1641File - marchfaq.txt
- Nov 1, 2005MARCH frequently asked questions
1. I'm a nerd and live somewhere between Connecticut and Virginia, yet I never heard of you before.
That's because we are new. We began in early 2005.
2. What does MARCH mean?
We're "Mid-Atlantic Retro Computing Hobbyists" -- an club / user group for fans of vintage computers. Our online home is http://groups.yahoo.com/group/midatlanticretro/ -- we chose Yahoo not because of its technical superiority (LOL!) but because it is accessible to the masses.
3. Just how informal?
Well, we have a few officers who are excellent at shying away from real responsibility. :) These people include me (Evan Koblentz - you can reach me at evan947@...) - president; Andy Mayer - 1st VP; Bill Degnan - 2nd VP; Jim Scheef - treasurer, and John Allain - webmaster. Our vague mission is simply to bring together local collectors, both offline and online, for fun and information sharing. Also, we don't collect dues, but we respectfully ask that each member make a one-time donation of either $20 or a large, strong folding table (it doesn't have to be new). To donate cash, visit the (very temporary) site at http://www.snarc.net/march/ and to donate a table, just email the group saying so.
4. How many swallows does it take to carry a coconut to Britain?
(It depends on what kind of swallow - African or European.)
5. By 'vintage' do you mean, like, this old junky 486 in my closet?
No. Someday that might be the case, but for now, no. We mean the old and not-so-junky Apple II hidden behind your 486. We also mean your Northstar Horizon, DEC PDP-11, Xerox Alto, Commodore Vic-20, and -- well you get the idea. There used to be "the 10 year rule" saying "it's vintage if it's more than 10 years old" but now that could mean Windows 95 and Pentiums, and we definitely do NOT mean those. Nowadays, "vintage" for computer collectors means (more or less) anything from the pre-286 era. Well, a copy of Windows 1.0 is vintage software I guess. But in general, if it runs Windows, we're not interested. That is NOT a function of being inherently anti-Microsoft. It's a function of Windows simply not being obsolete yet. We can hope. ;)
6. I still don't get it. Where can I learn more about what's vintage?
Many places. Pick up a copy of the book "Collectible Microcomputers" by Michael Nadeau. Or for non-micro aspects, go online. Heck, go online anyway. Check out the classiccmp.org mailing lists; the Vintage Computer Festival (vintage.org); old-computers.com; and many, many, many others.
7. Where can I buy/sell/trade old computers?
If you're in the mid-Atlantic region, than please try the "Virtual Swap Meet" table in our Yahoo group database. Otherwise, try Sellam Ismail's site ( http://vintagecomputermarketplace.org ) or Erik Klein's site (http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum ) or as a last resort, eBay.
8. Okay, let's say I am interested in joining MARCH. How?
Just post a friendly message to our boards introducing yourself. Include your name, where you're from in the region, and what you collect. Presto! You're joined.
9. That's cool. So what do you geeks actually DO here?
We discuss hobby topics, we host and participate in events, and we rescue local vintage computers that might otherwise be thrown away. Some of the events in which we participate are the Trenton Computer Festival (TCF) and the Vintage Computer Festival (VCF) East.
10. What are the TCF and VCF East?
TCF is public computer show. It is held at The College of New Jersey, formerly known as Trenton State College, in Ewing, NJ. The 2005 edition was the show's 30th anniversary and MARCH had a large exhibit of vintage computers there. See tcf-nj.org for more information. VCF is a vintage-only show. The main VCF is held every fall in Silicon Valley; the East edition has traditionally been in the Boston area but will be in the mid-Atlantic now that we're hosting it. We'll start with VCF East 3.0 on May 13, 2006 -- see http://www.vintage.org/2006/east/ for details.
11. Okay, ummm, so what else will MARCH do?
We have a few ideas. We will probably hold some swap meets. We're also planning roadtrips to places like Washington, D.C. and Boston. We're also forming our own bricks-and-mortar museum in conjunction with the NJ Antique Radio Club -- see infoage.org. Unlike most museums where you can't touch anything and there is no flash photography, at our museum, we WANT you to tinker and stuff! We'll have a program where any member in good standing can borrow a machine from our collection (one at a time please) to take charge of for restoration purposes. All that's required is that you return the machine in a reasonable amount of time and in better conditon than you took it. That way, members get access to hands-on learning experiences, the museum benefits from it, and everyone wins. We'll also do things like invite students from computer classes and computer camps to visit us on field trips.
12. MARCH is primarily a Jersey thing?
No. It's just a coincidence. We have members all around, from Connecticut to central Pennsylvania to Virginia. We will plan our future events all over the area.
13. I have some other question not on this FAQ.
Okay. Tell us what it is. Do so again by posting to our message boards or pinging me offline.
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