[vcf-midatlantic] Ken Thompson video

Michael Brutman michael at vcfed.org
Wed Nov 11 02:19:07 EST 2020

Wow Bill, that was amazing.  Let's correct a few things.

There are plenty of user groups and clubs both in the Pacific Northwest
(where I live) and in Silicon Valley (where Erik lives).  For you to ask
people to think about "why is there no club out west or north west?" is
absurd.  (For the record I was active at the local Seattle Retrocomputing

Nobody tricked Evan into giving up his board position.  He wanted a paid
position in line with what an executive director does - day-to-day
operations of the museum in NJ.  While an important position, it is not a
board level position.  So nobody should be surprised if they give up a
board position and then don't have a say on board level decisions.  I
wasn't on the board at the time but this is pretty obvious.

What is this business of which you speak?  The one where the most of us pay
our own travel expenses and volunteer dozens to hundreds of hours a year?
The one that we also actively hustle to get donations for?  That doesn't
sound like a business to me; it sounds like a labor of love.

We formed the steering committee to give local people who volunteered a
museum more autonomy and oversight over the things they were directly
working on.  Other people wanted a voice and a say in what happened there.
It couldn't be bottlenecked or controlled by one person anymore.  This is
how you grow and scale an organization.  The idea that this was some
nefarious plot to have somebody else get rid of Evan is insane, and it fits
with the rest of this bullshit conspiracy theory crap you are spinning.

We don't control all of vintage computing, nor do we want to.  I'm not sure
if you've been paying attention or you just like to act like you know what
is going on, but we've been freely advertising the other VCF events both in
the US and Europe - go look at the website.  That was actually a big change
after Evan left the board - Evan was a lot more likely to demand that
people shouldn't be using the VCF name, which was not a valid demand to
make.  We don't own the IP.  The current national board has been a big
believer in a rising tide lifts all boats; we actively cross promote the
other groups.

"The new VCF West and northwest shows were formed after Brutman and Erik
Klein joined the board and they pretty much own them through the board."

Fact: the VCF West event was resurrected before I joined the board.  VCF
PNW came after I joined in 2018.  I don't own PNW in any form, through the
board or otherwise.  I'm just the slob volunteer who launched it and did
the majority of the organization for two years.  Do you really think I
benefited financially or I own anything as a result of having run VCF PNW
in 2018 or 2019?  What exactly did I get from it?  What is this ownership
that you refer to?

"I suppose no one cares about the breakdown of east vs west revenue, but
suffice it to say it ain't even"

I don't even know what to say about that, other than it demonstrates such a
lack of critical thinking that it is mind boggling.  Yep, East has more
revenue.  No question.  But let's look at where the revenue goes.

VCF PNW ran in 2018 and 2019 and was two weeks away from running in 2020
before COVID-19 killed it.  VCF PNW made a modest amount of money both
years, and *all* of the money went back to the org.  So sure, East has more
revenue than PNW.  But not a single dime of any money has stayed in the
Seattle area.  It all went back to VCF to support the museum, the web
hosting, the workshops, etc.  It certainly isn't even ..  it all goes back
to the VCFed, the nexus of which is the museum in NJ.  Erik's story with
West is going to be similar.

Heck, even in 2020 after all of the expenses for VCF PNW were mostly sunk
and the event was cancelled *I still managed to hustle* and turn a profit
for the org.  I had 200 t-shirts made up that I couldn't sell in person.
I've logged over 100 hours invoicing and mailing t-shirts, raising money
that probably would have been written off because we didn't have in-person
events this year.  And we still managed to get most exhibitors and
volunteers a free t-shirt for their efforts.  The t-shirts raised awareness
for VCFed and also helped keep the lights on this year when our other
sources of revenue dried up.  That's not bad when you consider what
happened to actual functioning museums with real payrolls that had to close
this year.

When I launched VCF PNW in 2018 I explicitly did not charge a gate fee, and
it was the first event that we ever planned to operate that way.  We
explicitly wanted the event to be accessible to spread the word and raise
awareness.  It succeeded and we did it again in 2019.    Does this sound
like an evil corporation trying to wrest control away from the people who
built it?

Moving the museum?  Another conspiracy theory.  The only talk about ever
moving the museum happens when we are talking about the leaky warehouse
roof or the viability of InfoAge as a site.  Nobody has ever even thought
about relocating unless we get forced out of InfoAge or have to flee
because they can't maintain the site anymore.

Bill, your time on the VCFed board was spent criticizing and throwing
rocks, but never actually doing anything.  Stop grossly mis-representing
what happened and what goes on there now.  I busted my ass for VCFed.  Erik
busted his ass for VCFed.  Jeff busts his ass for VCFed.  Corey busts his
ass for VCFed.  You didn't do crap.

For the record, unrelated to this little side-show, this morning I
announced to the other board members that I was going to be winding down my
involvement as a board member and opening up a spot for a new person.  Over
four years we are going to turn two out of five board positions over.  I
think that is a healthy turnover rate.

You are doing your thing with Kennett Classic, which is a business that you
own.  Don't imply that we're doing anything like that with VCFed ... we're
volunteering and making a difference, and we can demonstrate it.  You've
just found a good way to turn a hobby into a business deduction.  There is
a big difference between what we do and what you do.

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