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VCF East 6.0 - Exhibition

The exhibit hall for VCF East 6.0 is full. For special consideration, please contact Evan Koblentz at (646) 546-9999 or

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Registered Exhibits

The BASIC Challenge
MARCH Computer Museum (Wall, NJ, United States)
VCF East's main sponsor, MARCH -- Mid-Atlantic Retro Computing Hobbyists -- will host "The BASIC Challenge" exhibit. There will be four terminals connected to a 1985 Xenix machine running Microsoft MBasic. PDF copies of the MBasic manual will be available.

Station 1 will be the "collaborative challenge". Each person gets 15 minutes at a time to add to the collective work of all the entrants before them. Don't be rude and REM out your competitor's lines. :)

The challenge at Station 2 will be for writing the shortest or the fastest program to do any one of the following tasks:
- Edit a file. Can you create the next Word?
- Sort a text file (sample files will be provided). Yes Virginia, you'll have to do some file I/O here.
- Challenge the math on this old system. Find out how many zeros would be at the end of X! for some value of X larger than 100.

Stations 3 and 4 are the "Open Challenge" You have 30 minutes. Write what you want. There's a lot that can be done. Come back for a second session too.

Remember to save your work. This is a 24-year-old Xenix computer. Who knows how long it will run before it crashes the next time. :)

History of Computer Graphics
Dan Roganti (New Kensington, PA, United States)
A history of computer graphics beginning from the early days of digital computing to the first microcomputers. Included is a timeline of the various developments, in both hardware and software, which advanced the state of computer graphics from the 1950s through the 1980s. Several aspects on the development of computer graphics are highlighted, those from the research laboratories to the commercial industry. There is a short video of the early computer graphics, those which made an impact on the future of CGI. On hand is a demonstration of color graphics using various algorithms with a vintage hack on a S-100 system using an IMSAI 8080 interfaced to a color graphics processor.

History of Chess Computers
Ismenio Sousa (Pittsburgh, PA, United States)
During the beginning of the microcomputer revolution, there were many products which incorporated the microprocessor. One significant consumer product is the chess computer. Starting from the early days of 8080 microprocessor and throughout the generation of 8 bit processors, there have been several designs made that challenged the minds of many people into playing chess. This exhibit includes a wide assortment of chess computers from the very first which was developed using the Altair 8800 and others from the 70s to many more from the 80s.

Coleco ADAM: Taking a Bite Out of Apple
Andy Molloy (Syracuse, NY, United States)
This display will feature a working Coleco ADAM computer system. The Connecticut Leather Company introduced the ADAM in 1983, hoping to succeed as they did with their ColecoVision home video game system. The ADAM sold poorly but had some interesting features, including a built-in word processor, game compatibility with the ColecoVision, and a huge printer that served as the power supply for the computer!

8static & the Philadelphia chip scene
Don Miller (Philadelphia, PA, United States)
8static is a monthly chip music event in Philadelphia sponsored by The Hacktory. Artists from around the world have performed live music and visuals using repurposed classic computers and video game consoles. In this display you will get a behind the scenes look at these machines. From the Commodore 64 and Atari 2600, to the Game Boy and NES, you can try out some of the custom hardware interfaces and software that chip musicans and visualists use to create their art.

Computer Museum
Bill Degnan (Landenberg, PA, United States)
Exhibit includes demonstrations of the Commodore P500 (C128-40) SID and VIC-II chips, CompuPro 8085/88 running programs ELIZA and a history of computer music primer, and the MITS Altair 8800b playing music through AM radio. Also making an appearance will be the MITS 1440 calculator, an Altair 8800a, and a vintage tape loop echo unit.

David Gesswein (Bethesda, MD, United States)
Display of a Digital Equipment Corp. PDP-8 minicomputer. Stay tuned for details!

Apple II Visual Matrix
Michael Kelly (Jersey City, NJ, United States)
Original Apple II computers of various vintage (II+, IIe, IIc) networked together via serial interface, all running custom 6502 assembly and performing graphics demo in sync with each other. The console allows interactive control with the machines and allows for dynamic sequences to be recorded and sent to the IIs for display. All commented assembly will be available. Festival participants will see the software graphics routines, learn how the hardware displays to the TVs, and understand the communication routines.

Atari 800 - a 30th Anniversary Tribute
Curt Vendel (Carmel, NY, United States)
30 years ago Atari released to the computing public the worlds first home computer system designed with custom specialized chips to handle Video, Audio, DMA memory access and communications.

A simple, yet power single peripheral port was included that could handle disk drives, printers, modems and more. Called the SIO, this was a primitive version of what today is the USB - so much so, that one of the USB patent holders originally designed the SIO interface.

This walk through the history of this power, capable and user friendly system will allow VCF visitors to see and fully appreciate the design and accomplishments with which Atari entered the home computer market still in its infancy.

Briel Computers Kits
Vince Briel (San Diego, CA, United States)
On display will be several of the single-board computers designed by Vince Briel. Come see the new PockeTerminal single-board VT-100 compatible terminal that uses VGA monitor and PS/2 keyboard. The low cost Micro-KIM SBC KIM-1 clone and the replica 1 will be there to pound away on. Also on display will be a prototype of the new A2MP3 board for the Apple II series of computers that allows you to play actual MP3s on your Apple II.

Don't forget about Prime Computers!
Ian Primus (Niskayuna, NY, United States)
With the popularity of DEC and Data General systems, people tend to forget the other guys. But Prime was a major player in the minicomputer market in the 70s and 80s, and made minis up until 1992. I'm bringing a working Prime minicomputer from the mid 80s. Experience the multiuser operating system that time forgot. I'll have some user terminals and guest accounts, log in and play around!

Home Brew Computing
William Dromgoole (Somerdale, New Jersey, United States)
This will be an exhibit of an Ohio Scientific Superkit with a homebrewed power supply and no case, 25x25-character display, and external parallel ASCII keyboard. The Superkit consists of model 500a CPU board, model 480 backplane, and 440b video card. Also installed are a model 430b cassette I/O interface with D/A and A/D converters and model 420c memory cards. The system is fully operational with Microsoft basic in ROM. Loading and saving programs to cassette tape will be demonstrated.

Cosmac VIP
Christian Liendo (New York, NY, United States)
The RCA COSMAC VIP was an early microcomputer that was aimed at video games. It was based on the RCA 1802 Processor. The 1802 was used in the Voyager, Viking, and Galileo spacecraft, and has been widely used in Earth-orbiting satellites. The Voyager spacecraft have three 1802s running at 6.4 MHz.

VGA and CompactFlash storage for the Apple II
Henry Courbis (King of Prussia, PA, United States)
This exhibit shows the Apple II VGA Card on LCD and CRT for hi-res and double-hi-res modes. It will also show the MicroDrive and MicroDrive/Turbo on a IIe and IIgs, and how CompactFlash storage works and its modern advantages.

New music add-ons for the Commodore 64
Robert Bernardo (Visalia, CA, United States)
New hardware and software is still being created for the Commodore 64 computer. At this exhibit, you will be able to see and play with some of the latest music add-ons for the Commodore 64 -- the Cynthcart v1.2.4 and Shredz64. Cynthcart is a cartridge-based program that turns your Commodore 64 into a cool synthesizer that you can play like a keyboard. Shredz64 is a game for the Commodore 64 that makes use of the PlayStation guitar controller connected to the PSX64 interface.

IBM 029 Keypunch Restoration
Mike Loewen (State College, PA, United States)
The MARCH museum at InfoAge has an IBM 029 keypunch on display which is not functional. I will be working on restoring it to operating condition during the course of VCF. The relays, cam-operated circuit breakers and other exposed contacts will be cleaned, maintenance points will be oiled and lubed, and a new print ribbon will be installed.

Newtek's Video Toaster: A Desktop Revolution
Zachary Weddington (ROSLYN, PA, United States)
Lots of people take it for granted than you can edit video right on your PC or laptop, but only a few years ago, that was completely unheard-of. "Desktop Video" was a revolution in media production that began with the Video Toaster - the first desktop computer video editing and graphics system made for the Commodore Amiga, back in 1990. This exhibit will feature a working Video Toaster setup with a live camera and real-time effects for all to see and enjoy.

Andy Meyer (Clark, NJ, United States)
I will demonstrate an implementation of uucp (unix-to-unix copy) for CP/M; showing how to exchange email, net news and files, using a CP/M computer with a 4 MHz Z80A, 64 KB RAM and two 268 KB floppy drives.

FAIL collection from the Geek Museum
Michael Lee (Schaumburg, IL, United States)
Exhibiting a sampling of various computing devices which were considered failures from a business, technology or computing standpoint, but many could be considered innovative for future successes. Technological history in their expensive useless and/or malfunctioning glory!

Epson QX-10 / early integrated office suite
Brian Cirulnick (Belleville, NJ, United States)
The Epson QX-10 was an early desktop machine aimed at small to medium sized businesses. As such it offered a complete suite of integrated applications, from WYSIWYG word processing to email! And all this before the IBM PC or Lotus 123, and definitely long before MS Office. In many ways, both in hardware and provided software, it was superior to systems that came later.

(Note: this exhibit is Sunday only.)

Modified Ataris
Ralph Dodd (Fairfield, N.J., United States)
I installed an Atari 800XL computer in a Kaypro 4 case. It has the following mods, (1) Able to select from 31 different operating system ROMs via keyboard, (2) 16 8K ROM cartridges selectable from front panel switches - carts available = BASIC, Assembler Editor and 14 games, (3) Rana 1000 floppy disk drive, compatible with Atari single density, Atari enhanced density, and true double density, switch on rear selects Drive 1 or 2, (4) SIO2PC connection on rear to use PC as a virtual hard drive, (5) Built-in audio amplifier and speaker, (6) Super video 2.1 modification done to make video super sharp, (7) Has amber composite video monitor with S-Video, color composite video and audio outputs available on rear. I'll also show an Atari 800XL that I replaced the 8K BASIC rom with an 27C801 eprom. Seven toggle switches on top of the computer allow selection of 80 different ROMs. This also has the super video 2.1 modification done to make video super sharp. In addition, there will be a game cart that also has a 27C801 eprom and contains 64 16K games. Games are selected from a dip switch on top.

TRS-80 Games
Evan Wasserman (Freehold, NJ, United States)
We will allow visitors young and old to try their hand at beating these "old" computer games. A TRS-80 Model I with disk drives will be set up to allow visitors to compete against one another playing some of the old games, as we enjoyed them years ago. Some of the games available on the TRS-80 are: Olympic Decathlon, Eliminator, Defense Command, Asteroids, RSinvader, and Missile Attack. Another TRS-80 will be open and available for inspection of its construction and the modifications (surgery) we, as home users, performed to upgrade them. One very common upgrade was the upper/lower case modification.

Bill Sudbrink (Silver Spring, MD, United States)
Two IMSAI S-100 computers, externally identical, will be displayed. One will be populated with Processor Technology cards. It will be 100% software compatible with the Processor Technology Sol. The other will be populated with Cromemco cards. The public will be encouraged to observe the behavior of the front panel lights (and possibly invited to flip some switches) to determine which is which. An actual Sol will also be displayed to show compatibility. Of course, games and other entertaining software will be available on all three systems.

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