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The 8th (West Coast) Vintage Computer Festival is now over and it was certainly an event to remember.

It all started on Friday afternoon when I entered the empty auditorium at the Computer History Museum and began to unload my gear. Eventually my junk was all in the room so I began to help set up the room for the show. By 9:00 or so we left for dinner only to show up again the following morning to finish setup.

After much swearing and wrestling as well as a quick trip to a local computer shop my booth was finally ready to go, but before I could enjoy the fruits of my labor I had another mission. . .

The Digibarn Computer Museum (www.digibarn.com) hosted a 30th anniversary celebration of the first meeting of the Homebrew Computer club. I assisted by bringing an Altair 8800 and playing "Fool on the Hill" and "Daisy" Just like Steve Dompier did three decades ago. This was followed up by a panel discussion of the club, its meetings and its significance. Panel members were Lee Felsenstein, Michael Holley, Bob Lash, Allen Baum, Steve Wozniak and Len Shustek (via telephone.)

In addition to sharing this event (and some birthday cake) with them I was lucky enough to track them all down and get them to sign my VCF 8 tee-shirt!

Bruce Damer has put up a great event page at the DigiBarn site.

Once the Homebrew event was over I was free to rejoin the exhibit hall and enjoy everyone's toys. There were some great machines on display including a VERY nice homebrew TTL computer, some IBM 5120s, a CompuColor II and a great original Apple Lisa.

Then there were the vendor areas. . . let's just say I added a few small items to my collection and somehow resisted adding a whole lot more.

Although the hardware (and software) takes center stage at these events it's really all about the people. I got to meet up with a ton of old friends as well as some new ones including the forum's very own Evan Koblentz and Ray Borrill to name but a couple.

This was, as usual, a great show. Sellam and friends did another fantastic job!

Check out Evan Koblentz VCF 8.0 review at his site.

Pictures can be found below - click on the thumbnails for bigger versions.

Part of Larry Anderson's Commodore Collection on display.

Robert Armstrong of Spare Time Gizmos was showing and selling his various replica systems including the PDP-8 and Cosmac Elf.

Lots of stuff for sale at the ASale vendor booth.

Leonid Brouckhis discusses his display with Sellam.

Another shot of Leonid Brouckhis with his display - Elektronika BK-0010/11m - the Soviet PC.

Bill Buzbee (left) won the Home-brew, Kit, or Educational Computer class with this wonderful modern-era TTL computer.

A nice shot of Bill Buzbee's glowing homebrew TTL machine.

Tony Cole was selling bits and pieces of history, as usual.

There was lots of neat stuff in the consignment area.

Lots, really. Some of it was even mine!

But plenty of people were interested.

And as stuff sold, more was added.

Boris Debic brought a nice, working rack containing an early Google server.

As cool as his display was, he still had to pay Sellam for the space.

A closeup of the Google rack components.

After VCF day one various participants usually go out to dinner.

This was the first year I got "clearance" to attend.

The event was held in the back room of the Tide House in Mountain View, fairly close to the museum.

As should be obvious, it was well attended.

I couldn't possibly name everyone in the pictures, so I won't even try!

Elisabeth brought her well preserved and fully functional Apple Lisa 1 to the second day of the VCF. The worst part, to me, was that she confessed to having at least 3 others stashed away at home!

Apple Lisa 1, dual twiggie drives and a PROFile hard drive.

Lisa shows off her Lisa.

The ever elusive Hanse Franke wasn't photographed this year, but his display was - a modern Apple ][ card.

I had the pleasure of meeting Dave Freeman of the Freeman Computer Museum during the show.

The Fresno Commodore USers Group had a lot of nice stuff on display, and some for sale.

Another look at the Fresno booth.

And yet another look.

Keith Hendrickson showed Quantum link Reloaded - a recreation of the original Quantum link server.

Michael Holley had a very impressive display this year documenting a ton of SWTPC stuff from the 1975 and before era. He built almost all of this stuff himself.

Another look at Michael Holley's booth.

Perhaps the most exciting and well attended part of the weekend was the Homebrew Computer Club 30 year celebration.

There was a panel discussion featuring several original members.

MCed, in part, by Lee Felsenstein.

Woz (center) was nice enough to attend, along with Bob Lash (right) and Michael Holley (left.)

Bruce Damer of the DigiBarn put on this event and enlisted me (and my Altair 8800) to play Fool on the Hill and Daisy to recreate the efforts of Steve Dompier at the first Homebrew Computer Club meeting.

Another shot of the panel.

John Draper, aka Captain Crunch, attended the reunion as well.

When all was said and done, the birthday cake was cut for all to share.

Kiel Hosier was selling his awesome computer-inspired artwork at the show.

He even designed the show tee-shirt.

Marvin Johnston haggles with Larry Pezzolo at his vendor booth.

More of Marvin's vendor area.

Stephen Jones brought along a nice AT&T 3B2 for everyone to enjoy.

Bill Kendrick brought his usual array of Atari 8-bit joy.

A closeup of some of the Atari software on display.

More Atari fun.

And still more Atari fun.

Evan Koblentz brought along a pile of palmtops - all the way from New Jersey.

These generated understandable amounts of interest.

Hal Layer had some very nice stuff for sale in his vendor area.

I displayed my Kenbak-1 this year. This is the "finished" version of the booth.

I was running an instructional video behind the machine for effect.

I even popped the top at times to let folks see inside.

This is how my booth looked during setup, as if that's interesting!

Steven Myers brought a nice CompuColor II system for display.

Deborah Norling brought a ton of older computing devices for the sight impaired.

More of Deborah's booth.

Still more of Deborah's booth.

More of Deborah's booth with a picture of Deborah herself.

Nurve Networks brought a very nice vintage gaming station.

Larry Pezzolo brought a bunch of single board computers to display.

And candy to bribe the judges.

Tim Robinson continues to prove that he's the master of the Erector Set. This year he built a working model of Charles Babbage's second difference engine.

This creation, like his previous efforts, easily won Best of Show and the Joshua Klein Super Cool award.

Jordan Ruderman brought along his Sol 20, Exidy Sorcerer and Apple Lisa.

Sellam was recently blessed with a Son, pictured here with dear old dad.

He was also presented with an official "Nerd" belt buckle, as if anyone needed that to tell.

A picture of Friday setup.

And another.

And another.

And yet another.

And still another.

Friday night a few of us had a late dinner to recoup.

Stan Sieler had a nicely stocked vendor area.

Since Stan was a judge, he was rarely AT his vendor area, though.

Wayne Smith brought a nice array of IBM systems.

Another shot of Wayne's nice IBM stuff.

Spare Time Gizmos booth.

Pavl Zachary's vendor area.

Ron Vargas' vendor area.

An overview of some of the vendor booths.

Another overview of some of the vendor booths.

More of Pavl Zachary's vendor area. We missed the DEC Big Iron this year.

And finally, some more of Pavl's stuff for sale.


(Submitted April 7, 2010 05:23:13 by Shane)

Wow very interesting, I may be young but I can appreciate the classics.


(Submitted November 22, 2005 22:15:44 by Jordan Bouzeneris)

I saw the videos of your Altair at Digibarn's website! That was so tight I almost cried!


(Submitted November 11, 2005 08:42:49 by Erik Klein)

You're right, Ray, I somehow missed you when I had the camera out. Sorry :(

It was great to meet you, though. I hope you had a good time!

As for my age, I'm sure I'm old by most standards! :D

E


(Submitted November 10, 2005 22:52:45 by Ray Borrill)

Great job, as usual. Your only short-coming is that you don't have a picture of me! Good to meet you at last. You can't be as young as you look, or are you? Ray

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