> Does anyone have a good way to clean off that checkerboard pattern that
>they leave behind? It's seems to be impervious to most solvents.
A razor blade paint scraper has worked for me in the past. However... you
must be VERY careful (and it takes some practice), or you will nick the
case when scraping the label off. But it will work for most everything
stuck on. If a few bits of glue are left behind, they can usually be
rubbed off with Avon Skin So Soft, or Simple Green cleaning solvent (I
usually use a combination, Skin So Soft does a great job of loosening the
glue, but all it seems to do is reactivate it, you then need to use
something to actually clean the now working glue off, or as the oil in
the Skin So Soft dries, the glue will just come back, sticky as ever)
Volume 1, Issue 2
A Newsletter for the Vintage Computer Festival
June 12, 2002
Hello Vintage Computer Fans! We've got a lot of exciting news for
you in this issue of the VCF Gazette, including:
VCF Europa 3.0 Retrospective
VCF 5.0 Update
VCF Open House Update
Latest Additions to the VCF Archives
VCF Archives Now Searchable Online
VCF Europa 3.0 Restrospective
VCF Europa 3.0 was a smashing success. With about 300 attendees and
30 exhibits, the air was rife with vintage computing nostalgia. The
Best of Show grand prize went to Thomas and Hendrik Falk for their
exhibit of amazing analog computers.
See photos from VCF Europa 3.0 here:
Gaby Chaudry, VCF Europa 3.0 Exhibitor and CP/M Archive maintainer,
has more pictures of VCF Europa 3.0 exhibits here:
VCF 5.0 Update
The dates for VCF 5.0 have been finalized! Mark your calendar for
September 21st and 22nd when the fifth Vintage Computer Festival will
be held at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara,
California. We are very happy to be moving the event back to the
Santa Clara Convention Center which has a nice facility, a convenient
location, and ample (free!) parking.
As you may recall from the last VCF Gazette, we were planning to hold
the VCF in conjunction with a handful of other events, tentatively
calling it GeekWeek. Unfortunately, we were unable to secure a common
venue for all the events to run together on the same date. However,
we plan to regroup for next year and try again.
But for this year, we are still running side by side with the Xtreme
Games Developers Conference and possibly the tentatively named San
Francisco International Conference of Hackers. California Extreme and
Superauctions will be held September 7-8 at the Parkside Hall complex
of the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California. We have
created a webpage to provide information on affiliated events here:
We are currently in the process of putting together another top notch
speaker program. As in past years, we will have two tracks running
concurrently with 8-10 talks total across both days of the event.
Stay tuned for future VCF updates which will inform you of added
This year being the 30th anniversary of the founding of Atari, we plan
to celebrate this event by featuring talks on Atari's history, and we
will be giving away vintage Atari computers for door prizes. More
details to come.
Of course, all the usual attractions that you've come to expect from
the Vintage Computer Festival will be featured, including the Vintage
Computer Exhibition, the VCF Marketplace, and the Nerd Trivia
Challenge. We also plan to host vintage computer programming contests
in conjunction with the Xtreme Games Developers Conference, with the
goal being to create, from scratch, a video game on one of several
different vintage computer platforms including, but not limited to,
the Apple ][, Commodore 64 and PET, Atari 800, TRS-80, and IBM PC.
Rules and procedures are still being formulated so stay tuned for
further VCF 5.0 updates.
The VCF always features some of the most amazing computer exhibits
as individual collectors bring out the pride and joy of their
collection to show off. If you are interested in exhibiting your
computer at the VCF this year, now is the time to register. We have
some great prizes to give away to our top winners, including a new,
in-the-box, Sharp PC-5000. The PC-5000 is one of the first clam-shell
type portables which was first sold in 1983. It is a truly historic
computer, one of the first that was small enough to comfortably carry
around yet still functional enough to be useful (unlike other
portables of the day).
To register your exhibit, please visit:
If you have a load of vintage computing items that you'd like to
unload, be a vendor at the VCF Marketplace. The VCF Marketplace is
the best venue to sell your vintage computer items to a targeted
audience. We also have consignment sales for people who have a
small number of items to sell.
For complete vendor information, visit:
General information on VCF 5.0 including date, time, location,
directions, and lodging information, visit the VCF 5.0 web site:
VCF Open House Update
You may recall from our last issue that we planned to announce a VCF
Open House when we were done with organizing the VCF Archives and
setting up a computer museum at the Alameda County Computer Resource
Center. We are not there yet, but we are getting closer.
We have secured enough computer floor tile to cover the area where we
will be setting up the museum, but we lack the support members for the
tiles. We are hoping to find what we need soon, or else come up with
an alternative from our local hardware store. Either way, we are
still working hard towards getting the VCF Archives ready for our
Open House. We hope to have the Open House by late summer, before
VCF 5.0. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, please visit the Alameda County Computer Resource
Center, the largest non-profit computer recycling operation on the
west coast of the United States, who have been incredibly generous
in lending space to the VCF to store its archives:
If you have computer flooring to donate, or know of someone who does,
please contact us at <vcf(a)vintage.org>.
Latest Additions to the VCF Archives
While we at the VCF have been focusing most of our recent attention
on sorting and cataloguing the existing artifacts in the VCF
Archives, we still occasionally go out to scrounge up new items and
we receive somei items from helpful donors as well.
The latest donation is an IBM 026 Printing Card Punch. The 026 was
introduced in 1949 and served many computer installations dependably
for decades. Some of these punches were still in use in some
organizations as late as the 1980s, and there may still be some in
operation in different parts of the world, a testament to the fine
engineering of IBM.
The 026 card punch was donated to the Vintage Computer Festival by
Karl Bender of Bakersfield, California. We've created a small picture
gallery of the 026 here:
Other recent significant additions to the VCF Archives include:
o Teletype Corporation ASR-33
o IBM 3420 reel-to-reel tape drive
o Apple //e with SwyftCard (converts Apple //e into a Canon Cat)
VCF Archives Now Searchable Online
Recently the VCF began cataloguing its archive. This will be a long
and arduous process, as there are several thousand items to sort
through and catalog. The VCF has made it's existing artifact database
searchable on the web through its VintageTech affiliate business.
To search the VCF Archives, visit the VintageTech website and click
on the "Search the VintageTech Archives" icon.
The Vintage Computer Festival makes its archives available for use
commercially through VintageTech, providing services such as patent
litigation support and prior art searches, consulting and props for
the film and photography industry, data and media conversion, vintage
computer appraisals and sales brokering, and general computer history
The VCF is always working on new features to keep the vintage computer
enthusiast coming back to the VCF website. Upcoming additions include
an online Nerd Trivia Challenge and the VCF Marketplace.
The Nerd Trivia Challenge is a contest held at each Vintage Computer
Festival to test the computer history knowledge of qualifying
contestants. Now anyone will be able to experience this same
challenge online. The online version of the Nerd Trivia Challenge
should be available sometime this summer and will feature questions
>from past Nerd Trivia Challenge competitions.
The VCF is also rolling out a new vintage computer marketplace. The
VCF Marketplace will allow buyers and sellers to come together to
trade old computers and related items in an open and fair market.
Sellers will be able to choose from several different sale and
auction mechanisms to vend their wares. Buyers will be able to
quickly and easily locate specific items they are seeking. There
will also be message boards and, eventually, personal inventory
tools for collectors and store fronts for regular vintage computer
sellers. The VCF Marketplace will initially be free to use. Look for
it by mid Summer.
Classic Tech Eletter
The Classic Tech Eletter, an e-mail newsletter that covers news,
stories and events in the world of computer collecting, is now on its
eighth issue. I love the Classic Tech Eletter and look forward to
each new issue. Check it out!
Subscribe to the Classic Tech Eletter and see back issues at:
That wraps it up for this issue of the VCF Gazette! Until next time...
Vintage Computer Festival
The Vintage Computer Festival is a celebration of computers and their
history. The VCF Gazette goes out to anyone who subscribed to the VCF
mailing list, and is intended to keep those interested in the VCF
informed of the latest VCF events and happenings. The VCF Gazette is
guaranteed to be published in a somewhat irregular manner, though we
will try to maintain a quarterly schedule.
If you would like to be removed from the VCF mailing list, and
therefore not receive any more issues of the VCF Gazette, visit the
following web page:
Sellam Ismail Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger http://www.vintage.org
* Old computing resources for business and academia at www.VintageTech.com *
This is beautiful. I've seen most of the pieces before, but I like it
Suggestions From Your Friends In
Information Technologies Support
1) When you call us to have your computer moved, be sure to leave it
buried under half a ton of postcards, baby pictures, stuffed animals,
dried flowers, bowling trophies and children's art. We don't have a
life, and we find it deeply moving to catch a fleeting glimpse of yours.
2) Don't write anything down. Ever. We can play back the error messages
3) When an IT person says he's coming right over, go for coffee. That
way you won't be there when we need your password. It's nothing for us
to remember 300 screensaver passwords.
4) When you call the help desk, state what you want, not what's keeping
you from getting it. We don't need to know that you can't get into your
mail because your computer won't power on at all.
5) When IT Support sends you an email titled "Important!", delete it at
once. We're just testing.
6) When an IT person is eating lunch at his desk, walk right in and
spill your guts right out. We exist only to serve.
7) Send urgent email all in uppercase. The mail server picks it up and
flags it as a rush delivery.
8) When the photocopier doesn't work, call computer support. There's
electronics in it.
9) When you're getting a NO DIAL TONE message at home, call computer
support. We can fix your telephone line from here.
10) When you have a dozen old computer screens to get rid of, call
computer support. We're collectors.
11) When something's wrong with your home PC, dump it on an IT person's
chair with no name, no phone number and no description of the problem.
We love a puzzle.
12) When you bring your own personal home PC for repair at the office,
leave the disks and documentation at home. We'll find all the settings
and drivers somewhere.....
13) When an IT person tells you that computer screens don't have
cartridges in them, argue. We love a good argument.
14) When an IT person tells you that he'll be there shortly, reply in a
scathing tone of voice: "And just how many weeks do you mean by
shortly?" That motivates us.
15) When the printer won't print, re-send the job at least 20 times.
Print jobs frequently get sucked into black holes.
16) When the printer still won't print after 20 tries, send the job to
all 68 printers in the company. One of them is bound to work.
17) There's no need to learn the proper name for anything technical. We
know exactly what you mean by "my thingy blew up"
18) Don't EVER use the online help. Online help is for wimps.
19) If the mouse cable keeps knocking down the framed picture of your
dog, lift the computer and stuff the cable under it. Mouse cables were
designed to have 20kg of computer sitting on top of them.
20) If the space bar on your keyboard doesn't work, blame it on the mail
upgrade. Keyboards are actually very happy with half a pound of muffin
crumbs and nail clippings in them.
21) Whenever you get a message saying "Are you sure?" click on that Yes
button as fast as you can. Hell, if you weren't sure, you wouldn't be
doing it, would you?
22) When you find an IT person on the phone with his bank, sit uninvited
on the corner of his desk and stare at him until he hangs up. We don't
have any money to speak of anyway.
23) Feel perfectly free to say things like "I don't know nothing about
that computer crap." We don't mind at all hearing our area of
professional expertise referred to as feces.
24) When an IT person gets on the elevator pushing $600,000 worth of
computer equipment on a cart, ask in a very loud voice: "Good grief, you
take the elevator to go DOWN one floor?!?" That's another one that
cracks us up no end.
25) When you need to change the toner cartridge in a printer, call IT
Support. Changing a toner cartridge is an extremely complex task, and
Hewlett-Packard recommends that it be performed only by a professional
engineer with a master's degree in nuclear physics.
26) When you can't find someone in the government directory, call IT
27) When you have a lock to pick on an old file cabinet, call IT
Support. We love to hack.
28) When something's the matter with your computer, ask your secretary
to call the help desk. We enjoy the challenge of having to deal with a
third party who doesn't know anything about the problem.
29) When you receive a 30mb (huge) movie file, send it to everyone as a
mail attachment. We've got lots of disk space on that mail server.
30) Don't even think of breaking large print jobs down into smaller
chunks. Somebody else might get a chance to squeeze a memo into the
31) When you lose your car keys, send an email to the entire company.
People out in Pofadder, Nebraska like to keep abreast of what's going
32) Don't bother to tell us when you move computers around on your own.
Computer names are just a cosmetic feature.
33) When you bump into an IT person at the grocery store on a Saturday,
ask a computer question. Heck, ask him to come look at it! We do
weekends. An overdone burger and a warm beer is always fair
compensation for several hours of weekend work.
Your Friends In IT Support
It does depend somewhat on the bit density, doesn't it? If it's at 800bpi,
you take 8 tracks, (one's probably parity) and multiply the useable length
by the number of bits per inch, and the rest depends on the data record
format and whatever overhed there is for headers, CRC, etc. There are ANSI
standards that apply to each density, so that's a good place to start.
From: Jim Arnott <jrasite(a)eoni.com>
To: cctalk(a)classiccmp.org <cctalk(a)classiccmp.org>
Date: Saturday, June 29, 2002 6:19 PM
Subject: 9 track capacity
>Help, I've forgotten. What's the storage capacity of a 1200' 9 track
I found your message a little late :)
Have you been able to revive your 4051 yet?
My 4054 had the exact same symptom, I found that one of the socketed DRAMs was bad and replaced it.
I do happen to have the two volume service manuals for the 4051 I used in the 70's.
The CPU Board has all the 6800 components and the two banks of 4K bit MCM6605L DRAMs for 8K Bytes of standard DRAM.
If you have the memory expansion board - options 20 (16KB more), 21 (24KB more) or 22 (32KB more), you might try unplugging that option
card to see if the 8KB base memory is ok.
If yes, then try unplugging banks of option memory to isolate the bad DRAM(s).
The troubleshooting guide says check the 6800 section first if the unit fails to power up.
Contact me directly for more info.
4052 and 4054 owner
>From: "Robert Campbell" <camprbt(a)attbi.com>
>Subject: donating a computer
>Date: Sat, 29 Jun 2002 23:26:44 -0700
>I have an IBM Proprinter, an AT&T PC 6300 from the mid 1980s, and daisy
>wheel printer from the early 80s. They all worked the last time I tried
>them, and are now all in the original boxes, and I still have all the
>The PC 6300 is similar to the one on your web site.
>If these are items you can make use of, I will be willing to ship them to
>you at my expense.
>314 Willow CT N
>Bellingham, WA 98225
>Did they really use them for 8600 console's?
>I thought those were all Dec
>Pro350's and 380's.
Yes, the 8600 (Venus) console did use the T-11.
You are thinking of the Nautilus machines (VAX 8700
and VAX 8800) which used a Pro 380 as the console.
The later (closely related) Polarstar series (VAX 8830,
VAX 8840, VAX 8820) used the MicroVAX II as a console.
I found some references to the Simpact ICP1600
claiming that it too used a T-11. There's also T-11
support in MAME ... it looks like some Atari arcade
games may have used it (came as something
of a surprise to me ...)
I'm in need of a VAX 7660 (or any 76x0) and a 66x0. If you
have any of these you'd let go for cheap, and can guarantee
they are working when picked up, please let me know. I will
even handle the shipping details myself.
I'd also be able to use a 7730 instead of the 7660.
Check out the DEC Enthusiasts Club at http://www.dittman.net/