Lots of fun and interesting things happening this year at VCF East.
There three groups of microcomputers exhibitors (5 people per each group) c=
ompeting to celebrate the 40th anniversy of the appliance computers of 1977=
(TRS-80, Apple II, Commodore PET). I know the Commodore group will have ma=
ny different types of machines, both rare and common. Their goal is to pres=
ent every Commodore computer that was made since 1977. There will be some q=
uite rare ones. In fact a few of *the* rarest ones. I hope to see lots of y=
ou there. The follow are some more interesting details.=20
VCF East XII keynotes: Enigma Machine, C++ inventor Bjarne Stroustrup, 40t=
h anniversary of appliance computers
C++ inventor Bjarne Stroustrup, Ph.D., Enigma machine expert Tom Perera, Ph=
..D., and a panel discussion by computer historian Bill Degnan on the 40th a=
nniversary of appliance computers featuring the Apple II, Commodore PET 200=
1, and TRS-80 Model 1 will be the keynote sessions for Vintage Computer Fes=
tival East XII, March 31-April 2, in Wall, New Jersey.
The event is produced by Vintage Computer Federation (www.vcfed.org), a nat=
ional user group devoted to enabling hobbyists and spreading awareness of c=
omputer history. The Federation is a 501(c)3 non-profit.
Stroustrup, who developed the C++ programming language at Bell Labs startin=
g in 1978, will discuss "The Origins and further Evolution of C++" on Satur=
day morning, April 1. He is currently a visiting professor of computer scie=
nce at Columbia University and a managing director in the technology divisi=
on at Morgan Stanley. His talk is sure to be an excellent follow-up to C la=
nguage author and pioneer Brian Kernighan, who spoke at VCF East X in 2015.
Perera's company, EnigmaMuseum.com, is in the business of hunting for, rese=
arching, restoring, and selling Enigma machines and related items. His talk=
, "Inside the Enigma: The history, technology and deciphering of an early l=
aptop computer and the real story of the Imitation Game" will be presented =
Friday, March 31 after lunch. The World War II German Enigma was arguably a=
n original form of laptop computer. This talk will explain the history and =
technology of the Enigma and link it to the movie "Imitation Game" which te=
lls the story of the cracking of the German Navy Enigma code and the extrao=
rdinary contributions of mathematician Alan Turing to this endeavor. In ord=
er to keep the audience interested and involved, the movie has allowed some=
inaccuracies and omissions in the history and technology and in the master=
ful portrayal of the eccentric mathematician Alan Turing by Benedict Cumber=
batch. This talk will trace the actual story of the Enigma and the cracking=
of the Enigma Code and attempt to fill in some of the Enigmatic aspects of=
Alan Turing's personality. Perera will also give a more technical demonstr=
ation of how the machines work and a real-time disassembly of an Enigma in =
a separate session that day. He will give further demonstrations and will o=
ffer for sale his Enigmas, Enigma simulators, other historic cipher machine=
s, books, Enigma Library CD-ROM, and related items on Saturday and Sunday. =
Perera was formerly a professor of neuroscience at Columbia University, Bar=
nard College, and Montclair State University.
Degnan is a co-founder of the Mid-Atlantic chapter of Vintage Computer Fede=
ration, a professional programmer and web developer, and formerly taught co=
mputer history at the University of Delaware. At his panel, "1977: The year=
of the appliance computer" you'll learn about the launch of the Apple II, =
Commodore PET 2001, and Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 1. Bill will guide the dis=
cussion to explore how the appliance computer facilitated the expansion of =
computers as an appliance into small businesses, schools, and the home. Pan=
elists will be separated into three groups each representing the Apple, Com=
modore, and Tandy/Radio Shack perspective. The panel will respond to questi=
ons and share their knowledge and personal experiences. The discussion will=
continue from 1977 through the milestones of 1980s 8-bit appliance and hom=
All three sessions will be 90 minutes which includes audience Q&A. Further =
details will be shared as the event nears.
If you want even your news even more frequent and granular, then you've got=
options! Read our blog at vcfed.org, join the discussion forum, like us at=
facebook.com/vcfederation, and follow us through twitter.com/vcfederation.
Please consider donating to Vintage Computer Federation for the holidays! C=
ontributions are tax-deductible. It's a great cause to help us enable hobby=
ists and spread awareness of computer history.