[vcf-midatlantic] How old is "vintage"? (was: Found an IBM XT in my garage.)

Bill Degnan billdegnan at gmail.com
Thu Aug 5 01:32:53 UTC 2021

Why this topic comes up every so many months proves that it's impossible to
pick a set of years, bracket them, and declare, A-ha Vintage!

Doing so causes one to extend the brackets every year or two like the
Julian calendar before it became clear for the need of a leap year.
Computing has eras, and one would evaluate a device, software or whatever
as "vintage of a particular era."   That's pretty much it, simple and
flexible.   Eras overlap, perspectives change, markets evolve.  Using years
alone to define vintage computing is impossible.

It might be interesting to note that many of the original arguments we had
on the subject back when we formed this club were about whether to allow
the IBM PC/XT in as vintage.  At the time the consensus was no, the IBM PC
was too new to be vintage.  When we did the huge IBM PC exhibit at VCF 5 or
whatever it was the controversy was that it was too early to allow an
exhibit about the IBM PC.  I remember Evan was kind of against it at the
time but we did it anyway.


On Wed, Aug 4, 2021 at 8:53 PM Adam Michlin via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:

> Hi Bruce,
> VCF, as a national organization, does not weigh in on what is and is
> not vintage.
> VCFMA (MA = Mid Atlantic) takes the perspective of scope and also does
> not weigh in on what is and is not vintage. The decision there was
> that the cut off date is 1995. This doesn't mean MA is uninterested in
> post 1995 computing equipment and certainly doesn't mean MA thinks
> anything post 1995 is explicitly *not* vintage, but it does require
> that the Steering Committee make an active decision about a potential
> incoming donation on equipment newer than 1995.
> Scope is extremely important at the museum level as no organization
> has an infinite amount of display or storage space. My favorite
> example is the Homecomputermuseum in the Netherlands. They have some
> absolutely amazing displays that are totally within their scope. MA
> also has some absolutely amazing displays at Infoage that are totally
> within their, very different, scope.
> I love living in a world where places like LSSM (just got their Cray
> working!), System Source (just acquired a Lisa 1!), Homecomputermuseum
> (recently became home of the world's largest collection of CD-i
> media!), the Infoage VCFMA museum, and on and on all have different
> scopes. No one organization can store and display everything.
> As to brands, sometimes the minor brands are the most interesting. I'm
> particularly fond of the Zorba luggable, for example. What is kept by
> MA is entirely dependent on what is already in inventory and available
> storage space.
> I hope this helps!
> Best wishes,
>        -Adam
> ---
> Adam Michlin
> Director of Marketing
> Vintage Computer Federation
> On Wed, Aug 4, 2021 at 5:43 PM Bruce via vcf-midatlantic
> <vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:
> >
> > Neils post prompts this lurker to inquire:  Just how old need a computer
> be
> > to be of interest to VCF?
> > PC was - what? -- 1980?  AT after that.  XT even later.
> > What about minor brands, etc.?
> > Bruce
> > NJ
> >
> >
> > On Wed, Aug 4, 2021 at 1:42 PM Neil Cherry via vcf-midatlantic <
> > vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:
> >
> > > I'm doing a bit of cleanup around the house an suddenly found an IBM
> > > XT (think it's really a real XT).
> > >

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