portables / notebooks as I can amass. My personal collection spans the entire Mac notebook lineup and friends have offered to include some rarer items like a Colby Walk Mac and Outbound Systems notebook.

S100 computers, new and old: I’ll show a Cromemco 68030 based Unix 5 machine with a few terminals. And at least 1 new vintage s100 computer.

STUPID Computer: VAPID Edition: The STUPID (Simple Twelve Bit Unadorned Instruction Decoder) Computer started out life as a term project in a college class in 1978.  Resurrected and shown 40 years later at VCF West in 2018.  New enhancements for 2023 provide vector graphics capabilities.  Introducing the VAPID (Vector Adorned Programmed Instruction Decoder) Edition.

50 Years Of Unix: A Collection of Various Unix Operating Systems

CA80 the first Polish trainer computer kit of the 80s: The main exhibit shown will be a “trainer computer” developed in Poland in the early 80s that many engineers used as an introduction to electronics and programming. Based on the Z80 CPU, and 8 digit VFD display, this cool looking “calculator” device can be compared to today’s Arduino.

NT RISC: Windows NT on RISC machines. Alpha, MIPS, PowerPC, Itanium.

Core Memory Interactive – Core64: Get hands-on with core memory! Learn, draw, game and hack in core memory with a magnetic stylus. Core memory is associated with the Apollo Guidance Computer and almost all computers that were popular from the mid 50’s through the late 60’s. Adding LEDs to show the state of each core memory brings a whole new range of possibilities. There are also weave-your-own core memory kits available. See for more information.

British computers, turtle robots and LOGO: The LOGO programming language with low cost microcomputers and turtle robots was a big part of education during the 1980s.  Learn about the history and proliferation of these systems and their capabilities.

Retail Afterlife: Vintage Gaming PCs

Rabbit Hole Computing: Rabbit Hole Computing designs and manufactures legacy computer storage solutions, and accessories, for vintage computer system.

Maxed Apple Workstations of Yesteryear: Some random macintosh workstations souped up and ready for some gaming!

These Macs are different unique machines ready to show off their true upgraded power with things like a 2ghz cube or a 500mhz 9600. These machines will all be playing together with games like quake or unreal tournament in a lan party.

Early Unix Workstations: This exhibit showcases some lesser-known early Unix workstations.

These machines were made possible by the advent of the microprocessor and VLSI integrated circuits, which powered the first true “3M” workstations with at least a megabyte of memory, a megapixel display and a million instructions per second (MIPS) processing power. In the 1980s and early 1990s a proliferation of wildly different machines emerged that had one thing in common: they were running Unix. This unifying factor gave rise to a unique ecosystem of largely interchangeable systems that still exists today.”

Arduino-hacking a knitting machine from 1980: An Arduino replacement for the control panel of a vintage knitting machine from 1980. Originally it read its patterns via an optical scanner controlled by an early microprocessor. Now we can design a pattern on the computer and send it to the Arduino which controls the solenoids of the patterning mechanism. This open source project was originally designed by a team in Germany, see and

Knitting machines and AYAB: An open source project to retrofit vintage knitting machines to be controlled by computer

BackBit + Audio: Now supporting dozens of 8-Bit systems, BackBit makes modern accessories for your vintage computers and game systems. Want to replace a broken sound chip or improve stock audio on a system? BackBit has you covered! Experience modern implementations of the Commodore SID, Konami SCC for MSX, and POKEY for Atari 7800.

Signs of the Times: A collection of microprocessor/microcontroller based electronic signs and displays. The displaying of information/data to us human beings has evolved over the years from static signs/displays to animated ones.  This exhibit will showcase a number of signs/displays utilizing LED technology from the 1980s onward.

PDP-11/05 and Mini-Unix: Demonstration of PDP-11/05 with ME-11 memory expansion (28KW core) running Mini-Unix

Differential Analyzer: A model of Vannevar Bush’s 1931 differential analyzer – a mechanical analogue computer will be displayed.  The model is constructed entirely from Meccano construction set parts.  It will be demonstrated solving non-linear differential equations.

Project Ivy: Personal collection of rare restored IBM ThinkPads from the mid 90’s. Primarily a pair of restored ThinkPad 701C’s and a rare ThnkPad 360P tablet computer.

Bluetooth controllers for retro computers: The exhibit will be about how we can enhance retro-computer with modern addons, in particular by using a Bluetooth adapter that lets us use modern Bluetooth controllers like gamepads and mice.

AmiWest presents Amigas: Various Amiga Machines up and running for your enjoyment.

Mac-on-tosh: Mac Software Running Natively* on Unusual Hosts (*CPU not emulated): Ever run Mac software on a NuBus card? What about System 6 on an Amiga? Despite not being Macs, these examples are very possible. Why? Because!

Could other 68K and PowerPC hardware from the 80s and 90s run Macintosh software? Come see for yourself a selection of some of the first “Hackintoshes” running the classic Mac OS / System Software — some sanctioned by Apple, some not.

Sun Collection: Collection of various workstations manufactured by Sun Microsystems.

Painting with Mario and Friends: Create simple tunes, take pictures, and even animate with 1990s Nintendo tech! Not everyone had a computer, or some people couldn’t get free reign of the “family computer” as children in the 1990s and 2000s. For some of us, the Game Boy was the only, or first, portable technology we had to use for digital photography and editing. This exhibit allows you to step back in time with Mario Paint, Game Boy Camera, and friends, and even take home some of your creations!

Tektronix Model 31 programmable desktop calculator (1973): The Tektronix Model 31 calculator included a thermal printer,  magnetic tape cartridge storage, and instrumentation interface. 10-digit mantissa with 2-digit exponent (Sperry Panaplex neon displays) and transcendental functions. Programmable with 5120 steps, 640 registers. Demo, documentation, and restoration notes.

DE68 – 1976 complete 6800 Briefcase computer: DE68, a complete self contained 6800 microcomputer system in a briefcase designed and sold in 1976  by Digital Electronics Corporation out of Oakland, CA. Includes tape storage, electrostatic printer, 53 Key ascii keyboard and Vacuum Fluorescent display (VFD). 5.5K ROM monitor includes mnemonic code entry and translator/disassembler. Very early “portable” computer used for training and education. Demo, documentation, and restoration notes.

The VintNerd: YouTuber showing off some fun Atari 8-Bit stuff.

SX64 – portable Commodore Power: A Display of a multiples of the SX64, and some exploded version to demonstrate the insides

Commodore tape drives, “Life before the floppy drive”: A collection of computer cassette drives and Commodore 8 bit computers.

Sphere Computers: Sphere was an early microcomputer manufacturer outside of Salt Lake City. Their computers are historically interesting, but were unloved in their time and are obscure today. We will have a working Sphere system to demonstrate, with a paper tape punch to let visitors punch a small souvenir tape banner directly from the Sphere system. Interactive multimedia!

Unlikely Partnership between SGI and IBM: IrisVision is an expansion card developed by Silicon Graphics for IBM compatible PCs in 1991 and is one of the first 3D accelerator cards available for the high end PC market as an adaptation of the graphics pipeline from the Personal IRIS workstation.

Sun2, Sun3, 10BASE5 and 10BASE2 hardware: On display are early Sun2/120 and Sun3/160 workstations, a Sun2/150 server and early Ethernet 10BASE5 and 10BASE2 hardware.  These are Motorola MC68000 CPU based Multibus and VME bus based designs.  Circuit boards and computers will be on display.

Bitfixer’s Bits And Bytes: A collection of vintage computers with some modern enhancements.

Rare Computers From Japan: Japan had its own world of personal computers that, while popular in their native land, did not reach Western shores. This exhibit aims to show several different running examples of these impressive platforms that most of the West missed. We will be demonstrating at least one playable example of an X68000, a PC-98 series system, an MSX2+, a PC-88, and an FM-TOWNS.

COSMAC 1802 Based Systems: A hands-on presentation of several systems based on the RCA CDP1802 CMOS 8-bit microprocessor designed by Jerry Herzog based on a prototype created by Joseph Weisbecker. On display are the RCA COSMAC VIP, Quest Super Elf, Netronics ELF II, RCA Studio II game console and the Yugoslav COMX-35 and PECOM 64 computers.

Amiga Expansion Bus from Ranger to A2000: The Amiga expansion bus’s Autoconfig architecture was to eliminate dipswitches. It also supported embedded device drivers on hardware and filesystem support on the hard drive itself. The expansion bus that Amiga Los Gatos defined for Ranger made its way into the Westchester A2000. See also original mock up of Ranger.

Everything but the C64: The Commodore 64 (C64) is arguably the best known of all the 8-bit computers produced by Commodore. In the public eye, the C64 often overshadows some of the other interesting and enjoyable Commodore computers. This exhibit will showcase an assortment of Commodore and Commodore-inspired 8-bit computers which are not the C64.

Industrial VIA C3 Gaming: What do you get when VIA adapts one of the last “3rd party” Socket 370 x86 CPUs into a wee little BGA chip for industrial applications? Some fun small vintage PCs that’s what! Come have some industrial grade fun playing Windows 98 and MS-DOS games on a couple VIA C3 based industrial ITX boards authentically running vintage operating systems.

Battle of The GUI: Displaying the first versions of graphical users interface systems from 1985. Macintosh System 0.97, Windows 1.01, GEOS on a Commodore 128 and Apple Desktop System (MouseDesk) on a //c.

Selfies in 1987 with the Sharp X68000: Capture a picture from a camera, edit it on the Sharp X68000, and print it to take home! The X68000 was a desktop computer released only in Japan in 1987, and one of its main selling points was its multimedia capabilities. It shipped with an optional accessory to capture NTSC video frames with 65,536 colors, ready to edit on the screen. These can then be printed on full-color printers.

FLEXing the Color Computer – Restoration of FHL Color FLEX: FLEX and OS-9 were both powerful and popular Operating Systems for MC6809 Based computers. FLEX was largely left behind and forgotten by CoCo users. This year I started a project to restore Color FLEX  from Frank Hogg Laboratory into working usable state in the 21st Century.  I’ll demonstrate how I’ve done the restoration, the Operating System itself,  and also show other interesting historical artifacts for FLEX on the Color Computer and Dragon computers I’ve found along the way.

Think 80’s Apple: Various rare early Mac software and systems relating to the early days of Lisa and Apple Macintosh fervor.

The Macintosh Librarian: Showing off various Mac related projects as shown on the “Macintosh Librarian” Youtube Channel.

FOPAL: Friends of the Palo Alto Library.  A book sale to benefit the library fund.

HP Series 80 Computers and EBTKS: Hewlett Packard released the first of a series of small desktop computers in 1980, starting with the HP85. In a stylish case similar to large desktop calculators, it included a computer, keyboard, CRT, tape drive, printer, and BASIC programming. 40 years later, EBTKS is an add-on module that replaces the failed tape drives, and adds disk drives, ROMs, RAM, a clock, and new keywords to the BASIC system.

Apple-1 Clone and the First Soviet PC: Working Apple-1 computer clone with Apple-1 Cassette Interface. Apple 1 computer emulator on Raspberry pi with a large library of programs. First Soviet personal computer from 1984 with a PDP-11 compatible processor and color display.