CommVEx XII and VCF West XI recap

Two weeks ago I attended the Commodore Vegas Expo XII, and last week I’ve been at the Vintage Computer Festival West XI.

CommVEx XII

As the name describes it, it was a Commodore Expo in Las Vegas. But the format is a mix between conference and expo. It is a real expo, but with the social part of a conference. It is friendly and casual.

People give talks in a very informal way. I gave a talk + live demo about the UniJoystiCle. Everything went well except that in the middle of the demo my phone’s glass broke. But that wasn’t an issue since the accelerometer kept working.

Doing the UniJoystiCle demo

Bill Seiler, a PET and VIC-20 engineer, attended the expo. While he was there, he repaired a non-working PET 8032. I was lucky because I was sitting next to him and he taught me how to find broken components with a scope.

Bill Seiler repairng the PET

There was a raffle and I won a Commodore 1581 floppy drive and a repair kit. Yay!

I also met also Goog and Jim Drew who were working also on different ESP8266 projects for the Commodore.

Todd Bridges, from Different Strokes fame, visited the Expo. Apparently his first computer was Commodore. I didn’t recognize him, but he was there.

There were all kind of Commodore interesting and funny hacks, like a carryable Commodore SX64.

The carry-able Commodore SX64

See the rest of the photos here:

Vintage Computer Festival XI

Apparently this was the first festival in the “west” since 2007. It was hosted in the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, which is always a good place to visit.

There were very all kind of vintage computers: old mini computers, 8-bit Russian computers, homebrew computers, Commodores, Apples, Tandys and nice hacks like the MOnSter 6502, and differential analyzer built entirely from Meccano parts.

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