Exhibits 2018

Open Source Replicas of Historical Computers

Early computers (1950s to early 1970s) were the birthplace of programming. But they are hard to keep running. Over the last few years, many Open Source Hardware projects have created faithful replicas of these machines. They allow hands-on experience with these old systems, and allow “software archaeology” to show how far we have come. Shown are replicas of the LGP-30 (1950s), PDP-8 (1960s) as well as the pioneering 1970s (PDP11/70, Altair 8800, KIM-1, Cosmac Elf, and OSI-300). All of these are actually easy to build yourself – Open Source projects that often hide very low cost modern parts underneath faithfully recreated old front panels.

Oscar Vermeulen

The DIY Peripherals!

We demonstate computer-related Heathkit and Intersil kits from the early eighties.

Ulrich Fierz

MS-DOS: IBM’s revolution that came to dominate them all

When IBM introduced its PC, that was the beginning of the end of diversity in computer design. Now that IBM made a microcomputer, how could it not be the future? Little did people realise that the IBM PC was hastily put together by a small team that had very little support within the giant - and had to use only standard components for their machine. In hindsight, not its performance but the standardised expansion architecture was an essential key to the success of the concept. Soon enough, Commodore, Atari, and many others were marginalised, to be replaced by a new breed of (Asian) clone manufacturers. The exhibit shows the forefathers of today's desktop PC: The original model IBM 5150 PC, the IBM 5160 XT, the IBM 5170 AT workhorse and a rare intermediate model; the strangely in-between IBM 5162 XT-286.

Hans Thijs

ICL1501 and Datapoint 2200

Both these machines are personal computers from a time before the microprocessor : they have all the hallmarks of the personal computer : targeted to one person, video display & keyboard, local CPU and memory, and a mass memory. Both machines were widely used in their time, yet are hardly known these days. The Datapoint 2200 has an important influence on the computer : it is for this machine that Intel developed the first 8bit microprocesser : the i8008. Alas development ran late and the 2200 therefore has a CPU basen on low integration TTL chips.

Jos Dreesen

Commodore VIC20 : the friendly computer

Released in 1980, the VIC-20 was Commodore’s first low-cost computer aimed at the home market, and was the first computer to sell over one million units.

Based around the VIC chip (Video Interface Chip), it had colour, sound, and it's release was supported by a large library of games. The marketing slogan of the VIC-20 was “The Friendly Computer” and it was released with a user guide that encouraged the user to programme it using the in-built BASIC language, starting an entire generation of kids on their path to a career in IT, as it did today`s exhibitor - Rob Clarke, Linus Torvald - the creator of Linux, and none other than Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and Space-X.

Come and see some of those early games, learn to program a VIC-20 in BASIC, and maybe even win a VIC-20 of your own!

Rob Clarke

Paper Tape on USB

Visible bits and bytes - see, touch and understand data storage. The exhibited paper tape reader and puncher have been “upgraded” with Arduino micro controllers. Thanks to this upgrade this vintage storage system can be used on modern computers. I will show a VT510 Terminal as well for a more authentic look and feel. The full translation logic from serial to different punched tape formats is implemented on the Arduino. Therefore we can punch and read in 8-bit binary, 7-bit ASCII with parity and 5-bit Baudot for teletype.

Werner Meier, SG

The C64 : alive and kicking !

The Commodore C64, from the eighties was the best selling computer ever.

This exhibit shows our beloved Commodore 64 “Today”, expanded with newly developed hardware like the SD2IEC Backpack and the (1541) Ultimate II. Both enable modern memory cards to be used with the C64, along with a whole slew of other improvements.

Also, some related new hardware applied to the Commodore Amiga will be shown. Marc Schaffer / Michael Schenk

Commodore Amigas

The Commode Amiga were the summit of the homecomputer world. At the time they were more powerful than their IBM-compatibles contemporaries.

We show some Amigas in action.

Peter Guhl

PDP-11 originals on the desktop

Today PDP-11 hardware can be supported by micro-Linux computers. So we can build small running systems, even if the vintage hardware is defective, incomplete or too heavy to show. On exhibit are 4 projects:

UniBone - connecting a Beaglebone LINUX-computer to the DEC Unibus environement.

LSIBox - free standing QBUS cards implement a 11/73 running RT-11, RSX-11 or 2.11BSD. Sexy outfit!

DECbox - a VT100 contains simulations of 13 DEC systems (PDP-8,-11,-15, VAX). Typical end user feeling of the 1970's!

BlinkenBone - “Blinkenlight panel” of a 11/70 with simulated machine behind. Real men program with lamps and switches!

More on this stuff at http://retrocmp.com/projects

Jörg Hoppe DE

Last but certainly not least : Vintage Gaming 1977-1985.

We show :

Atari 2600 console (1977)

Philips “Odyssey 2001” console (1977)

Philips Videopac G7400 console (1983)

Commodore SX-64 (1983)

.. all these are fully functional !

We also demonstrate a Raspberry Pi based Arcade-Emulator. This runs all Videopac- and Vectrex-consoles.

Micha Weis - Peter Zumstein - Christoph Stähli