Computer History Pioneers Congregate on November 3-4 at Vintage Computer Festival Event

Share Article

Vintage Computer Festival Celebrates History of Computing on November 3-4 with live antique computers and living legends and historical figures from the computer industry.

The Vintage Computer Festival, a yearly event that celebrates computers and their history, is being held on November 3-4 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

Anticipation is building for what is expected to be the biggest and most well-attended event since the Festival's founding ten years ago. Celebrated once a year in Silicon Valley, as well as three other locations worldwide, the Vintage Computer Festival is the largest and most prestigious event of its kind, featuring a lecture series, an exhibition of working vintage and antique computers, and a marketplace for traders to buy and sell vintage computers. Collectors from around the world attend this event, which was founded in 1997. The Festival also recognizes its own history this year as it marks its tenth anniversary.

This year, attendees will be treated to several historical figures in the computer industry, including Lee Felsenstein (designer of the classic Osborne 1, one of the first portable computers, and the SOL-20, one of the first personal computers), Al Hoagland (designer of the first commercial disk drive), legendary MIT proto-hackers Bill Gosper Steve Russell (author of the first videogame, Spacewar!), Wesley Clark (not the general, but the inventor of the first transistorized computer in the US) and prolific computer book author Lance Leventhal, who wrote dozens of computer self-help books throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

One of the keynote sessions at the Festival this year is a panel featuring the engineers who in the early 1960s designed the LINC (Laboratory INstrumentation Computer), which was a revolutionar computer design that some consider to be the first "personal computer".

The Festival also features a marketplace for collectors to buy, sell and trade vintage computers. There is also a screening of documentaries and films on both days of the event that have vintage computing or vintage technology themes. Some of the filmmakers will be present to talk about their work and give introductions to their films. There will also be an abstract artist (Christine Finn) on site throughout the event constructing a collaborative artwork based on discarded technology, culminating at a talk she will give on the piece at 3:00pm on Sunday.

The Computer History Museum is an ideal location for the Festival as it allows attendees the opportunity to tour the Museum's collection while also attending the lectures and exhibits organized by the VCF. Tours of the Museum's collection will be given throughout the afternoon on each day of the Festival. Special theme tours during the weekend will include "A Brief History of the Internet" and "The History of Video Games", which are both guided by Museum docents. There will also be live demonstrations of ancient mainframe computers that have been painstakingly restored to working condition, including an IBM 1401 mainframe circa 1960 and a Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) PDP-1 minicomputer circa 1961 running Spacewar!, the first ever videogame, written in 1962. The game's author, Steve Russell, will also be speaking at the Festival.

The Computer History Museum is located at 1401 North Shoreline Blvd. in Mountain View, California, just off highway 101. The Vintage Computer Festival opens at 9:30am each day, with first sessions beginning at 10:00am and the exhibition and marketplace opening at 2:00pm each day. The film festival runs from 11:00am to 6:00pm each day. The Festival officially ends
at 6:00pm on Sunday.

Complete event information including admission, directions to the venue and the event schedule can be found on the VCF website:
If you'd like more information about this event, or to schedule an interview with Sellam Ismail, please call 925/294-5900, send e-mail to [email protected], or visit our website at


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Sellam Ismail

Sellam Ismail
Visit website