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[ale] Computers. It's what all the kids are doing today.



The Vintage Computer Festival Southeast (
http://vintage.org/2013/southeast/) was incredibly awesome.  I thought
the Apple Pop-up Museum was kind of
lame, but the convention hall was full of a fabulous mix of crazy old
geezers, brilliant young kid-hackers, and a tiny fraction of bewildered
parents and hangers-on just tryin' to keep up.  Among the highlights were
an original Imsai 8080, a working replica of a SCELBI 1 (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCELBI ), a working digital simulator of the
Enigma machine, a relay-based tic-tac-to playing machine, and a set of 4
networked '486's where you could rock DOOM like it was 1992.  Eminances
included the guy who drew many of Byte Magazine's covers and some folks who
were part of the original Apple Computer company.

And did I mention the "learn to solder" project tables? This kit featured a
programmable 5-LED array driven by an ATTINY 45 chip, which you could
program on the spot.  It was way more cooler and amazing than the
MakerFaire LTS project, albeit significantly more expensive.  The guy
running it told me that he was able to draw the circuit boards on a piece
of scrap generated from a board which he's helping to manufacture.  I
figure the things must've cost north of a buck-fifty even so -- the ATTINY
chip alone in DIP packaging is almost a buck even in quantity.

It was a great, great time.  If you didn't go this year, you should make
plans to go to the next one. I know I shall be there. If you some
kid-geeks, kidnap them and make sure to bring them along as well.


-- CHS
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