VCF East 4.0 This Weekend

June 6th, 2007 by Benj Edwards

VCF East 4.0It’s that time of year again, where vintage computer enthusiasts around the world emerge from their long winter hibernation to gather in one spot on the east coast of the US and show off their prized computer possessions. The name of this grand gathering? Vintage Computer Festival East, and it’s in its fourth iteration this year (hence the “4.0”). I attended this festival’s big brother (VCF 9.0) in Mountain View, California last year, and it was a blast. So if that’s any indicator of what East might be like, you should drop everything and go. Just remember to pick everything up again when you get back.

I wish I could attend, but I won’t be able to make it. Something about “needing money to eat” or something like that, says my wife. Somebody take pictures for me. And give my regards to Evan Koblentz if you run into him. Does anybody want to file an official report of the show for VC&G? Let me know.

You can read the full press release after the break.

MARCH, VintageTech, and the InfoAge Science Center announce the Vintage Computer Festival East 4.0

*What: A celebration of computers, technology, and culture from the 1940s – 1980s. Open to the public

*When: June 9-10. Lectures from 10am-2pm, exhibits from 2pm-6pm both days

*Where: InfoAge Science Center, 2201 Marconi Rd., Wall Township, N.J., 07719

*Cost: $10 for one day, $15 for two days, free for 12 and younger, free parking

*Contact: Evan Koblentz,, 646-546-9999

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Do 8 bits excite you more than 64? Prefer blinkenlights over SVGA? Yearn for the days of input via toggle switches and paper tape? Or just want to play some Pac-Man? Then check out the Vintage Computer Festival East 4.0, June 9-10, at the InfoAge Science Center in Wall, New Jersey. This year’s event is again hosted by MARCH — the Mid-Atlantic Retro Computing Hobbyists. The Vintage Computer Festival began in 1997 in Silicon Valley, migrated eastward in 2001, and became a MARCH event in 2006. So what is a VCF? Imagine an antique car show where every owner let you test-drive his car, and where Henry Ford gave a lecture and signed autographs! It sounds unreal, but that’s what happens with vintage computer technology at every edition of the VCF.

This year’s edition of the VCF East will feature 20 exhibits of computer technology from the 1940s to 1980s. Visitors will have the opportunity to use an IBM punch-card machine, witness a legendary Digital Equipment Corp. PDP-8 minicomputer in action, and experience all the top brands of 1970s microcomputers from companies like Apple, Commodore, and many others. Older S-100 kit computers, single-board computers, portables, and even analog and prehistoric computer technology will be demonstrated. On the extremes, we have one exhibitor preparing to show an authentic NASA Apollo flight computer, and another who’ll display the most classic videogame console ever — Atari — play it ’til you drop! Read the full exhibitor list at

If that’s not enough, then listen to some of our guest speakers. The highlight this year will be a 30th anniversary panel in honor of Commodore, which was headquartered nearby in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The panel’s star is Chuck Peddle, inventor of the famous MOS Technology 6502 chip, used in a wide variety of classic single-board computers and in microcomputers such as the Commodore PET and the Apple II. Peddle will join us via live videoconference, in which he promises to share previously untold stories, after which he’ll answer audience questions. Commodore engineers appearing live at our show will include Bil Herd, Bob Russell, and Dave Haynie. We’ll even have a birthday cake featuring the famous Commodore “Chickenhead” logo. Other speakers this year include Herb “Dr. S-100” Johnson, who’ll explain the history of the CP/M operating system; Bill Degnan and Sellam Ismail; who together will give a crash-course in vintage computer discovery and restoration; and others to be announced. In addition, Ismail will give a second talk, but the topic is secret! You’ll have to be there to find out what he plans. Yet another highlight of the VCF East 4.0 will be our new VCF Theatre, organized by acclaimed technology filmmaker Jason Scott. His films include “BBS: The Documentary” and the upcoming “Get Lamp” about text-adventure games. At the VCF Theatre, he’ll be screening vintage computer-themed movies all weekend long in the afternoons. New this year is the donate-to-sell booth. Here, everyone is welcome to donate vintage computing items, with all proceeds to help MARCH build its computer museum. Our museum directly benefits future generations, so do your part and give something to this wonderful non-profit cause! (We request that any unsold items be re-claimed before you leave the VCF.)

Did we mention the prizes? We’ll have t-shirts, vintage computer replica kits, books, and maybe a surprise or two. All you have to do to win is show up, and be there when we announce winners each day. Finally, should your historic technology interest extend beyond just computers, then you’ve come to the right place. Our venue at the InfoAge Science Center is historic in itself. The facility began life in 1912 as an R&D center for Britain’s Marconi Wireless Telegraph Co., and then spent several decades as Camp Evans, a top-secret laboratory of the U.S. military. RADAR that first spotted airplanes over Pearl Harbor and mankind’s first radio signal to the moon were invented here, along with numerous other achievements. Today, the center is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Black History Site. It’s also home to the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame and an assortment of non-profit clubs all related to the history of technology, with a local focus. Driving directions, lodging information, exhibit details and more are posted at

* For more information about MARCH, visit

* For more information about the InfoAge Science Center, visit

* For more information about VintageTech, visit

General questions? Want to exhibit or have a vendor booth at the VCF East? Member of the media? Contact VCF East producer and MARCH president Evan Koblentz,, 646-546-9999.

2 Responses to “VCF East 4.0 This Weekend”

  1. kyle Says:

    already made my reservations. see you guys there.

  2. SirPaul Says:

    I’m too far away to go to VCF east.. I guess I’ll have to settle for VCF West… AGAIN!

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