Archive for the ‘VzEkC’ Category

Classic Computing 2021

November 21, 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.


(German) Youtube video.

VCFB and Classic Computing 2017

December 29, 2017

This year (still 2017) I attended the VCFB 2017 in Berlin that took place October 7th & 8th, 2017. I mainly participated because this was also the host of the yearly Classic Computing exhibition of the (very German) club “VzEkC” (Verein zum Erhalt klassischer Computer) whose member I am since some years now. The club name translates to “Association for the Preservation of Classic Computers”. It is active all over Germany.

But back to the event. It took place in the German Museum of Technology Berlin, in an area that used to be part of the Goods Yard of the former train station “Anhalter Bahnhof” that does not exist anymore. It was spacious and well-equipped, and the event was really fun. The museum itself is something you have to visit if you happen to visit Berlin because it will interest you for sure as you read this blog 🙂 It contains planes, ships, and trains and has e.g. a quite high Trip Advisor rating. The permanent exhibition on Computer Science includes such things as replicas of the first German computer and other Zuse machines.

The event had over 2000 visitors, and featured a Lectures & Workshops track. You can find reports and pictures about it here (German) and here (German).


There was also an Award for the Most Popular Exhibit and it was deservedly won by Ansgar Kückes showing his exhibit “WarGames” (picture above). It showed a HP 9845C setup that was used to produce the “War Room” graphics for the movie “War Games” including some original hardware used in the movie production. The point was that the production team had (in 1983) no huge displays to show the graphics in the war room. Therefore, they used the above setup to pre-record the graphics (using such tricks as the rotating three color filters as the used vector display was monochromatic) on film. During filming the movie the recorded film was then projected on the screens and the actors had to act in correspondance with the shown graphics. This was the end result in the movie:


Very impressive. Both the movie and the exhibit on how these scenes were made.

StuS 2014

June 19, 2014

On July, 4th – 6h 2014 I organize a tiny retro computing meeting (called StuS) in Stuttgart, Germany with the usual bunch of retro fiddlers.

If you are able to speak German, visit for a forum on this meeting.

If not, and you are interested to participate, send me an email or post a comment.

See you at Classic Computing 2010

October 1, 2010

I’m off to the Classic Computing 2010 meeting in Walddorf, Germany. Maybe we meet there?

Dates: October, 2nd and 3rd 2010, 10:00 – 16:00 (Sa – 18:00)

Location: Festhalle Walddorf, Badstr. 33, 72213 Altensteig-Walddorf, Germany

I prepared a display on Magic Cap computers. Let’s see how the folks like it…

Vintage Computer Meeting in Stuttgart

June 12, 2010

I’m organizing a small Vintage Computer Meeting next week in Stuttgart (Germany :-). In case you’re interested: follow this link (German…).

Name: Stuttgarter Sommertreffen (StuS)
Date: 18.-20.06.2010
Location: Mahatma-Gandhi-Str. 13+15, 70376 Stuttgart
Duration: 2.5 days

Program (apart from talking and soldering):

  • Friday, 18.6.2010, 16:00 Guided Tour IBM Museum, Sindelfingen
  • tbd: Guided Tour Computer Museum at the University of Stuttgart

5th Waiblingen User Meeting

March 8, 2009

As I promised, here is a report of the 5th Waiblingen User Meeting of the German “Verein zum Erhalt klassischer Computer” (Society for the Conservation of Classical Computers). It took place in Waiblingen, Germany, where about 20 people met for one day spending it chatting on vintage computing, repairing old computers, playing, and enjoying the rare opportunity to have around people that share the same strange interest.

I am new to the scene, and it was my first event of this kind, and I had as much fun as everybody else. The mixture of geekiness and mature behaviour of persons who have their own family is much more calm and much more ennjoyed as a seldom event in an otherwise routine life than the gatherings When We Were Young and the same computers we use now were state of the art :-).

Still, the guys (and girl) are geeks which I could tell already from the fact that no one seem to wonder or even asked why I wore my stereo mike headset-look-alike livescribe system with which I recorded the event audio-wise. Obviously, one had seen much more oscure things than that :-).

I interviewed each and everyone on what computers they collect, what they think about buying stuff at Ebay, and what system might be missing in my Ebay list (turns out I have to add the Amiga 1000).

By the massive help of electro-man (well, in fact he did and I watched amased…) I finally got my Tatung Einstein 256 power-and-video cable made using an Einstein not-256 power supply, half a SCART cable and half the provided Einstein 256-to-monitor cable, and it worked. Yeah! All I now have to figure out is which of my TV sets is able to display the UK variant of PAL :-).

On display were several C64s, a Zenith CP/M machine, a Vectrex console, several Amigas, and, my personal highlight, the massively pimped ZX81 of some crazy german guy who added an external keyboard, a floppy controller, floppy disk drives, a hard disk controller and hard disk, a plotter kit, a massive switchable ROM, a central PSU for all that together with a DIY UPS, and a bunch of not-yet-identified extensions that Christian Ortner is currently restoring after having obtained the system. The only PCB not made by the guy himself is the ZX81 PCB, and the hard disk controller…

All in all, it was an event that was really fun and that motivates me to go to other such meetings (maybe the next VCFE).

I’ll try to get some photos on the event.