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.
There’s a gritty feel to the Hackerboat project. It doesn’t have slick and polished marketing, people lined up with bags of money to get in on the ground floor, or a flashy name (which I’ll get to in a bit). What it does have is a dedicated team of hackers who are building prototypes to solve some really big challenges. Operating on the ocean is tough on equipment, especially so with electronics. Time and tenacity has carried this team and their project far.
Continue reading “Building a Swarm of Autonomous Ocean Boats”
Instead of a video, the members of Metrix Create:Space in Seattle, Washington posted a self-guided virtual tour. There is a link to a professional photographer in the area that specializes in this kind of thing. We assume he’s a member and would love to know if he hacked his own setup to capture the spherical panoramas.
The image above looks toward the front entrance. To the right is a cafe type counter which even offers a menu board listing membership prices but also time rentals on things like one hour in the solder room. The tour includes shots from 11 vantage points highlighting each portion of the space. This includes everything you might expect (3d printing, laser cutting, electronic prototyping) but a few you don’t. There’s a toddler-safe play area (we hear that the Kansas City hackerspace has one of these too), and a huge pick and place machine.
Yesterday, the Hazard Factory, an industrial arts studio, hosted the 3rd annual Seattle Power Tool Race & Derby. Participants construct a dragster powered by at most two “power tools” to race head to head down a 60 foot plywood channel. The rules are fairly loose and creativity is encouraged just as much as performance. For an example build, [spacematters] posted his machine using a circular saw and inline skate wheels. A Flickr photo pool of the day’s shenanigans is coming together and you can see some of the registered entries on the Hazard Factory’s site.
The second ToorCon Seattle got off to a quick start last Friday with a round of Lightning Talks at the Public Nerd Area. Each talk was limited to 5 minutes and covered a broad range of topics. Some talks were just supplying a chunk of information while others were a call to action for personal projects. Here are a few of the talks that we found interesting.
Continue reading “ToorCon Seattle 2008: Lightning talks”