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

Corey Little curator at cpmuseum.com
Fri Sep 16 00:25:51 EDT 2016

>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: vcf-midatlantic [mailto:vcf-midatlantic-
>>bounces at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org] On Behalf Of Herb Johnson via
>>Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2016 12:20 PM
>>To: vcf-midatlantic
>>Cc: Herb Johnson
>>Subject: [vcf-midatlantic] Vintage Computer Federation at Lehigh Valley
>>FAST 2016
>>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
>>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.)
>>Herbert R. Johnson,  New Jersey USA
>>http://www.retrotechnology.com OR .net

Herb, I posted your original message in it's entirety above because I
believe it deserves as many re-reads as possible.  My personal growth curve
is right in that 70's arc you mention, and I have grandkids now who I hope
to inspire to similar aspirations.  I find your remarks on point, and always
interesting.  I look forward to your continued contributions to the
documentation of computing history.

-Corey Little
Curator, cpmuseum.com
Brewer, Programmer.


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