VCF East — Exhibits

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Updated September 2, 2021.

Official exhibit registration is closed. If you still want to do an exhibit, then we can put you on the waiting list:  Register for your exhibit here otherwise “The World of IBM exhibit” is still looking to fill in some spots. I can put you in touch with the lead exhibitor if you are interested.

Current List of Exhibits

MUDs on Monstrously Modded Macs! – Sean Malseed, Steven Matarazzo

They will be running a CircleMUD on a local network. The theme is Apple modding, and set up several highly-hotrodded Apple and Macintosh machines as clients of the MUD, that people can use to play the game. Each machine will be its own logged-in character in the game. The machines will be computers that have been featured on the Action Retro YouTube channel, and possibly some from the Mac84 YouTube channel as well. MUDs, or Multi-User Dungeons, are text-based multiplayer RPG games that were extremely popular in the 80’s and 90’s. Although their popularity waned entering into the 2000’s, there is still a very active community keeping these games well alive.

HP 3000 Micro XE and MPE-V – Mike Loewen

HP 3000 Micro XE minicomputer from 1987, running the MPE-V operating system. Multiple HP terminals will be available for login, including a 2645A, 2647A monochrome graphics terminal, 2627A color graphics terminal. and two 700/92s. A streaming 9-track tape drive will be attached, as well as a printer for output. MPE stands for Multi Programming Executive, and is a multi-user, multitasking operating system especially suited for transaction processing. The Micro XE was suitable for medium-sized office environments, and could support up to 56 users. With the show’s theme in mind, “Adventure” and “Mystery Mansion” will be
available for gaming.

Interactive Fiction: Games For Machines Big And Small – Ethan Dicks

Beginning on large machines in the 1970s, Interactive Fiction quickly moved to home computers with as little as 16K. By the mid-1980s, there were games for most minicomputers and home micros. This exhibit will showcase several titles on a variety of machines from 8 to 36-bit. Expect a few surprise appearances from machines you didn’t know could run Adventure Games.

Running Fuzix on Z80 – Maki Kato

Come see and play with a running Fuzix on Z80! Also there will be a build environment to show what it’s like to compile and install the OS on Z80/Z180 boards.

Adventure 1.0 on the Heathkit H89 – Alex Bodnar

Original hardware showing off the text adventure “Adventure 1.0”. This is adventure 1.0 from 1976 the predecessor to Colossal Cave Adventure and The Very Big Cave Adventure among others for other machines of the day.

Fully Loaded Vic-20 – Jeff Salzman

Hands-on version of the fully loaded VIC-20 system that was demonstrated in the VCF East 2020 Virtual showing off  with all the capabilities (and limitations) of a “money was no object” VIC-20 home computer setup of the early 1980s.

Smooth Jazz and Stormy Skies – Jesse, Kelby, Josue, Curt, Mike B., Ethan, Mike M., Ben, Kyle

A team exhibit showing off their collection of vintage WeatherSTAR computer systems. Starting in 1982, The Weather Channel launched their TV network along with it’s advanced WeatherSTAR. These were graphics computers installed in cable TV headends across the country that allowed TV viewers to know their local forecast, get life saving weather alerts for their own town, and listen to some catchy smooth jazz. Early machines were custom designed 8 bit computers increasing in complexity with every generation, eventually moving to an SGI based system, then Pentium 4 and beyond. This group has spent lots of time reverse engineering and writing software to get these old machines forecasting once again for viewers to enjoy. Recently featured on Hackaday was the WeatherSTAR 4000, probably our most iconic system from the 90s: https://hackaday.com/2021/03/14/reverse-engineering-the-weather-channels-magic/ These machines bring back a ton of nostalgia for the people that grew up watching these things wondering how they all worked, and they’d love to share how. Here are some examples of their work, all the real machines were used to make these recordings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mqYdqLWWAE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hpL9ExMpWc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dvzsKl3Ojs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzVexEB16RI

The Secret: Preview of a *new* Ken Williams game – Marcus Mera

The earliest games, mystery House, wizard and princess how they evolved from text adventures.  He’ll have apple 2 running the games and also have a preview of the new game Ken Williams and he are making that is Sierra flavored you can see more information at www.kensgame.com

Apple //e Brain Transplants – Eric Rangell

The PC Transporter was a card made by Applied Engineering which gave Apple //e and ][gs users the ability to run IBM software on an 8088 processor using either Apple 3.5 drives or 5.25 Transdrives for 360K floppies. Eric chose this card when he brought his Apple //e to college and found it useful for transferring files between Apple and IBM formats. Eric will also demonstrate the Microsoft CP/M Softcard which allowed the Apple to run CP/M software in a 56k environment, and program in Microsoft Basic (MBASIC) or GBASIC (a customization of MBASIC that supported Apple Hi-Res graphics). Enjoy a trip down memory lane while you see how much compatibility these co-processor cards gave the Apple starting in the late 1980s.

Heathkit: Keeping the Legacy Alive – Glenn Roberts

Demonstrating the H8 in original form but also the many enhancements that the SEBHC group has developed. Demonstrates the range of capability of this machine and how the group is very much keeping it alive! 10Mhz Z80 CPU; sound; graphics; networking; interfacing to modern devices (I2C) etc. Including information on how to order blank boards and build your own.

ENIAC Diamond Jubilee – Brian L. Stuart

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.

Nonaligned technologies: 8-bit computers in Socialist Yugoslavia – Vladimir Vince

This exhibit has the Galaksija, the Z80 based DIY Yugoslav computer that was developed domestically to avoid strict import limitations that prevented access to popular computers like the C64 and ZX Spectrum. The goal of the exhibit is to show off this unique machine, but also to tell the unusual story of computing in the country that occupied an unusual geopolitical space between the East and West during the Cold War, which resulted in interesting technological solutions like the Galaksija. More info about the Galaksija here: https://blog.vladovince.com/building-a-galaksija-part-ii-the-origin-story/

The Start Of The Clone Wars: The Compaq Portable 1 – Michael Casadevall

In one of the most famous cases of reverse engineering, Compaq reversed engineered the IBM BIOS, creating the first truly compatible PC clone. The Portable 1 was designed to meet the needs of executives by providing a full PC experience in a luggable form factor, and forced IBM to create it’s own luggable in response. Equipped with a 9 inch green screen CRT, the Portable 1 was fully compatible the IBM 5150 software and hardware, and its arrival marked the start of the larger PC compatible wars.

The World of IBM – Dean Notarnicola, Adam Michlin, Bill Inderrieden, Jason Perkins

The primary theme of the exhibit is the introduction of the IBM PC (5150) and its successors. The secondary theme is early PC clones. The exhibit should express the influence that these clones had on the development and evolution of the home and business computer market. These had varying degrees of PC compatibility. The tertiary theme is any computers from the 70s and 80s that use an x86/x88 processor but are not necessarily MS-DOS compatible.

IBM Midrange Through the Years – Bob Roswell, Ryan Schiff

A display of IBM System/32 , System/34, System/36 and AS/400.

More Text Adventure – David Gesswein

Texas Instruments PC running Zork. This machine is example of now not to compete with IBM PC. Also a PDP-8 and/or OSI running adventure. Possibly a machine with MUD.

Vic-20: The Friendly Computer at 40 – Alexander Pierson

Happy birthday VIC-20! 40 years ago, Commodore’s first color computer was released in the US, so it’s time to show appreciation for the cheap little computer that could — as long as it fits in 22 columns. On display will be three variations of VIC, covering a wide variety of possible home setups and peripherals. Plays great games, too.

Early Scientific Graphics Software – Douglas Taylor

When computers began to have graphics capability scientists and engineers were eager to use computers for presenting data in graphical format. The exhibit shows a small glimpse into what they had to work with, given that most did not have the money to spend on expensive commercial graphics packages such as DISSPLA. A DEC Alpha 3000 is used to run examples of PGPLOT, GNUPLOT on DEC and TEKTRONIX graphics terminals. These free packages are still in use today.

Novasaur TTL Retrocomputer – Alastair Hewitt

The Novasaur is a full-featured personal computer built from less than three dozen Advanced Schottky TTL chips (circa 1979). It support an 80-column VGA text display, PS/2 keyboard interface, programmable sound generator, RS232 serial, and an Intel 8080 byte-code interpreter. The machine is capable of running early 80’s computer games and even CP/M using a built-in 250k RAM disk.

Zork on Mac Plus – Charles Lehner

Play Zork text adventure games on a Macintosh Plus.

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Any questions? Please email: vcfeast AT vcfed.org