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VCF 7.0 - Speakers

Year after year, the VCF presents an amazing line-up of speakers and workshops for the computer history and vintage computing enthusiast. We are pround to present the session line-up for VCF 7.0.

This year we have multiple conference tracks. All talks that begin on the hour are in one track and the talks that begin on the half hour are in another. Each session is one hour in length and usually includes time for questions and answers at the end.

You may click on a speaker's photo or name to read a brief bio of that speaker.




















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Saturday November 6, 2004

Sessions for Track 01

Fred Cohen
10:00 AMFred Cohen
Using Vintage Computers in Computer Forensics
Fred Cohen, reknowned computer security and computer virus expert, will address the utility of museum quality vintage computers for digital forensics including examples of how vintage computers have been used in past cases.

Jason Scott
11:00 AMJason Scott
Documenting the BBS
Since summer of 2001, Jason Scott has been researching, filming and editing a mini-series about dial-up Bulletin Boards called BBS: The Documentary. Jason will describe some of the process and motivations behind this project, and where it has led him.

This talk will be followed by a "beta showing" of all the episodes of the documentary series across the two days of VCF 7.0, in anticipation of a 3-DVD set to be released with the final cuts within several weeks. Learn how the whole work came about while making your mark on the final project by offering feedback during the screenings.

Christian Wirth
12:00 PMChristian Wirth
The Art of Textmode
Since the dawn of computers, people have been using them to create textmode graphics, known also as ANSI or ASCII art, which remains one of the most challenging mediums to this day. With an effective screen resolution of 80*25 "pixels", artists embrace this limitation, producing breathtaking block at a time.

Christian Wirth (a.k.a. RaD Man / ACiD) will be showcasing some of the finer works in textmode including some of the best ANSImations, ASCIIs and textmode demos, and presenting an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the monumental events that led up to this artform, its extraordinary subcultures, and what's in store for the future..

Tom Jennings
01:00 PMTom Jennings
The History of FidoNet
FidoNet created a communications revolution in the pre-Internet microcomputer world of the 1980's, providing email and more to anyone with a small computer and a modem. FidoNet was a democratizing force in Iron Curtain Europe and apartheid Africa, while often known here in the U.S. as "Fight-O-Net". Tom Jennings will give an unavoidably opinionated and one-sided view of what remains the world's largest amateur computer network, peaking at 35,000 computers and a half-million or so users world wide.

Sessions for Track 10

Dr. Robert Suding
11:30 AMDr. Robert Suding
Confessions of an Entrepreneur
Dr. Robert Suding was co-founder of the digital group as well as the designer of its varied line of microcomputers. He rates his days at the digital group as the best of his life, and will explain why he became an entrepreneur, why he designed the digital group computers the way he did, and will relate stories of how digital group equipment changed people's lives.

Dr. Suding will also be bringing his collection of significant microprocessors and microcontrollers for show and tell.

Sellam Ismail
12:30 PMSellam Ismail
VCF Ramblings
Sellam will fill everyone in on the latest happenings at the Vintage Computer Festival, including future events and interesting projects, plus the status of the Vintage Computer Festival Archives.

Bernard Peuto
01:00 PMBernard Peuto
The Computer History Museum Software Collection
Bernard Peuto is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Computer History Museum and the chairman of the Museum's Software Collection Committee. Mr. Peuto will be discussing the importance of treating the collection and curation of software as a distinct field of endeavor for the Museum.

Sunday November 7, 2004

Sessions for Track 01

John Sailors
10:00 AMJohn Sailors
Early IBM History
John Sailors, a salesman with IBM for 37 years, will discuss IBM's Corporate and Product history from 1914 through 1964.

Jerome Svigals
11:00 AMJerome Svigals
The IBM 360 Evolution and Revolution
Jerome "Jerry" Svigals was on the IBM SPREAD (Systems, Programming, Review, Engineering And Development) Committee, the group within IBM that planned the re-design of the IBM processor products into a more competitive product line. The result was the IBM 360, which represented a revolution for IBM and an evolution for the entire computing industry.

Jerry will give the inside story of the SPREAD Committee, including who was on it, the challenges they faced, and why a compatible family of processors was the choosen path.

Nick Tredennick
12:00 PMNick Tredennick
Early Microprocessor Design: MC68000 & Micro/370
The logic for Motorola’s MC68000 was a pencil-and-paper design. Nick Tredennick was hired to do the microprocessor’s on-chip cache but was temporarily assigned to the logic design "until", he was told, "we find someone competent." Ultimately, Nick ended up doing the logic design and microcode for the MC68000 himself. Nick will discuss the optimizations he implemented to meet the transistor budget and the quirks they engendered. He’ll then go on to discuss how the MC68000 ties in with the IBM Micro/370 microprocessor, which he designed at IBM’s Watson Research Center.

Greg Thompson
Greg Thompson

Howard Palmer
Howard Palmer

Bruce Damer (Moderator)
Bruce Damer (Moderator)

Ken Harrenstien
Ken Harrenstien

Tom Uban
Tom Uban

01:00 PMMaze War Retrospective
Maze War: The Original First-Person Shooter
Maze War (also known as The Maze Game, Maze Wars, or simply Maze) was the first networked, three-dimensional, multi-user , first person shooter computer game. Maze first brought us the concept of "avatars" in the form of players represented as eyeballs chasing each other around in a three-dimensionally rendered labyrith.

From its humble origins in 1974 on the Imlac PDS-1 at the NASA Ames Research Center in California, to its life in project MAC at MIT, on Xerox Altos and "D* Machines" running on early ethernet, to versions ported to the Macintosh, NeXT and PalmOS, Maze started it all. Today's massively multiuser 3D games owe a great debt to Maze and those who created and kept on porting it to new systems for the past 30 years. Maze is the reason why nobody can claim ownership of the rights to the invention of a multi-user 3D cyberspace and is another major gift of innovation from early net pioneers.

This special event is brought to you in large part by the DigiBarn Computer Museum. The moderator of the panel is Bruce Damer.

More information about Maze can be found on the DigiBarn's Maze War web pages.

Sessions for Track 10

Tom Jennings
10:30 AMTom Jennings
Tipping Sacred Cows
Tom Jennings will apply his 30+ years of experience as a technical guru and take on the role of historical analyst as he considers the (in his opinion) overrated influences of certain people or things we take for granted in the canonical history of computing and will suggest impacts on the computer industry that have perhaps been over-looked and that we should be revering instead.

Christine Finn
11:30 AMChristine Finn
The Art of Vintage Computers: Sonya's Office
In September, tech archaeologist and author Christine Finn and sculptor Richard Ducker took over a disused 7th floor office in a real 'teardown' in the heart of London to install an art piece inspired by old computers. Ducker's work (viewable at focuses on the the obsolete, which complements Finn's take on computer collecting as a form of modern archaeology. She will be speaking about the collaboration and opening up discussion on the validity of transforming old tech into "art" to introduce it to new audiences. Accompanying Christine's talk will be a series of art installations at the VCF.

Earl Carey
12:30 PMEarl Carey
Many people carry on the legacy of retro game programming. Many more would like to practice this noble art form but do not know how. This lecture will teach people what it takes to build a retro game on a vintage computer.

01:30 PMAndre' LaMothe
Neo-Retro: The XGameStation
Andre' LaMothe has finally debuted the XGameStation: a D-I-Y kit videogame system that teaches you videogame hardware and software design as you build it! Meet Andre' in person and get the first-hand low-down on this incredible product that has strong roots in vintage 8-bit computing.

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