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The following exhibitions have been registered:
In the 'Signallabor' of the media studies faculty of the Humboldt University of Berlin, digital and analog computers, game consoles, electronic games and other devices have been collected and repaired since 2012 for use in research and teaching. The exhibition introduces a selection of devices and their extensions in operation and presents the inventory of the lab.
Dr. Dr. Stefan Höltgen, No. 1
Occasionally, there is just one piece of equipment missing in a collection to make it complete. And often enough, this particular piece of equipment is almost impossible to get. This is the case with my Sinclair collection: A ZX80 would complete it but the cost for such a device these days is beyond what I am willing to invest. In the meantime, however, several affordable boards are available on the market to build a clone. Recently I came by the Minstreal board of Tynemouth Software, which, together with the required parts, now awaits assembly. The VCFB is the ideal opportunity to do this! The fun building the replica shall also compensate the fact that it is 'only' a replica
Alexander Vollschwitz, No. 2
In this exhibition I will help people with their Forth benchmark entries for the "Ultimate Benchmark". Between the Forth benchmark work, I will show some Forth live coding on various retro machines (Atari ST, MS-DOS, Apple 1, Apple 2) where people can watch, ask questions and discuss Forth related matters.
Carsten Strotmann, No. 3
A number of PDP enthusiast will meet on Saturday and Sunday at the "TUPS" convention house in Neustrelitz to spend our time at the VCFB in company. We will work on a number of projects, mostly DEC PDP related. Visitors can virtually look over our shoulders by video call or can discuss the operation of their PDPs with us. Michael will show a part of his collection. Jörg will share tips and tricks for use of his PDP-11 tools such as PDP11GUI, BlinkenBone, UniBone, UniProbe, etc.
Jörg Hoppe, Michael Löblich, Angelo Papenhoff and others, No. 4
In our participation at the Special Exhibition of the 7th VCFB 2020 we offer via "representative sample" the insight into functionality and purposiveness of many generations of [un]conventional [Digital] Computer Systems we own and/or used in our art, design and research projects by various modalities. Whether we came in touch with them; have been influenced by constructors; applied them for the time being; have had access to them; programmed, serviced, maintained, repaired and redesigned them; taught about them and held workshops (at schools, universities, academies, institutions, etc.); performed services for others; etc. For selected examples we address hardware aspects (Zuse Z22 vacuum tube digital computer from 1957 at ZKM | Karlsruhe, 1st Croatian vacuum tube digital computer from 1959, several minicomputers (PDP 8, PDP 11) inclusive special purpose minicomputer-based Graphic Display System (GT40), real time computer SDS 930, mainframes (CDC 6400, Cyber 74, IBM/370), microprocessors (Intel 8080, MOS Technology 6502), single board computers (SBC), Intel System Design Kit (SDK-80), Intel Personal Development System (iPDS™), very early [trans]portable COMPAQ PCs and Desktops). Also software and programming environments (FORTRAN, various assemblers, cross-assemblers, disassemblers, Real-Time FORTRAN for SDS 930 allowed mixture of assembler and FORTRAN code in the same program, BASIC Compiler and Interpreter, C++). Furthermore middleware applications (PC to PC Link, Novell NetWare, Kermit file transfer). Even more "map[ping]ware" - own invention since 1968/1969: proprietary special-purpose self-made system for mapping software functionality from host computer in a specific digital electronics hardware being able to emulate the source functionality in it. (The then [digital] computers have been very expensive and too huge to be devoted as constituent part of an artwork). For presentation we use several original models, various authentic media and documentation materials from our archive.
bcd CyberneticArt team (Königswinter, Berlin, Zagreb): Miro A. Cimerman & Dunja Donassy-Bonačić, No. 5
Computers in the Soviet Union were used not only in nuclear plants, military bases and big government companies. In the 1980s, many different computers were created for home and educational use. They weren't compatible with each other, there was almost no "official" software, but computers were very popular among enthusiasts who developed many useful products, games and even peripheral devices. One of the most popular computers was the BK-0010, which is compatible with the PDP-11. It was widely used in education, Soviet teenagers and students learnt programming on it in the late 1980s - early 1990s. There was a lot of different software and around 1000 games for it. Even now, there is still a big fan community in Russia. People make devices using modern technologies to emulate or make them compatible with old Soviet computers.
Eugene Bolshakoff, No. 6
This exhibition is about a relatively short and memorable epoch that began with the discovery of the television as a video game platform by Ralph Baer and ended with the step by step replacement of the discrete gaming hardware by computers. In the center of the exhibition are Atari's arcade machines. In these machines impressive game features are realized with simple and easy to understand logic circuitry that is likely a mystery to many of today's programmers and game designers. Understanding this technique is very educational as the circuitry is also the basis of computers. It is thus the foundation of today's digitization that should not be forgotten. As will be shown in the exhibition, the game machines and their interfaces are still very timely and should thus not be considered out of date. Further details will also be discussed in the talk on this topic.
Wolfgang Nake, No. 7
I will provide some PDP-10 games for visitors to join:
* MacHack VI: Greenblatt's chess program.
* Maze: Hunt other participants in a 3D maze.
* Zork: Classic text adventure in its original form.
The exhibition has unfortunately been cancelled!
Before electric calculating machines and later on computers were used for calculations, many different (mechanical) tools were invented to reduce the effort. This exhibition will show a number of milestones of this development, from the simple abacus and slide rule to a variety of (electro-)mechanical calculating machines up to the Curta hand calculating machine, a master piece of precision mechanics.
Herbert Lange, No. 8
Technology is outdating fast and old technology is therefore accumulating quickly. Such collections of technology are most often found in basements, in attics, in cupboards – far away from public access. There, they build up a history of objects, which tells us about the technological advances in general, but also tells us an individual history of human and technology (namely the owner's). When such artefacts are not disposed of, but even collected, it shows their owner's wish to keep their material past visible. Many computer collections developed in this way, and now collect dust in the shadows. The VCFB gives such collectors a chance to present and explain their devices and set forth their collection's history and philosophy to interested people. We use this year's virtualization of the festival to grant insights in private technospheres and maybe allow some computer-historic artefacts that used to just be an "aggregation of outdated computers" to be perceived as part of private conservation efforts and connect collectors among each other. Participants include private collections, museums, research collections, and depots.
Axel Ehrlich shows parts of his computer collection 'Harzretro' from Clausthal-Zellerfeld in the 'Harz' region of Germany. Many aspects of computing history are shown, from Zuse to the Imsai 8080 and the predecessors of today's high performance computers. In addition, computer- and console game history will be shown.
Axel Ehrich, No. 9
We will give virtual guided tours through our exhibition. We will show, among many other things, tally machines from Germany. Our tours include TTL-based Harvard computers with rope, diode-matrix and core memory, computers for medium sized enterprises and microprocessor based multi-user machines from manufacturers such as CTM (Computertechnik Müller), Dietz and Nixdorf. Also, transistor based programmable desk calculators and connection and memory programmable control computers from Germany will be on display. In addition the collection includes mini computers from DEC (PDP-8/L and PDP-8/e), Wang (2200-C3 and VS5) and many other types of machines, servers, PCs, consoles, artifacts, circuit boards and other things that are of importance in the history of computers. Running machines of CTM and TA (Triumph Adler) are shown together with methods to backup data on different kinds of storage media (we plan to show floppy disks, QIC-tape drives, MFM-hard disk drives). In addition the collection contains a short history of electronic musical instruments such as vacuum tube based piganinos and synthesizers, keyboard based instruments with electronic sound creation, but also classic analog piganinos.
Note: This exhibition is a work in progress so the exact setup during the festival remains to be completed. In addition we will show early digital sound machines (mainly from Casio Computer Co., Ltd) and many toy keyboards. A Casio keyboard with barcode reader to input compositions can be experimented with.
Rainer Siebert, No. 10
Update is a long-lived co mputer club founded in 1983 by students and staff at Uppsala University. Our considerable collection includes minicomputers like DECSYSTEM-2060, PDP-11/70, PDP-12, and VAX 8650, several of them in working condition, and microcomputers such as Apple II, Commodore 64, SPARCstations, and the Swedish classic ABC80. We will showcase a mixed pick from the collection.
Update Computer Club / Datorföreningen Update, No. 11
At a secret place in lower Bavaria a collection of computing artifacts is stored, enclosed in standard containers and not accessible to the public. The 'Lagerlotto' (Depot Lottery) opens a little window to the collection. In each episode a random container is selected by an 'independent expert' (yes, we will really do it randomly!). The container will then be searched, opened and the content presented. The 'Lagerlotto' is intended as a series that will be continued if viewers find it interesting.
Hans Franke, No. 12
About the creation of a retro data center, currently in its creation phase. The focus will be on Unix servers and not on home computers.
Markus H. Maussner
The exhibition has unfortunately been cancelled!