VCF PNW 2019 #History #VCF #Homebrew

Jeffrey Schonbrun

On Saturday I attended the 2019 VCF PNW event at Seattle's Living Computers: Museum + Labs. There were 30 exhibitors, six presentations over the two day event and a small consignment area. There were Atari, Commodore, Amiga, PDP, Apple, Wang, Minix, Perq and Single Board Computer exhibits but nothing using the RCA 1802.

I was able to hear a presentation by Joe Decuir, IEEE Fellow, who was involved with the development of the Atari 2600, Atari 400/800 and the Amiga. I see he will be at VCF East in May and I highly recommend attending his presentation if you can. He is a very interesting and knowledgeable speaker.

Areas I saw that might be of interest to this group:
- Gigatron, a microcomputer built from TTL logic chips (see photo). Kits are around $200 plus shipping from Europe. A bit less if you are able to buy one at a VCF event.
- MakerLisp, a single board computer running LISP (see photo)
- Xformer 10, a software Atari emulator for Windows and ARM64 tablets that can run your favorite Atari games and software (
- MIST board, an FPGA implementation for many16-bit vintage computers
-, a PLATO online system geared towards 8-bit computers for gaming, collaboration, and socializing. Uses a terminal program pterm to access the system. Pterm is available for Windows, Linux, Mac, Atari, Commodore, Tandy and other systems. This seems like an area where an ELF version of Pterm would be very possible. That combined with an ethernet or wifi connection for your ELF would get you online to this interesting system.

The Museum did have a few RCA Cosmac items on the shelves in a storage area with other non-displayed hardware. Looks like it was a COSMAC development system (see photos).

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