Vintage Computer Festival Mid West - 11

On September 10th and 11th, 2016  the eleventh edition of the Vintage Computer Festival Mid West (VCFMW) in conjunction with the Fall Commodore Expo/ECCC, took place west of Chicago in Elk Grove Village, IL at the Holiday Inn. In addition to exhibitions of eclectic electronica, there were featured speakers and some vendors.

A vintage computer festival is a gathering of collectors, hobbyists and curious observers who enjoy tinkering with the computers of decades past. It is here you may find early home computers like the Commodore, Apple and Atari as well as once inaccessible business and scientific systems that cost tens of thousands of dollars in their day.
40 Years of the COSMAC Elf
The 2016 Vintage Computer Festival Mid West was also the 40th anniversary of the release of both the RCA CDP1802 microprocessor and the original magazine article in the August 1976 issue of Popular Electronic.

There where six tables in two rows set up to celebrate the COSMAC event.
My Table at VCFMW 2016
This was my first year to have a table at the VCFWM 2016.

I featured the current version of my COSMAC Elf Plus running with Quest Super BASIC version 6.04.  I had a fifteen question COSMAC Elf quiz for people to take and test their Elf knowledge.

Along with my Retro Elf I also had Lee Hart's Member Ship card running the Tiny BASIC and the classic text BASIC game Euphoria.
Walter's Retro Systems
Walter Miraglia from Canada brought several versions of his computer project systems.

- J-VIP (Front center)
- Walter's version of the Retro Elf (Left of JVIP)
- Mini J-VIP (On top of Retro Elf)
- Apple I  Clone based on Briel design (Background)
S-100 8080 vs Retro Elf?
More of Walter's systems.

- S-100 based computer with 8080 microprocessor (Left)
- Walte's version of Retro Elf (Right in blue box)
- New Mini J-VIP project (on top of the Retro Elf)
- V-JIP (Right side on edge of picture)
Josh's and Ed's COSMAC Systems
Josh Bensadon also from Canada brought out his many CDP1802 based computers.

- ComX computer system (Upper right brown box)
- Josh's version of Retro Elf (Upper left blue box)
- RCA COSMAC VIP (Lower left blue board)

The remaining system are from Ed Keefe and include:

- Surface mount COSMAC VIP (Lower right blue board)
- Two other CDP1802 base projects (Middle PC boards)
More of Josh's Elf systems
Here is the second table full of COSMAC Elf systems.

- Josh's Classic COSMAC Elf (Left wire-wrap board)
- Ed's SMT COSMAC Elf (Second from left)
- Josh's Spare Time Gizmos Elf 2000 (Third from left)
- Josh's VELF project (Fourth from left)
- Josh's Quest Super Elf (Right brown box)
- Josh's Quest Elf I (behind the VELF and Xmas tree)
Lee talking about COSMAC events
Lee Hart was also manning the tables with his COSMAC Membership Cards.
The Wire-Wrap Elf raffle
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the COSMAC ELF compute,r participants where asked to help build a classic wire-wrapped COSMAC Elf based on the original August 1976 article in Poplar Electronics.

The idea was simple: drop by the booth at the festival and wire-wrap a connection or two. Everyone who participated received a raffle ticket, and the newly built ELF was then raffled off.

The design and build is very similar to the original ELF, but with a few improvements to lower its power requirements and provide for easy expansion. The design is primarily the work of Lee Hart (creator of the Membership Card) and Josh Bensadon, with parts donated by several community members.
The Xerox Alto I
Look it IS an original Alto I CPU! One of the attendees had this clean version of the Alto from Xerox at the show. He was willing to open up the main CPU cabinet for us to look at.

Alto would have been an expensive personal computer with an estimated price tag around $40,000 in 1970 dollars.
A wide view at VCFMW 2016
Can you see the Xerox Alto I monitor, keyboard and mose in the middle background.
Another wide view at VCFMW 2016