VCF West 2021 Event Schedule

Schedule for Saturday 8/7/2021 and Sunday 8/8/2021:

NOTE: All times listed below are Pacific Time

Saturday 8/7/2021

10:00 – 10:30 – Show Open, Intro and Welcome – VCF Staff
11:00 – 12:00 – IBM 1401 Demo at CHM 1401 Lab
12:00 – 1:00 – Back Into the Storm – Bil Herd (Virtual)

Bil Herd and Margaret Moribito discuss writing their new book with Earl Evans from Retrobits: Back Into the Storm, A design engineer’s story of Commodore computers in the 1980’s”.

1:30 – 2:30 – “Inventing the Future” New book about the Xerox Star. Not your standard history book! – Bob Purvy

Bob Purvy (pen name “Albert Cory”) has a new book about the Xerox Star, covering 1977-1981. He  as one of the original developers. Unlike nonfiction histories with hindsight, e.g. Dealers of  ightning, Inventing the Future is a novel, with fictional characters but real events. It puts you inside the Revolution, where you don’t know how it turns out!

2:30 – 3:30 – PDP-1 Demos at CHM PDP-1 Lab

3:30 – 4:30 – C256 Foenix – Stefany Allaire (Virtual)

The C256 Foenix from concept to finished product, including explanations of the VICKY II  Graphics Engine and some new developments.

4:30 – 5:30 – From Satellite Communication to WalkMacs: The Legacy of Chuck Colby – Bruno Marchon, Mike Moore, Dan Kotkke

An overview of the “Colby” project followed by Q&A with a panel comprising Bruno Marchon, Mike Moore, and Daniel Kottke.

6:00 – Show closes

Sunday 8/8/2021

9:00 – Show opens

9:30 – 10:30 – History of computerized Tic Tac Toe – Bob Roswell

A history of the game that seems to have been implemented on every computer ever built.

11:00 – 12:00 – IBM 1401 Demo at CHM 1401 Lab

12:00 – 1:00 – Floppy Disks — The Ultimate Commodore 1541 Disk Drive Talk – Michael Steil

This talk discusses floppy disk drives, with the 5,25” Commodore 1541 as a case study. We  discuss the history of magnetic recording formats, how data is represented on a disk and how it gets from the drive to the computer. We also talk about fast loaders, alternate recording formats, copy protection schemes, and how to preserve disks using modern tools.

1:00 – 2:30 Bill Mensch — The Genesis and Evolution of the 6502 Family – Stephen Edwards, Bill  Mensch

Covering the MOS Technology story including Chuck and Bill leaving Motorola, the development of  the 6502, and its early success in the marketplace. Topics will also include Commodore days, the 65C02, the formation of WDC, the 65C816, and a little about the current state of the 6502 and its derivatives.

2:30 – 3:30 0 PDP-1 Demos at CHM PDP-1 Lab
3:00 – 4:00 – Recovering “lost” floppy discs with an oscilloscope – Chris Evans

Floppy discs have lasted decades longer than expected. But by now, many have started to fail. In  this talk, we’ll look at a few discs that are unreadable even with modern low-level tools such as a Greaseweazle. Can we recover corrupted or decayed data by attaching a modern oscilloscope directly to a disc drive, and what are the limits?

4:00 – 5:00 How the PC has changed teaching and learning – Liza Loop

A deep dive into the history of computing in education from one of the pioneers on the topic.

5:30 Show closes – Closing Remarks and Awards – Load Out

NOTE:  1401 and PDP-1 Demos will be running most of the day and not just at the designated times.