Five things you can do with old computer equipment
Wednesday, 31 October 2018 06:00
Happy Halloween all! So – you have the vintage computer equipment, which seems to stretch as far forward as a circa 2003 PC. What can you do with that equipment? Several things, a few of which are listed below:
Run older software on the machine it was designed for
WordStar – several authors including George R. R. Martin and Andy Breckman still use it today
Borland TurboPascal, Microsoft Visual Basic 6, FoxPro/Visual FoxPro are all still in use today, and that is not even mentioning the mainframe computers still almost literally powering our civilization
Repurpose it to run some self-hosted tooling
This one only applies to machines that are only ‘vintage enough’, like workstations produced after ~1995
Teach your juniors about the wonders of (retro) technology
This one is a bit of a ‘preach to the choir’ moment, but it bears repeating. Many young people today only know smartphone apps, nothing of the electronic circuits, motherboards, cartridges and DIP switches of computing past that we used to create those smartphones
How many of the vintage equipment can access non World-Wide Web internet resources? Gopher, Usenet, & BBSes may not be mainstream any more, but they sure do impress!
Play some games
If the success of http://GOG.com is anything to go by, those retro video games are still quite fun even in their golden years, though most likely, you have the original discs/cartridges/tapes rather than requiring a download from the internet
“Max out” the equipment
Take whatever RAM and upgrades that the machine could handle in its prime and apply them. Sure, your Apple ][ may not be in its prime any more, but feed it an accelerator card like a Zip Chip II and you might see up to 8 MHz out of that puppy!
Announcing Vintage Computer Festival Southeast 3.0!
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 21:17
The Third Annual Vintage Computer Festival Southeast (VCFSE) Will Feature Rare Computers and Interactive Activities
ROSWELL, Georgia – February 5, 2015 – The 2015 Vintage Computer Festival Southeast (VCFSE) will take place Saturday & Sunday May 2 & 3 at the Kings Market Shopping Center, 1425 Market Blvd, Suite 200, Roswell, GA 30076.
The festival will have over 35,000 sq. ft. of displays, exhibits and interactive entertainment hosted in what was previously a Comp-USA Super Store. Exhibitors will be attending from all over the region and country. Attendees can operate many of the computers and devices on display, but a few rare computer exhibits will not be accessible for public interactivity. However, exhibitors are often available for live demonstrations of all working devices.
At this year’s exhibit, historical milestones will be celebrated including those for the PDP-8 which turns 50 years old this year, the Altair 8800 which turns 40 this year and the Amiga 1000 which turns 30. Some examples of these machines will be on display.
While at the VCFSE, introduce family and friends to electronics with fun and games, some that you can assemble. Try a VCFSE do-it-yourself kit, the perfect introduction to electronics. Assistance in assembling is supplied onsite (as needed), and the activity is always popular with kids of all ages! A vintage game station will be available for children and adults to play classic games on classic computer and game console systems. And, there’s more. Even a classic video game wall!
In addition to the VCFSE, explore the concurrent Computer Museum of America (CMOA) Apple Pop-Up exhibit, a large, one-of-a-kind display of extremely rare Apple computers amid a dynamic presentation of how a small start-up company, founded in a garage by two young friends, became the leading consumer electronics and personal computer company in the world. See a rare and exclusive collection of Apple personal computers and consumer electronic products, from the original Apple 1 era to the present.
Also see the CMOA companion exhibit, ”LINK: Personal Computing from Switches to Pockets,” which shows you the “links” from the past to the present via displays of iconic computer brands including original computers like the IBM PC, as well as some very rare and unique machines like the KenBak-1. “Link” is a diverse, fun and inspiring exhibit that allows visitors to explore and dive deeper into the art and technology of personal computing.
The VCFSE is hosted and produced by the Atlanta Historical Computing Society (AHCS) and the Computer Museum of America. VCFSE is the premier vintage computer festival in the southeast and part of the VCF family of vintage computer festivals, which include VCF East in New Jersey, VCF Midwest in Chicago and VCF UK in England.
The VCF mission is to educate, promote and demonstrate the evolutionary significance of vintage computers, software and gaming to today’s new generation of innovators by offering attendees a chance to experience the technologies, people and remarkable stories that embody the history of the computer revolution.
One-day adult tickets to the VCFSE are $10, with a two-day pass costing only $15. Children ages 17 and younger are admitted free when accompanied by a parent or guardian.
For hours, and other details, please visit http://vcfse.org or http://vintage.org/2015/southeast.
Contact: Earl Baugh, Secretary AHCS: firstname.lastname@example.org