This Weekend: Vintage Computer Festival Pacific Northwest

The most iconic parts of computer history come alive next weekend in Seattle during the Vintage Computer Festival Pacific Northwest. It’s all happening March 23rd and 24th at the Living Computers Museum+Labs.

VCF celebrates the great hardware that has sprung up during the technological march of the last fifty years. The VCF series has been around for many years with events in Mountain View, CA and Wall, NJ, but this one is new. VCF Pacific Northwest was founded in 2018 and Hackaday’s own Dan Maloney had a great time at the inaugural event.

Keeping vintage computers running is a trick in itself and this where you can meet those who have made it a mission and a hobby as they set up exhibit tables and show off the rare, exotic, and of course nostalgic equipment. There are exhibits with  PDP-8 PDP-10, and an emulated PDP-6 (because only 23 were sold and none remain). You’ll find a Gigatron TTL computer, several flavors of Atari, and some slightly newer equipment like the Indego RISC-based workstation. There are exhibits on recreating classic computers, and buidling your own single-board computers from open source designs. The event is being held in a museum and this gives you the opportunity to check out their collection.

This year’s lineup of speakers is amazing. Joe Decuir will be speaking on Saturday morning. His long list of inventions and contributions to computing (and video gaming) make it hard to decide what to mention first. He’s well known for his time at Atari, but also developed the Amiga, and worked on USB and a laundry list of other standards.

Hackaday is once again proud to be a sponsor of VCF Pacific Northwest, VCF East, and VCF West.

3 thoughts on “This Weekend: Vintage Computer Festival Pacific Northwest

  1. VCF Pacific Northwest is out of range for me, but do VCFs have working 9-track tape drives which are available to read 9-trac tapes and dump the contents to a USB drive or some other device?

    1. Normally not at VCF events as it is typically time consuming to pull data from tapes, but some folks in the community such as Marc Verdiell [CuriousMarc] have working tape drives and might be convinced to dump tapes if they are of historical significance.
      VCF events are more about hanging out with other collectors, swapping stories & trading equipment around. There is also an educational element, bringing younger generations into the hobby and helping them understand the historical significance of what is on display. At VCFse we do soldering workshops, have a large consignment area, and some other related local clubs participate. Last couple years we have had keyboard collectors and FIRST teams join in the festivities.

      1. I have an old Microsoft mouse adapter cable kit. Looks like it’s for converting serial and possibly PS/2 to a bus mouse port. That worth anything? No mice, just some cables and a box-ish thing they connect to. I’m in central west Idaho so all these vintage computer things are too far away. :(

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