[vcf-midatlantic] Vintage Computer Federation at Lehigh Valley FAST 2016

Dean Notarnicola dnotarnicola at gmail.com
Thu Sep 15 12:24:27 EDT 2016

I do read and appreciate your posts. I liken learning about vintage
computing to learning history: You have a much better idea of where you are
going if you know where you've been. This is why I encourage my kids to
explore it in order to obtain a deeper understanding of modern technology.


On Thursday, September 15, 2016, Herb Johnson via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org> wrote:

> Thanks from me for your excellent report on your own activities and
> exhibit. Your exhibit is good vintage-computing outreach. Can you also
> report on the other exhibits there? I am (and others I correspond with are)
> interested in how children today are presented with STEM technology, by the
> various groups that support (and sell) STEM; and how the kids themselves
> present their own efforts and school-sponsored projects. We compare that,
> with how we old-people learned about computing and electronics, in our
> youth.
> The vintage-computing connection to STEM in my opinion is this. In the
> vintage era of the 1960's and 70's, "STEM" was represented as "the space
> race", and it was mostly a federal/schools program on education
> fundamentals. There were few products to offer, not many computers. Apple
> and the Apple II were the educational "push", but that came later. And the
> "personal computer revolution" as group events, was mostly a product of
> adults in locally-formed clubs, that met in homes or in public spaces
> (libraries, museums, etc.). Kids were not a big part of either of these,
> until the video gaming rise (and fall) in the later 1980's.
> NONE of this was particularly "competitive" as in contests between groups
> to perform any kind of tasks or games, with scoring and regional/national
> contests. Efforts to nationalize computer clubs, didn't pan out. Later
> there were top-down organizations, around Apple or IBM or other specific
> product lines; and most supporting magazines or publications or
> conventions, or BBS's or email lists.
> STEM of course, in the schools and as supported by national groups and
> international corporations, is quite a contrast. The common point is that
> these circumstances - STEM in schools, what became vintage personal
> computing groups - is how these introduced "computing" technology to
> youngsters. We vintage-computing owners look back at vintage computers and
> remember our involvement, and our machines. I have no doubt that some STEM
> participants, will look back at their experiences and products used, with
> the same sort of "vintage" interests.
> But more relevant today to us, is when STEM participants - still kids -
> come to vintage computing events and exhibits, and evaluate "our"
> technology based on their STEM competitions and events. They will expect
> the kinds of "computing" they have experienced; and will have no experience
> with some of our earliest vintage computers which we display and describe.
> Todd's report, in my opinion, gives us a glimpse into the present (and the
> future) of vintage computing.
> The kid's attraction to printers, for instance, is that they are loud, use
> paper, and move paper around - not that they would actually READ any
> papery-bloggy-texty things not on a screen! And of course, the parents have
> their own expectations and histories, directly related to vintage
> computing, but likely influenced by their kid's participation in STEM. Todd
> and his colleagues, reported on both, thanks!
> (Sorry if that appears long-winded. But these are not simple concepts or
> even widely-held point of view. It takes time to explain such things. And
> frankly, it's a little frustrating to me, when I post such remarks. Why?
> Because I get little response. If there's no reaction, I assume I'm either
> off-base, boring, overwhelming, or irrelevant to those reading this list.
> So let me know if what I say, means anything to those reading it. Thank
> you.)
> Herb
> --
> Herbert R. Johnson,  New Jersey USA
> http://www.retrotechnology.com OR .net

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