[vcf-midatlantic] List of Candidates for Upcoming Steering Committee Election

Dean Notarnicola dnotarnicola at gmail.com
Wed Nov 24 00:47:07 UTC 2021

Bio for *Ethan O’Toole*

Thanks for the consideration! I started life in the Atari 8-bit world,
then moved to PC (Tandy 1000sx!) Since those days I have gone through
stages of collecting including a strong UNIX system fandom (SGI and Sun.)
These days I have mostly been sticking to smaller systems that are not
refigerator sized such as Atari, Amiga and Macintosh systems.

My first VCF East was probably 2016 or 2015. Recently I have assisted with
streaming and recording at VCF East. External to VCF I have been involved
with or volunteered with a number of events including MAGFest, MAGStock,
B-Sides Charm, HOPE, Ring of Fire CON (Virginia Beach), Freeplay in
Chesapeake VA and a number of other events.

Outside of vintage computer stuff I poke at synthesizer/MIDI equipment
repair, arcade and pinball machine repair, LASER show and light show
systems, SCUBA diving and other geeky hobbies.

On Tue, Nov 23, 2021 at 3:24 PM Dean Notarnicola via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:

> It is almost time for the VCF Mid-Atlantic steering committee member
> election.  As a reminder, there will be a voting form sent to this list on
> 11/27/2021. There will be two seats up for re-election this year, so please
> vote for up to two candidates.
> Here is a list of candidates and their bio where one has been made
> available. If a bio is not listed, I encourage the candidates to send them
> to the list.
> *Ethan O'Toole*
> *Dean Notarnicola*
> *Dave McGuire*
> I’m an engineer in my early 50s, and I’ve been passionate about
> technology since I was a child. As a teenager in the mid-1980s, I lucked
> into a DEC PDP-11/34A, a powerful computer system about the size of two
> household refrigerators placed side-by-side, and it resided in my
> bedroom. It wasn’t an “antique computer” at the time; it was just old
> enough to be mostly unwanted in a typical commercial environment. But it
> belonged to a class of systems known as “minicomputers”, which are
> powerful, serious machines designed for scientific or business
> applications. While all of my friends were playing games on their little
> Atari, Apple, and Commodore systems, I taught myself a half dozen or so
> programming languages on that big PDP-11. This naturally and directly
> led to my career as an engineer.
> Using large, powerful computers both at work and at home is just how my
> life has always been. I loved my systems, and I ended up just keeping
> the old ones as I upgraded, occasionally running them for fun an
> nostalgia in my free time.
> I’ve been peripherally involved with VCF for many years, starting early
> in the MARCH era, helping out here and there behind the scenes with
> hardware donations and swaps, donation transport, and general advice and
> guidance.  If elected to a Steering Committee seat, my intention would
> be to provide further, much closer guidance and technical assistance on
> the “big iron” side, to round out the VCF presentations a bit.  And, as
> the head of LSSM in Pittsburgh, another big focus of mine would be much
> closer collaboration and involvement between VCF and LSSM.
> *Jason Perkins*
> I've been fiddling with computers, and by proxy vintage computers about as
> long as I can remember. When you're just getting started cast-off old
> machines are your playground!
> In 2003 my father and I made the trip from Michigan to DC to visit the
> Smithsonian museums. At that time there was a whole section at the National
> Museum of American History dedicated to the history of computers. I was
> really looking forward to this - and was so disappointed. Static machines,
> turned off, behind plexiglas. There was an Alto that either had the worst
> case of screen burn, or the CRT replaced with a plastic slide. In either
> case it wasn't illuminated. There was an IBM PC and Mac 128k, behind
> plexiglas, turned off.
> This is one of the main things I like about VCF: We are able to present
> systems that work, systems you can touch, systems you can experience.
> Having a static display of "Oh, look at this hunk of metal and beige
> plastic" just doesn't do it for me.
> If elected to the board, I'll continue this tradition of making the full
> experience of a system available to our guests.
> *Jeff Salzman*
> My own personal history, experiences, curiosity, and affinity toward
> vintage computing has set me firmly in a hobby that I enjoy. I believe in
> the goals of the VCF-MA, not only for the preservation of vintage computer
> systems, but for the opportunities the organization provides to the public
> for those who want to discover and learn about the earlier days of
> computing. It would be an honor to be a committee member in part of the
> process that helps to define the operation and future vision of the VCF-MA.
> As suggested, here is a brief bit about myself... (OK, maybe not a "brief
> bit", but the text will still fit on a SSDD floppy disk of any kind.)
> I have been a "vintage" computer fanatic since back when these systems were
> called "cutting edge." I was the guy, um... kid, who would walk into a
> Radio Shack, much to the chagrin of the store manager, to play with the
> TRS-80 computers they always had on display. That is, of course, after I
> ran out of money at the mall arcade first. :)
> Throughout my childhood and young adulthood, I have always been into
> computers. Especially after getting my first computer, a Commodore VIC-20,
> back in October 1981 (which I still own, BTW). Shortly after that, I bought
> a second computer for myself, a TI-99/4A.
> (WHA...??? What kind of nerd wants TWO computers for themselves in 1982?!?
> ---- >THIS NERD, That's who!!!)
> Since then, I have rolled on personal computing as a commonplace activity
> in the home. I just happened to do so by riding on the Commodore bandwagon
> throughout the 1980s (please don't hold that against me. LOL) and had to
> have the newest model of their computers as soon as I could afford them. I
> had an appreciation for other systems that were available to consumers, but
> just didn't have the space or income at the time to support the continued
> ownership and upgrade of two or more cutting edge systems from multiple
> manufacturers. :(
> I got a Commodore 64 in 1985, then a Commodore 128 in 1987, then a
> Commodore Amiga 500 in 1989, selling each previous system to be able to
> afford the new one. Staying informed about what computers could do, and the
> growing pains within society as they grew into important appliances for
> work, home, and fun, turned personal computing into a hobby which I have
> continuously explored to its limit.
> Then the 1990s came...
> I found myself unable to continue the run of what are considered uniquely
> vintage computers today, along with the other specialized home
> computer systems that were earning a vintage status even then. Trends were
> changing. 8-bit was dying. 16-bit was even dying... I ended up (GASP!!!)
> buying my first IBM PC compatible, a 386DX. And like a junkie, I fell deep
> into the monotony and dependence of the architecture. I sold my soul to the
> industry, repairing and upgrading PCs for a living... in hopes that I could
> get a hit on a slightly used and outdated 30-pin SIMM that was leftover
> from the customer's upgrade. Maybe even a disk drive/multi-I/O controller
> card, or if luck graces me, a 2x CD-ROM with sound card!!! All just to keep
> my frankenstein PC alive and contemporary as the years went by. I still
> remember a lot of the "PC compatible days" from the 1990s, and even the
> 1980s. Many still consider them too closely tied to modern PCs, but as the
> recent VCF-East showed everybody, they are far enough removed from their
> modern cousins to break the perception of those close ties. But I digress.
> In the 1990s, I missed the 'ol 8-bit days. And there was hope... I was able
> to find those now near vintage 8 and 16-bit home computers, the ones I
> couldn't afford to buy more than one of in the 1980s, for next to nothing
> at many of the flea markets and yard sales I visited. Some people actually
> GAVE them to me because they thought they were junk at the time... Hello
> WHAT?!?
> So now I find myself at the turn of the century. I'm knee deep in a lot of
> vintage 8 and 16-bit home computers that I just HAD to have, and could not
> see going to scrap. I had quite the collection, and I started to work
> through that collection, repairing and using them, reliving my youth, and
> enjoying every moment of it.
> Then somewhere around 2004, I learned about M.A.R.C.H. and what the
> organization was all about. I was even asked to design the organization's
> logo. It was then that I knew I wasn't the only one who (secretly) held a
> fondness for vintage computing, thus re-energizing my hobby toward the
> appreciation and preservation of vintage computing.
> I eventually found myself attending the VCF East as an exhibitor so I could
> show off what I had in my collection, and demonstrate to the next
> generation what we had available to us in my generation. I have been doing
> a completely different exhibit each year in an attempt to show off the
> variety of vintage computers, along with an array of uses.
> As my attendance as an exhibitor continued, I became increasingly involved
> with M.A.R.C.H. events, like the Workshops and Festivus. When my kids got
> older, I found even more time to become involved with the (now) Vintage
> Computer Federation. You would (and still could) find me at almost every
> Workshop, if not for working on my own stuff, but working through items in
> the warehouse and museum.
> I hate to see broken vintage computer systems. The Workshops give us an
> opportunity to do our part in keeping these systems alive, and even more
> so, allow us to share that experience with others bearing the same
> interests. Those are just a few of the many reasons VCF-MA exists for the
> avid hobbyist, or the piqued interest of a museum visitor, or whatever
> insight the organization discovers that can promote the knowledge and
> history of vintage computing.

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