top of page

SPEAKERS

Purchase of admission into the festival includes access to all presentations

Developing a Modern / Retro Computer (that's an oxymoron)

Sean Harrington - Aquarius+ Evangelist

Saturday, February 17, 2024 at 6:00:00 PM UTC

As interest in vintage computing expands, so does demand for these systems, driving up prices for legacy components and parts. Emulation is one solution but many enthusiasts want to own a physical device, minus the cost of collecting, storing, and maintaining decades-old equipment. We discuss development of the new Aquarius+ system, sharing the trials and tribulations of creating a new piece of hardware, then compare it to other "next-gen" retro systems like the Spectrum Next, Commander X16, and others to scout a path forward.

Homebrew Throw-Back: Design and Construction of the Wire Wrap Odyssey Computer

Paul Krizak

Saturday, February 17, 2024 at 7:00:00 PM UTC

Here's a secret: it turns out that building a computer from scratch (with no VLSI microprocessor) is not as daunting as one might think! We are in the midst of a renaissance in homebrew computer design, and YouTube personalities like Ben Eater are showcasing the approachability of 1970s-era computer design to a new generation of enthusiasts. But can you build something actually usable, more than a toy, using these techniques? Paul will describe the design and construction process of his from-scratch Wire Wrap Odyssey 8-bit computer, discussing everything from the fundamental CPU architecture, to creating an instruction set, implementing "advanced" features like hardware interrupts, and finally to implementing a real, working computer (and video card!) complete with an assembler, peripherals, and an operating system. It's a "real" computer, on par with the 6502 and 8088 computers of the 1970s and 1980s. And you can do it too!

Bridging Eras: Power of Atari OS through FujiNet Connectivity

Joe Decuir - Former Atari Engineer, Lecturer at University of Washington
Thomas Cherryhomes - Firmware Developer of FujiNet

Saturday, February 17, 2024 at 8:00:00 PM UTC

Joe and Thom will talk about the Atari Operating system, highlighting its innovative features and architectural design. They will explore how FujiNet, a modern networking device for vintage computers, utilizes the Atari OS to enable network capabilities and internet connectivity for Atari computers - bridging the gap between classic computing and contemporary networking technologies.

One Giant Leap for Video Games

Scott Swazey - Founder of Tattler Solutions

Saturday, February 17, 2024 at 9:00:00 PM UTC

Scott will share his journey of restoring a DEC GT40 Graphic Display Terminal, first introduced in 1972. The GT40 played one of the earliest examples of computer graphics in a video game - Lunar Lander - showcasing the potential of computer simulations in entertainment along with its innovative use of vector graphics and physics-based gameplay.

Porting BackBit OS to 32 Systems

Evie Salomon - Founder and CEO of BackBit LLC

Saturday, February 17, 2024 at 10:00:00 PM UTC

Evie, the creator of the BackBit Pro Cartridge & Chip Tester will expand upon the most interesting and frustrating parts of porting the BackBit Operating System to 32 different vintage computers and game consoles. Through brute force, fast iterations, and a little help from Google, she wrangled divergent architectures built around 11 different microprocessors, tailoring assembly language code for each vintage system. She conquered the challenge of maintaining a single interface across a diverse array of machines, lowering the barrier of entry for anybody who wants to dive in and play a game, or perhaps make their own.

The Cryotron - An Almost Revolution

Sean Haas - Producer of Advent of Computing

Saturday, February 17, 2024 at 11:00:00 PM UTC

The transistorized future wasn't always a sure bet. During the 1950s there were a number of technologies positioned to replace the vacuum tube. The coolest, and most mysterious, was the cryotron: a superconductive circuit that could have drastically altered the course of computing.

The Nuon Yak Twister: Unlocking Abandoned Capability on an Obscure Console

Lee Olivares - Owner, Destructive Services / LA 3D Printer Repair

Sunday, February 18, 2024 at 12:00:00 AM UTC

Lee will share the story of the Nuon, developed by Atari Jaguar veterans as a "trojan horse" game-system inside an enhanced DVD player that aimed to rival PS2. Torpedoed by a strategic move by Sony, as well as limited game releases and few 'enhanced' DVDs produced, the Nuon floundered. However, through details from an interview with Jeff Minter, some NOS "polyface" controller chips from China, and lots of trial and error, a never-in-production, prototype controller intended for the Nuon Tempest 3000 game was reverse-engineered and brought to life.

The Evolution of Computer Collecting: Reflections Across Four Decades of RAM

Sellam Ismail - Founder of the Vintage Computer Festival

Sunday, February 18, 2024 at 1:00:00 AM UTC

Sellam has been collecting and refining his expansive computer collection for nearly 4 decades, driven by a lifelong fascination with these wondrous machines.  As founder of the Vintage Computer Festival and VintageTech, he's experienced firsthand the evolution of computer collecting from niche hobby to a mainstream passion.  In this talk, he'll reflect on how the hobby has changed over the years, discuss the shifting focus from collect-them-all to specialization, and will predict how factors like emulation and the increasing complexity of maintaining original hardware could shape collecting in the future.  There will be a Q&A session afterwards so attendees can ask Sellam questions or share their own experiences and insights into the hobby.

FujiNet - Where we've been, Where we're going

Thomas Cherryhomes - Firmware Developer of FujiNet

Sunday, February 18, 2024 at 5:00:00 PM UTC

(Re-scheduled: Moved to Sunday)
Thomas Cherryhomes talks about the rapid progress of the project from its humble beginnings of making a WiFi Adapter for Atari systems, to how the team expanded the scope of the project to multiple platforms. He also shares lessons learned, and talks about the future roadmap.

Preserving Computing History

Jim Trageser - Former Executive Director, Computer Museum of America
Anna Atkeson - Executive Director, Paul Gray PC Museum
Sellam Ismail - Founder, Vintage Computer Festival

Sunday, February 18, 2024 at 6:00:00 PM UTC

The panel will explore the intricate blend of art and science in preservation, focusing on the complexities of repair, exhibition, and archival storage. They will delve into vital efforts to protect and share our digital heritage, emphasizing the importance of educating and engaging future generations about the Computer Revolution.

Blue Sky Rangers – Intellivision Programmers - 40th Reunion!

Moderated by Tom Boellstorff

Sunday, February 18, 2024 at 7:00:00 PM UTC

Enjoy an entertaining and informative panel of Blue Sky Rangers—the Intellivision game designers and programmers at Mattel Electronics in the early 1980s—as they share their memories and answer your questions about the pioneering days of video games. From the technical challenges of developing a game that fits into a 4K cartridge, to the antics of a group of a young, creative team of programmers, to the business wars that led to the great video game crash of 1983, and everything in between. 40 years later, the Blue Sky Rangers remain in touch and regularly get together for reunions, panels and collaborations on new projects. Panelists include Bill Fisher, David Warhol, Stephen Roney, Mark Kennedy, Bob Newstadt, Mark Urbaniec, John Sohl, and others to be announced! Panel will be moderated by Tom Boellstorff, co-author of the upcoming Intellivision book published by the MIT Press.

An Insider's View of IBM

Dan Watt - Retired IT Specialist

Sunday, February 18, 2024 at 8:00:00 PM UTC

Dan will be speaking on the history of computers, with an insider's view of IBM. How engineering, design and manufacturing of the previous century made technology so common place for us today. How did "main frame" computing paved the way for personal computers? Or, how has Gen-Z never heard of IBM?

VCF SoCal Retro Game Show

Sunday, February 18, 2024 at 9:00:00 PM UTC

An hour of wild, retro fun featuring Bil Herd & friends... more info soon!

Getting the Most Enjoyment From Our Vintage Computers with Modern Upgrades

Randy Kindig - Host of the Floppy Days Podcast and co-host of the ANTIC Podcast

Sunday, February 18, 2024 at 10:00:00 PM UTC

Randy will review the myriad of modern upgrades for vintage computers - video, disk access, and even networking - transforming these retro machines into captivating hybrids of past charm and present tech. (ANTIC Podcast: www.ataripodcast.com)

Retro Streamer Panel

Moderated by Bil Herd

Sunday, February 18, 2024 at 11:00:00 PM UTC

Join us for fun conversation with a group of Retro Streamers. More info to come...

Please Note: The lists, dates, and times of Exhibitors, Vendors, Speakers, and Other Activities can change depending on the different participant's own personal situations, festival changes, and other circumstances.

bottom of page