Vintage Computer Festival Pacific Northwest 2020: Come join us!

Come join us March 21st and March 22nd in Seattle at VCF PNW 2020!

Look forward to:

  • 24 Exhibits featuring big-iron, classic 8 bitters, replicas, and even new machines!
  • 6 Presentations including Bil Herd and Joe Decuir, IEEE Fellow!
  • Take part in our very first Vintage Computer Typing Contest! Win not-so-valuable prizes!
  • Buy (or sell) treasure in the consignment area!
  • Enjoy our host, the world-renowned Living Computers:Museum+Labs!

This year at VCF PNW we will be celebrating and exploring computing history with twenty-four exhibits and six presentations spread over two days. VCF exhibits are interactive; we want you to experience them, not just gaze upon them. Our host, Living Computers:Museum+Labs, provides an excellent backdrop for the event.

Exhibits are brought to you by enthusiasts from the United States, Canada and Australia. Exhibits include big-iron, homebrew machines, workstations, replicas, modern enhancements, classic machines and even new machines inspired by the classics. Come feel the heat of the VAX cluster, play Doom on a Unix workstation, experience a BBS, learn how to repair a PDP-8, jam on an early software based synthesizer setup, see random numbers generated by LAVA® lamps, and more!

Our speakers and topics this year include Bil Herd (Commodore history), Dr. Zbigniew Stachniak (MCM/70 emulation), Darius Kazemi (Internet RFCs), Jon Philpott (ArcAS: an arcade action programming game), Scott Swazey (PDP-11/45 and the Star Wars Death Star graphics sequences), and Joe Decuir (Amiga history).

The event is free with paid museum admission. For more details head over to . We hope to see you there!


It’s great to see more and more regional VCFs! There was, once, one in the UK, which I got to and much enjoyed. I suspect for most of us there’s a limit to how far we might travel for an event - some will go further than others, of course. I think there are two, or perhaps even three, which run regularly in Europe and I notice there’s one in Italy this year:

(I do go regularly to ABUG meetups in the UK, and sometimes also RISC OS events. We always see some non-Acorn machines at ABUG, and these days we see some pre-RISC Acorn machines at RISC OS events too. There are, I think, some more inclusive events at one or other of the UK museums, but they tend to be billed as retro gaming events, which is for me just a little less interesting. The museums themselves are always worth a visit, but that’s not quite the same as an event.)

There are quite a few of these events:

  • VCF West was the original “VCF”. It ran for about 9 years, then went on a long multi-year break.
  • VCF East has been consistently running since 2001. (It skips a year once in a while.)
  • VCF PNW started in 2018. I launched it and run it, and 2020 is the third year now.

All of those are run by, which also has the VCFed forums.

Besides the “official” VCFed sponsored ones there are:

  • VCF Midwest, which is huge and has more of a convention feel to it.
  • VCF Southeast near Atlanta, GA
  • VCF Italia, which is closely linked to the VCFed but is technically a different group because of the geography.
  • VCF Europa (Zurich, Switzerland and Munich, Germany)

And then there are the genre specific meetups … of which there are too many to count.

I like them all. But I really enjoy the VCF ones, enough to put quite a bit of time to making them happen. It’s one of the few events where you can see high dollar LISP workstations and 8 bit homebrew machines together, and be able to touch and interact with both of them.

(I just need more time to get back to hobbies. mTCP has been neglected the last few years.)

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I notice VCF East is promoting itself on EventBrite

which I found on DragonFly BSD’s Digest, and they found on

(Personally I stay well away from facebook, but that’s another common way to promote events. Our local Tech Shed uses it. And I think perhaps Google scrapes it, because I see results there too.)

I’m afraid FB is a necessary evil now. While I won’t use it, we do have a presence on it so that we can reach all of the retro computing people where they hang out. (Our best advertising is word-of-mouth so that’s what we concentrate on.)

EventBrite is more of a practical matter; if we can sell tickets in advance we can get people in faster instead of having them bunch up at the door. It also helps us plan for crowd control and parking. As a non-profit I hate paying for services that we can live without, but that one changes things quite a bit and makes it easier for us.

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And, it’s gone …

The museum closed indefinitely yesterday leaving us without a venue; COVID-19 is a very real problem in our area. I don’t think we had a particularly high risk event but that wasn’t my call.

Stay well …

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Oh, that’s a shame. I may have read that another VCF is also cancelled. I suspect any large gathering is vulnerable - both because of risk to participants and the chance of very low turnout.

So sorry, @mbbrutman. A lot of work up in smoke.

I have opening day baseball tickets, I’m pretty sure they’re not going to be very useful.

Website for the Italy event says:


There are two VCF in Germany: VCFE in Munich, usually around last weekend in April. And VCFB in Berlin, with approx. half a year offset to Munich. I regularly enjoy both, but I’m not sure, if I’d travel far outside Germany to visit even more VCFs.


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There’s an idea here, to have a virtual celebration over the weekend of 21st, by the posting of short videos:

Well, they should then be directed to a thread here since these shows are half as much about seeing stuff as they are about hob knobbing, networking, and reminiscing with the rest of the folks and their old Camaro’s and '57 Chevy’s.

(It would be great to see more participants here, but of course, other forums are available, perhaps most notably VCF’s own. I believe this one and that one can happily co-exist, together with many others which may be more or less platform specific.)

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Actually, what maybe they should do is have the folks submit a video, and, those willing, have them participate in a live conversation about their video. A simple presentation followed by a Q&A session. Cherry pick “the best ones”.

Screen cast the whole thing, invite questions from viewers.

It’s not quite like being there, but I think it’s a bit more spontaneous and interactive than followups on a forum post.

It would take some orchestration to be sure, but at least it’s an actual “event”, even if remotely attended. I don’t know if they could pull it off in time, but I think it’s a good idea.