Getting together nationally

Anything to do with New Zealand Classic or Vintage Computing not covered in the other forums

Getting together nationally

Postby tezza on Wed May 25, 2011 1:51 pm

In another thread Andrew (lizardboy) and I mused about some sort of National meeting of Vintage computer enthusiasts. Anything from getting together to look at a few machines, share stories and have a beer, to a full blown festival. Nothing decided, nothing prepared and nothing planned as yet...just brainstorming at the moment to discuss the feasibility of such a thing.

Any ideas or thoughts? Who would be interested?
Tez (Terry Stewart) (Administrator)
Collection: http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/col ... /index.htm
Projects and Articles: http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/index.htm
Twitter: @classiccomputNZ | YouTube: Terry Stewart
Trade Me: tezza5
tezza
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2291
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 pm
Location: Palmerston North, New Zealand

Re: Getting together nationally

Postby ZL2AOX on Wed May 25, 2011 4:10 pm

I'd definitely be up for it. I enjoyed the Levin meet :)

I'd suggest Wellywood because it's central, and also suits me as I can just hop on the train.
Venue? Hmm, dunno... would booking a hotel conference room be out of the question?
ZL2AOX
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:30 pm
Location: Palmerston North

Re: Getting together nationally

Postby lizardb0y on Wed May 25, 2011 7:58 pm

I would also favour Wellington, partly because it's central, and partly because I live there ;)

With the 40th anniversary of the Intel 4004 coming up in November, and also 40 years since the Kenbak-1, I think it would be a good year to arrange a public event. This would be a lot of effort, but I think the public interest in all things retro is at an all time high. I'd be happy to commit time and effort towards this.

Whatever happens, I will be doing something on 11th or 12th November (4004 was released on 15th) as that also happens to be my birthday :)
lizardb0y / Andrew
Just another 8-bit hustler

blog: http://www.vintage8bit.com
twitter: @vintage8bit
google+: http://gplus.to/lizardb0y
trademe: andrew9 - over 500 positive trades.
lizardb0y
 
Posts: 549
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:50 am
Location: Wellington

Re: Getting together nationally

Postby tezza on Wed May 25, 2011 9:21 pm

As I see it, some sort of National "meet" could take two forms.

Option 1: A simple one-day meeting with an evening dinner out at some restaurant/pub. Attendees would be vintage computer enthusaists probably largely members of this forum. Publicity is just through this forum and personal contacts. Rent a cheap hall somewhere (close to a cafe for lunch), bring a few interesting machines maybe and spend the day showing off some things in a semi-timetabled way (some scheduled demos..some people might like to talk how they got into this as a hobby..I dunno maybe a quiz or a competition of some sort). Basically an opportunity to chew the fat. Get to know people a little better and talk about what we love. Numbers expected no more than 20 and probably a lot less. In essence the meeting is for us, rather than the general public. Sometime later this year.

Option 2: At the high end, a public "retro" event (more of what you're thinking about Andrew, yes?). The public is invited and encouraged. There are scheduled events, possibly guest speakers, activites and lots of publicity. It's a celebration of vintage computing put on by us, rather than just for us and the event is educational as well as a get together. You would have to have a decent venue and it would need to come with all the things a public event comes with. Security, publicity, parking, snacks, logistics etc. Displays and exibits would need to speak to people who don't knoiw vintage computers as well as we do. The public would be charged and money would also need to be put up front for a variety of things like publicity. So finances will need to be handled. It may need sponsors. A large, organised team will need to run it. Maybe over two days.

While option 2 would be great and I can see the historical link regards timing, my feeling is it's too big to be planned in just a few months. Personally I wouldn't be able to do much towards such an event this year. I'm just too committed already with work and have other non-computer related activities outside work.

My preference be for the kind of meeting as described in Option 1, perhaps later this year or early next year? If that works, we all get on and people are keen..we might be able to form some kind of committee or association, which could scale such meetings up. Perhaps then option 2 could well be a possibility in a year or two. The work and energy required is not to be underestimated though.

Of course there is nothing to stop people in reasonable driving distances from each other, meeting up and having small extended lunches to talk over the hobby either (such as the Levin meet).
Tez (Terry Stewart) (Administrator)
Collection: http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/col ... /index.htm
Projects and Articles: http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/index.htm
Twitter: @classiccomputNZ | YouTube: Terry Stewart
Trade Me: tezza5
tezza
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2291
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 pm
Location: Palmerston North, New Zealand

Re: Getting together nationally

Postby Carcenomy on Wed May 25, 2011 9:48 pm

Wellington's a heck of a haul but I'd nearly be keen. The wife's got several friends up there who I could shuffle her off to visit ;)
Just the local Commodore hobo and middle-aged PC hoarder.
eisa on Trademe. A lasting reminder of a Compaq fetish when I was younger.
Carcenomy
 
Posts: 764
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:59 pm
Location: Invercargill

Re: Getting together nationally

Postby lizardb0y on Wed May 25, 2011 10:18 pm

I guess I was thinking of something half-way between, like the Vintage Computer Festival. (Videos)

I was peripherally involved in organising and participating in a couple of computer expos in Dunedin in the late 80s which were primarily enthusiasts showing off their systems to other enthusiasts. As participants we had a fantastic time and the public response was very good as well. We basically just hired a venue (Forbury Trotting Club clubrooms) for a day, set up tables with our individual displays on them and charged the public a nominal sum for entry to cover costs. Advertising was posters put up around town and some radio "events calendar" type coverage.

Option 1 would be enjoyable, and much more achievable, but I'd really like to see some public involvement; the reaction I got from the audience when I did my talk at Au Contraire was fantastic and really satisfying.
lizardb0y / Andrew
Just another 8-bit hustler

blog: http://www.vintage8bit.com
twitter: @vintage8bit
google+: http://gplus.to/lizardb0y
trademe: andrew9 - over 500 positive trades.
lizardb0y
 
Posts: 549
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:50 am
Location: Wellington

Re: Getting together nationally

Postby tezza on Fri May 27, 2011 3:11 pm

I was waiting for someone else to comment but as no one has...

Andrew, I can see where you're coming from. I'd like to see the hobby becoming a little like vintage car collecting, where the general public really wants to SEE these things. The very reason I started collecting was because I (eventually) wanted to show and tell people about microcomputers.

I still think making a Vintage computing "meet" a public event takes things to a whole new level than my option 1. That notwithstanding what you propose would be a lot of fun and certainly a way to raise the profile of Vintage computing, although perhaps only at a local (i.e. Wellington) level initially. It would stll take a lot of work though.

For me I'm just too committed for the rest of the year for any public event. That doesn't mean to say you can't do something locally though, if you want to. You'd certainly have my moral support and I could bring the odd machine down. However, I still think a better plan would be have an "in-house" meeting first this year, then (if the enthusasm is there) look towards some kind of (smallish) public event in 2012 and beyond where a number of us could help. We could form some kind of organising committee or at least talk about such a thing face to face.
Tez (Terry Stewart) (Administrator)
Collection: http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/col ... /index.htm
Projects and Articles: http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/index.htm
Twitter: @classiccomputNZ | YouTube: Terry Stewart
Trade Me: tezza5
tezza
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2291
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 pm
Location: Palmerston North, New Zealand

Re: Getting together nationally

Postby Gibsaw on Fri May 27, 2011 8:38 pm

tezza wrote:I was waiting for someone else to comment but as no one has...


The possibility interests me, although Wellington would be a challenge. Haven't tried a road trip with my (8mo) daughter yet. :?
"dsakey" on trademe. Apple II's are my thing.
Gibsaw
 
Posts: 704
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:45 pm
Location: Auckland

Re: Getting together nationally

Postby lizardb0y on Fri May 27, 2011 8:46 pm

Gibsaw wrote:
tezza wrote:I was waiting for someone else to comment but as no one has...


The possibility interests me, although Wellington would be a challenge. Haven't tried a road trip with my (8mo) daughter yet. :?


We did a camping trip for two weeks when my youngest was 3 months. It wasn't as bad as you might think. ;)
lizardb0y / Andrew
Just another 8-bit hustler

blog: http://www.vintage8bit.com
twitter: @vintage8bit
google+: http://gplus.to/lizardb0y
trademe: andrew9 - over 500 positive trades.
lizardb0y
 
Posts: 549
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:50 am
Location: Wellington

Re: Getting together nationally

Postby Gibsaw on Fri May 27, 2011 9:56 pm

lizardb0y wrote:
Gibsaw wrote:
tezza wrote:I was waiting for someone else to comment but as no one has...


The possibility interests me, although Wellington would be a challenge. Haven't tried a road trip with my (8mo) daughter yet. :?


We did a camping trip for two weeks when my youngest was 3 months. It wasn't as bad as you might think. ;)


Maybe... I'm inclined to say that a 3mo (especially a breastfed one) would be easier than a (currently teething) 8mo.

However, the bigger challenge for those of us hoarders who have to drive is - what to bring?

It'd almost require a database of "who can bring what" so that you didn't end up with a room full of one or two types. (Not much point in having a room full of Apple IIe's. That'd be nostalgic in a 1980's classroom sort of way, but not much fun for the public)
"dsakey" on trademe. Apple II's are my thing.
Gibsaw
 
Posts: 704
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:45 pm
Location: Auckland

Re: Getting together nationally

Postby lizardb0y on Fri May 27, 2011 10:08 pm

Gibsaw wrote:However, the bigger challenge for those of us hoarders who have to drive is - what to bring?
It'd almost require a database of "who can bring what" so that you didn't end up with a room full of one or two types.


I bags the Sinclair exhibit. And the Oric and Dragon.
lizardb0y / Andrew
Just another 8-bit hustler

blog: http://www.vintage8bit.com
twitter: @vintage8bit
google+: http://gplus.to/lizardb0y
trademe: andrew9 - over 500 positive trades.
lizardb0y
 
Posts: 549
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:50 am
Location: Wellington

Re: Getting together nationally

Postby YetiSeti on Fri May 27, 2011 10:54 pm

I've said it before, I'll say it again. I think the best exposure for retro/vintage computing would be to tack it on to an Armageddon event.
YetiSeti
 
Posts: 368
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 5:27 pm

Re: Getting together nationally

Postby tezza on Fri May 27, 2011 11:12 pm

YetiSeti wrote:I've said it before, I'll say it again. I think the best exposure for retro/vintage computing would be to tack it on to an Armageddon event.


Yes, but really most suitable for retro home/gaming computers. Vintage microcomputers also covers boring business machines like the IBM PC/XT/AT, Osborne/Kaypro and other CPM beasts. Would Armageddon junkies be interested in the power of the spreadsheet and the like? :)

However, if the focus WAS just home/gaming retro computers then that's a good thought.

Personally, I see the home/gaming computers as just ONE thread of the IT revolution in the 1980s albeit one which carries lots of nostalgia. The business machines had a huge impact at work and on society generally also.
Tez (Terry Stewart) (Administrator)
Collection: http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/col ... /index.htm
Projects and Articles: http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/index.htm
Twitter: @classiccomputNZ | YouTube: Terry Stewart
Trade Me: tezza5
tezza
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2291
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 pm
Location: Palmerston North, New Zealand

Re: Getting together nationally

Postby lizardb0y on Sat May 28, 2011 12:04 pm

Here is where my thinking is at now:

Primary focus of the event is to be for enthusiasts to gather and share. Attendees would pre-register for the event, at a modest cost yet to be determined - KiwiCon have been charging $50-$60 for their 2 day event with after-hours functions. Hire a hall for a day or two, have the opportunity for enthusiasts and collectors set up displays, and give talks on any Retro/Vintage/Classic computing topic they like. This daytime event could be open to the public with a door charge to cover costs.

Outside of the day event we could have special events for exhibitors and attendees:
[*] A group dinner.
[*] Quiz evening. Possibly at a pub.
[*] Attendees get a badge made of something semi-permanent as a souvenir
[*] Possibly make up a t-shirt for the event, ordered on registration at additional cost.

Anyway, let me know what you think. I've opened a poll for feedback: http://www.vintage8bit.com/node/68. If I get I get enough of a positive response I'll seriously start looking at costing such an event.
lizardb0y / Andrew
Just another 8-bit hustler

blog: http://www.vintage8bit.com
twitter: @vintage8bit
google+: http://gplus.to/lizardb0y
trademe: andrew9 - over 500 positive trades.
lizardb0y
 
Posts: 549
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:50 am
Location: Wellington

Re: Getting together nationally

Postby YetiSeti on Sat May 28, 2011 10:50 pm

Yes, but really most suitable for retro home/gaming computers.

I have asked myself that question before but thought that the demographic that would like the home/gaming computers side would more so also appreciate and identify with the home/work/business era computers. Retro is retro (which I think is one appeal). The reverse might be less true for business computing users who didn't play any games to appreciate the gaming side of home computers. The appeal on the business computing side of some vintage computing event, if we were to try define a mutually exclusive group, would be to the demographic of computer/technology industry workers who for some reason didn't play games or have game computers. A lot of such people moved on and the nostalgic connection is probably much weaker now.

The great thing about computing devices is that business computers could play games and gaming computers were used for applications. I just bought Hugo's House of Horrors, and it's sequel I didn't know about.

So for Armageddon, it's a matter of whether one thinks people would be interested in only the gaming side, or sufficient numbers in the retro side, or even the vintage. To date, it's been about the gaming, and more recent Sega/Nintendo consoles, but that's possibly just because they are the only people doing the stalls there. It is a huge and diversified crowd, and I think the numbers alone would draw would potentially draw more interest to your booth/stall than an independent event and venue.
http://armageddonexpo.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=2607&p=6391
http://armageddonexpo.com/nz/exhibitor-information/

But perhaps the best of both worlds as a venue would be to use the same venue for a separate event. For example, in an un-rented portion of the Wellington Event Centre on the same weekend.

Vintage microcomputers also covers boring business machines like the IBM PC/XT/AT, Osborne/Kaypro and other CPM beasts. Would Armageddon junkies be interested in the power of the spreadsheet and the like? :)

I think retro transcends the class of computers, whether gaming or business as style and look of the machines becomes a draw card. But that of course is relegating the business machines to just displays while the home/gaming computers get the play.

As for the boring side - the applications - that's a tricky one. Some probably won't look that much different such as word processors and spreadsheets, but seeing a few different points in the evolution of the applications and what the capabilities of the computers were would make a good contrast if juxtaposed against examples of current technologies. Expos etc need to be more interactive, and on that front, games are more fun to interact with and wouldn't require much effort to set up.

However, if the focus WAS just home/gaming retro computers then that's a good thought.

What type of things could you show on the home/business retro computers? Should computers just be displayed turned off, turned on, but with something preloaded for display only, or so set up that people would be encouraged to interact with? I'm more talking about a public event rather than a vintage computer enthusiasts event.

Personally, I see the home/gaming computers as just ONE thread of the IT revolution in the 1980s albeit one which carries lots of nostalgia. The business machines had a huge impact at work and on society generally also.

Agree.

I like Option B, but as you points out, the time, size and effort is not trivial. I'd prefer to take it to the public rather than preach to the converted.
YetiSeti
 
Posts: 368
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 5:27 pm

Next

Return to General

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests