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VCFSW Panels & speakers

We have a variety of speakers giving talks on their industry experience, teaching a class, or joining a panel discussion. We're currently building the list of speakers for 2024 so check back regularly!

If you have something interesting to present please reach out to us!


The Streamers Panel

A Vintage Computer Festival tradition. We'll gather the creators and streamers attending the show and they'll tell you about their experiences and let you ask questions.

We have quite a few creators coming to Southwest 2024 and we'll announce the lineup as the date approaches.

Putting on a VCF... How hard can it be?

A round-table discussion with show runners from VCFs across the country. We'll talk about the ups and downs of planning a VCF and attendees can ask questions.

Hardware is Hard

A light-hearted panel discussion hosted by Dave Park of obtainium retro about the difficulties of making new hardware for old machines. The panel will include Kevin Williams of TexElec, and June Tate-Gans of Nybbles and Bytes. More panel members will be added.

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Boisy Pitre
Porting OS-9 to the Foenix F256 - Friday @ 3:15pm

The Foenix F256 is a new retro computing platform for 6502 and 6809 enthusiasts. In this presentation, I talk about how I approached porting the OS-9 operating system to this exciting system.

About the presenter: 

Boisy's retro-computing interests lie primarily in the home computers of the 1980's, notably the Tandy Color Computer (aka CoCo). Along with Bill Loguidice, Boisy co-authored the book ''CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer'' (2013), published by Taylor & Francis.

  • Web Link Icon
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charles sobey
New Value in Old Data: Recovering Legacy Tapes - Saturday @ 2:00pm

Plano-based ChannelScience is developing breakthrough technology for the US Department of Energy to recover irreproducible scientific data stored on deteriorating legacy magnetic tapes.

About the presenter: 
Chuck directs the application of signal processing, probability analysis, and error correction coding (ECC) for ChannelScience’s clients. His expertise includes emerging and novel data-centric applications in semiconductor memory, storage, archiving, and networking. He has secured $1.6M in funding from the US Department of Energy to prototype magnetic sensing and signal processing innovations. These will enable access to irreproducible datasets stored on deteriorating legacy magnetic media, unlocking “new value from old data” for machine learning. 

  • Channel Science Website
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cory smith

BASIC Past, Present, and Future - Saturday @ 2pm

Part history and part analysis of how BASIC has changed and yet remained unchanged for 60 years; including the "Microsoft" influence (of almost 50 years).

Hands-On with QBasic - Sunday @ 12:45

Let's write some code... no previous experience necessary!

About the presenter: 

Cory Smith is a genuine fan of the BASIC computer language and software developer by profession using some variant of BASIC (for the most part) over the past 30 plus years.

  • gotBASIC Website
cory Wiegersma

History of the MiniDisc Format - Friday @ 2pm

The history of the MD format and some common misconceptions esp w/re US law pertaining to digital home recording.

About the presenter: 

Cory has been involved with vintage tech since before it was vintage and has been running a vintage Mac forum for about fifteen years now. He got into Minidisc in 2021 as an additional Pandemic Hobby and it has since become his primary research project and music tool.

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jeff wires
Playing Every Computer Video Game! - Saturday @ 10:15am

Jeff Wires and is trying something that has never been done before. He's playing every video game in order of release! He runs a live show where guests can remote in and play games every weekday at 9pm central and the recordings are posted on YouTube. Jeff started with the year 1971 and played every video game (consoles, handhelds, computer and arcade) in the 70s and we are now in the 80s!
Show Streams LIVE Every Weekday at 9pm Central

  • YouTube
  • Twitch
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john hardie

John discovered the magic of Pong like most early generation gamers and became an Atari fan, buying their various game systems and computers. Along with his quest for information about the industry, he began collecting physical artifacts and prototypes in 1986. John has written for various publications, created and organized conventions, helped create a traveling videogame museum and is co-founder and on-site Director of the National Videogame Museum. John is still the ultimate Atari Fan to this day, using their old computers almost daily in his spare time.

  • National Videogame Museum
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marcel erz
Introduction to Digital Electronics: From Schematics to Circuits - Saturday @ 10:15am
Join me for an immersive crash course in digital electronics, where you'll learn to read simple schematics and assemble digital circuits on a breadboard. This workshop is geared toward beginners who want to extend their vintage computers. It offers hands-on experience with standard IC components and breadboards, covering the fundamentals of digital circuit design. Materials will be provided.
Mastering PCB Design with KiCAD: From Concept to Creation - Saturday @ 2pm
Dive into the world of PCB design with KiCAD in this workshop, which is geared towards beginners. From crafting schematics to generating PCB layouts and ordering prototypes, you'll gain practical skills applicable to vintage computing and beyond. Templates for schematics for a few vintage computer extensions (e.g. memory extensions) will be provided.
About the presenter: 
While a software engineer by profession, Marcel has always been deeply interested in electronics, specifically digital electronics. In recent years, he has devoted time to explore the low-level implementation of computer systems. Over the last few years, he began analyzing schematics of vintage computers to understand their workings and developed extensions for them, including for the Apple 1 and Ti99/4A. Most recently, he began open-sourcing some of his latest creations on GitHub, which includes a reimplementation of the TRS-80 Model 1 and a disk controller for the Exidy Sorcerer.
  • RetroStack Website
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monty mcgraw
How does Tektronix Color-Enhanced DVST Work? - Saturday @ 9:00am
Tektronix lead the market in the 1970's and early 1980's with direct view storage tube technology. I will present the original Tektronix DVST technology introduced in 1963 and discuss how it is used in my Tektronix 4054A exhibit which includes an Option 30 Dynamic Graphics coprocessor and Option 31 Color-Enhanced Dynamic Graphics storage tube CRT.
About the presenter: 
I used a Tektronix 4051 vector graphics microcomputer in the 1970's at my first job out of university. This was a great experience with with a completely self-contained microcomputer running BASIC in ROM with internal DC100 tape drive and external GPIB peripherals like 8-inch floppy drives, digitizing tablet and built-in 12-inch flat storage tube CRT with 1024x780 vector graphics resolution. This was years before the emergence of the Apple II and other home computers. I then worked at Texas Instruments, Compaq Computer, Hewlett Packard and Hewlett Packard Enterprise designing and architecting PC compatible computers and servers.

I collected a Tektronix 4052 with same CRT as the 4051 and a 4054 with a 19-inch storage tube display in 2000 and have been posting on github 4050 BASIC programs that I have recovered from tapes and writing new 4050 BASIC programs ever since. I also designed my Flash Drive replacement for the 4050 internal tape using an Arduino with microSD card for storage connected to the 4050 GPIB connector and supporting all the 4050 BASIC tape commands and added a directory command so the microSD can hold all the 100's of MB of files I have recovered.
  • Youtube
shane grieve

Machines from Around the World Are Not Like the Others - Saturday @ 11:30

Eastern European, British, and Australian machines.

About the presenter: 

Traveler and collector of machines from around the world

steve lewis

Domesticating the Computer (1950 to 1980) - Sunday @ 12:45

A tour of various computer systems across several decades, with a focus on the 1970s. This talk is a tribute to the progress that brought us the Information Age and is an overview of several contenders as "the first personal computer."

About the presenter: 

Steve Lewis is a Computer Engineer graduate from the University of Florida and has worked at Lockheed since 2001. He has an interest in history and reflects on remembering the world before "a computer in every home" became a reality. Steve has actively been part of the PC industry since the 1980s, and has collected and maintains a number of "post big iron" vintage systems (staring with his first collection of a Commodore PET rescued from a dumpster).

  • voidstar website
Thomas Cherryhomes

FujiNet State of the Union 2024 - Saturday @ 12:45pm

An overview of the fast moving pace of the FujiNet WiFi Adapter for 8-bit systems, what systems are coming, software being worked on, and more!

How Atari Coin-Op Development Tools Worked - Saturday @ 11:30am

Through this presentation, we show the assembler and linker used by Atari to modify a copy of Centipede, from its original source code, and subsequently assembling, linking, splitting onto ROMs, and running the resulting code.

About the presenter: 

Thomas Cherryhomes is the firmware engineer and co-founder of the FujiNet project, which aims to bring the Internet to every 8-bit computer and console on planet Earth. He spends most of his time on Discord helping coordinate the distributed efforts of many FujiNet hackers.

  • FujiNet Website
  • Youtube
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Vince Briel

C.H.I.P. Tiny Single Board Color Computer Workshop - Sunday @ 9:00am

Build a 4" X 3" Color Computer (C.H.I.P.) based on the Parallax Propeller Microcontroller.

About the presenter: 

For 13 years Vince ran Briel Computers where he recreated several vintage computer replica's. He was featured in Welcome To Macintosh documentary and he has had articles written on replica 1 project in Wired Magazine. Vince now resides in North Dallas area working for Splunk.

  • Vince's GitHub
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