Last Sunday, Alex and Amy traveled to the InfoAge Science Center in Wall, N.J. for Vintage Computer Festival East 8.0.
We attended a lecture on the history and impact of analog computing by Dr. Kent Lundberg. The session was informative and intriguing.
We then participated in a Soldering Workshop where we built a small blinking LED kit.
Around 1:00 pm, Daniel Kottke started his keynote presentation on the early years of Apple. He was a college buddy of Steve Jobs who traveled with him to India and worked for him in the earliest years as they formed the company. He assembled and tested Apple I computers and worked as an engineer on the Apple II series, Apple III and Macintosh computers. There was a lot of detailed talk about Jobs’s college years, of course, but once he started talking about building the Apple systems and his inside experiences things got interesting pretty quickly.
The interactive exhibits didn’t open until after the keynote, and we needed to go through the ballroom in which it took place to check it out. So we headed out a bit early to check out the other buildings. We quickly found the Radio Technology Museum, something we could both appreciate. A nice gentleman guided us on a tour, sharing all this fascinating information with us about early radio communication, how the manufacturing of stereos, record players and other systems grew over the years (they had many, many classic models set up and playing in the museum!), and also touched on the early years of television systems. This whole tour was a highlight to the day. Definitely suggest checking this place out.
Finally, we headed into the next building which had exhibits set up with early computers and military communications and computing equipment in about five different rooms. At the end was a big hall filled with small stations of interactive vintage computer displays – some with old game programs running and many a kid taking their turn on them. We stopped briefly before this interesting display that involved an iPhone sending data through the headphone jack to a Commodore PET that was running a program to translate the data and recreate the picture. Here is an example of how it’s done, only the other way around.
Here are a few more photos from the day.