Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

WACC

Expand Messages
  • Steve
    Did any of our members attend the World Altair Computer Convention (WACC) in Albuquerque thirty years ago? What recollections do you have? For our younger
    Message 1 of 3 , May 17 1:26 PM
      Did any of our members attend the World Altair Computer Convention
      (WACC) in Albuquerque thirty years ago? What recollections do you have?

      For our younger members, it was staged by MITS, and is generally
      regarded as having been the first microcomputer convention. Other
      shows, like the NCC, already existed, but they were almost exclusively
      concerned with minis and mainframes. The WACC was intended to showcase
      MITS products, but ended up going far beyond that, with a lot of major
      manufacturers selling and displaying their wares. From all reports, it
      was wildly successful. In a way, you might think of it as the
      Woodstock of the PC world. For our younger members, Woodstock was....

      Steve
    • BOYD BORRILL
      Steve; I was there. I was not an ALTAIR dealer, but my store, The Data Domain had been opened for over two months and I wanted to meet as many people from the
      Message 2 of 3 , May 17 8:06 PM
        Steve;
        I was there. I was not an ALTAIR dealer, but my store, The Data Domain had been opened for over two months and I wanted to meet as many people from the industry, so I went, And it was very different than the usual computere conferences like the NCC which I had attended every year since 1961. But it was also not as you describe it either. It was a MITS show, 100 %. With the exception of Cromemco, with the Dazzler and the Cyclops camera and I think their D+7AIO amalog I/O cards, which MITS approved of, they did not allosw anyone to have exhibit space, so companies that wished to show their S-100 bus compatable boards had to rent a hospitality suite and give prospects an invitation to their suite.
        The show itself consisted of exhibits of things being done by the owners of the ALTAIR, and some of them were surprisingly good consideering that a very high percentage of the software was written without the benefit of a higher level language or a disk drive.Remember that this was March, 1976 and there were not too many copies of MITS Basic or their 8* floppy disks available yet. Cassetes were the "mass storage device of choice but believe me, the audio cassete was never used as a mag. tpe drive. It was only used to load and store programs. There was a good deal of MITS orchestrated seminars in conference rooms and the big Lunch Banquet was over-booked. Ted Nelson "Computer Lib/Dream Machine" author gave the keynote speech wich was funny, riisque, irreverant and futureisstic, and kept the huge audience hysterical for nearly an hour with ribald predictions of the adult sex toys of the future when they bacame computer controlled.
        I met and got acquainted with Ted and his associates who were forming their store in Evanston, IL and had already heard of The Data Domain from members of the Chicago Area Computer Hobiest Exchange (CACHE)  some of whom were already good customers of ours. I also met the Processor Tech people and their friends like Gordon French and a few others, and lots of other people from all over the country. There were about 5000 people in attendance if I recall correctly and it was very exciting due to the fact that it had NOTHING to do with the "REAL" computer industry.
         
        Ray
         
        Steve <alltare@...> wrote:
        Did any of our members attend the World Altair Computer Convention
        (WACC) in Albuquerque thirty years ago?  What recollections do you have?

        For our younger members, it was staged by MITS, and is generally
        regarded as having been the first microcomputer convention.  Other
        shows, like the NCC, already existed, but they were almost exclusively
        concerned with minis and mainframes.  The WACC was intended to showcase
        MITS products, but ended up going far beyond that, with a lot of major
        manufacturers selling and displaying their wares.  From all reports, it
        was wildly successful.  In a way, you might think of it as the
        Woodstock of the PC world.  For our younger members, Woodstock was....

        Steve







        Pioneer Purveyor of Personal Processing Power
      • Steve
        MITS took over most of the main floor, but I remember that many other vendors were there too. One company (was it Micropolis?) displayed their high-speed
        Message 3 of 3 , May 18 9:29 AM
          MITS took over most of the main floor, but I remember that many
          other vendors were there too. One company (was it Micropolis?)
          displayed their high-speed audio cassette drive with computer control
          of its functions. Byte magazine (when it was still a hobbyist
          magazine) had wandering reps who were selling $100 lifetime
          subscriptions. There were lots of other companies on the upper
          floors, too. A good share of them were "crashers" who were not there
          by invitation.

          I met Ted Nelson there too, and I bought his 2-sided book. It was
          very interesting then and it's still a good read today. Worth quite
          a bit of $$$ on ebay too, if I'm not mistaken. Another publication
          worth having for historic reasons is the 3-ring MITS binder that was
          handed out at one of their technical seminars. It wasn't a product
          manual- it was more of an introduction to the Altair with an overview
          of the theory of operation of the computer, memory, and I/O. There
          were a few schematics and a lot of other info. Unfortunately, my
          copy disappeared long ago, and I've never come across another. There
          couldn't have been more than a few hundred produced.

          One of the Altair owners who exhibited his system was a guy who was
          using ferrite cores as his working RAM. I remember a big stack of
          core frames sitting next to his Altair, I think he may have won a
          prize for that system.

          Most people probably remember the Dazzler. It was a ground-
          breaker at a time when screen graphics and color were both very
          unusual. Cromemco had a rudimentary chess program running, with the
          chess board displayed on a color screen. At the time, everyone was
          impressed by their kaleidoscope program too. It all seems like such
          simple stuff now, but it was a very big deal then.

          Steve
          ==================================

          --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, BOYD BORRILL
          <b.r.borrill@...> wrote:
          >
          > Steve;
          > I was there. I was not an ALTAIR dealer, but my store, The Data
          Domain had been opened for over two months and I wanted to meet as
          many people from the industry, so I went, And it was very different
          than the usual computere conferences like the NCC which I had
          attended every year since 1961. But it was also not as you describe
          it either. It was a MITS show, 100 %. With the exception of Cromemco,
          with the Dazzler and the Cyclops camera and I think their D+7AIO
          amalog I/O cards, which MITS approved of, they did not allosw anyone
          to have exhibit space, so companies that wished to show their S-100
          bus compatable boards had to rent a hospitality suite and give
          prospects an invitation to their suite.
          > The show itself consisted of exhibits of things being done by the
          owners of the ALTAIR, and some of them were surprisingly good
          consideering that a very high percentage of the software was written
          without the benefit of a higher level language or a disk
          drive.Remember that this was March, 1976 and there were not too many
          copies of MITS Basic or their 8* floppy disks available yet. Cassetes
          were the "mass storage device of choice but believe me, the audio
          cassete was never used as a mag. tpe drive. It was only used to load
          and store programs. There was a good deal of MITS orchestrated
          seminars in conference rooms and the big Lunch Banquet was over-
          booked. Ted Nelson "Computer Lib/Dream Machine" author gave the
          keynote speech wich was funny, riisque, irreverant and futureisstic,
          and kept the huge audience hysterical for nearly an hour with ribald
          predictions of the adult sex toys of the future when they bacame
          computer controlled.
          > I met and got acquainted with Ted and his associates who were
          forming their store in Evanston, IL and had already heard of The Data
          Domain from members of the Chicago Area Computer Hobiest Exchange
          (CACHE) some of whom were already good customers of ours. I also met
          the Processor Tech people and their friends like Gordon French and a
          few others, and lots of other people from all over the country. There
          were about 5000 people in attendance if I recall correctly and it was
          very exciting due to the fact that it had NOTHING to do with
          the "REAL" computer industry.
          >
          > Ray
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.