Classic Computing 2021

My (as well as many others) first vintage computer event after the start of the pandemic was the Classic Computing 2021 in Vöhringen, Germany.

The exhibition took place in middle of September 2021, in retrospect one of the few periods in the last two years where there was both a relatively low Covid incidence rate among vaccinated people and where the pandemic restrictions where bearable and suited for such an event. The CC 2021 did have a 3G Corona protection concept (as required by the state of Bavaria) which was controlled at the entrance by an external person.

Due to the Corona concept, the area was not so densely populated with desks as in previous years and offered space for only some 30 exhibitors in the beautiful Cultural Center of Vöhringen. Also the number of visitors was smaller than in previous years (at 250 – 300 visitors), but still enough to ensure that the halls did not feel empty.

There were many interesting things on display, but my highlight was the Atari Museum booth of the local organizer who exhibited basically every Atari computer that there was.

I exhibited this year my Atari ATW 800 workstation, filling the only blank that the regular Atari exhibition left open 🙂 I originally wanted to work on installing the software so it would again, but did not find the time to do so. As a result, there was not much to admire that the hardware itself.

Many things were smaller this year, but one thing was was absolutely massive this time was the Take-away-for-free-corner. Using almost the entire length of one of the halls on the 1m deep windows board a plethora of consoles, games, software, computers, accessories, printers, and things of mysterious nature waited for exhibitors and visitors alike to be taken home and valued. It was so much that the entire area need to be filled a second time.

One tradition of this event which is the yearly convention of the German Association for the Preservation of Classical Computers (VzekC) is the auction. If there are hardware donations, they are auctioned of at one evening. Only members of the association can participate. As every year there is a good amount of interesting hardware and an equally large amount of not-so-interesting things to be auctioned off. In order not to have to scrap the uninteresting things ourselves, auction lots are bundled containing potentially interesting things together with uninteresting material. If you win an auction, it’s your task to take the entire lot with you. That’s why you find e.g. Sun workstations bundled with two trashworthy PCs. Everyone interested in a lot buys one or more raffle tickets and then the lot is raffled off. This event is always great fun, even if you don’t participate. This year we had e.g. a slough of Atari 2600 consoles together with a lot of cartridges, many Sun workstations, monitors, and many old PCs.

All in all, it was a worthwhile event that felt good after a long time without any face-2-face activities, and one hopes that Corona does not prevent such events next year.

References

(German) Youtube video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cBtx_KZrHw

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