[vcf-midatlantic] How was TCF2016 besides the booth?

Herb Johnson hjohnson at retrotechnology.info
Tue Mar 22 12:10:10 EDT 2016

Responding to various comments about the former Trenton Computer Fest 
(now called "TCF" apparently), please note I'm merely an attendee but I 
have some clues about it.

It's pretty clear that the flea-market and old computer aspects of the 
event are largely lost. It's become a ham-license event and topics 
related to personal, professional, and hobby "computing" or rather 
personal information technology. But the talks cover a lot of you-can-do 
stuff, and are informative on related matters.

The flea market was indeed small, one large room with almost all 
dealer-class participants, but some amounted to individuals. our 
colleage Justin brought a TI 990/4 system; there was a C-64 system, 
otherwise no other vintage computers I saw. But hamfests in the NJ-PA 
area have mostly lost vintage-computing stuff in the 21st century; and 
most professional personal-computing stuff. Hamfests are fewer and 
smaller; although I'm told there's more radio amateur licenses than ever.

about "booths": there were only a handful. Few exhibits. I guess 
exhibits and booths weren't encouraged this year. I have a sense that 
the administration of the event is changing.

I went to a number of talks; quality varied. Mostly speakers overran 
their hour, they outta work on their presentations. Talks varied from 
lock-picking to solar-panel technology.

But I suggest looking at VCF in another way. Every year, the "old ones" 
come out, to see each other and catch up or look back. The event is run 
by people of age, the amazing thing is that it happens at all. Some 
years it didn't. I have no problem with attending to meet people I've 
not seen in years, to be met by people who only know me from email.

I see TCF as an opportunity to see people and hear from people.

I have people stop me in recognition; I arranged to meet someone, we had 
lunch. and by-the-way: there's now a number of real, actual restaurants 
on the TCNJ campus. I saw few attendees there, probably because the 
College ran a food-in-baggies kiosk in the building.

Also: the Sarnoff Collection is a short walk from the Engineering 
building. It's a decent small museum of RCA technology, including some 
early COSMAC 1802 items and Joseph Weisbecker's computer, a TTL 
predecessor to the 1802. It's a New Jersey - designed microprocessor. 
I've done some work for the museum.

I appreciate Justin's comments, and his position that he can participate 
and make a difference. Sounds like a plan.

Herb Johnson
old one

Herbert R. Johnson,  New Jersey USA
http://www.retrotechnology.com OR .net

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