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27576Sunday at Maker Faire demontrating the Apple I Mimeo

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  • Jeffrey Brace
    Oct 1, 2012
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      Jeff Jonas met me there around 9. We set up the Apple I Mimeo. I brought my mini iPod so that we could BASIC and the Lunar Lander program into the Apple 1 Mimeo through the audio port. There was a problem with the light above the apple 1 Mimeo, basically it was broken and didn’t work all day. The maintenance guy thought that it was the light bulb and replaced it, but it was the fixture that was broken. So that was unfortunate. Another big and annoying problem was that throughout the day the Apple 1 Mimeo would spit out random characters causing technical difficulties. The running belief was that there were power fluctuations causing it, from the building as a whole. Since there was so much power being used throughout the place.
      Anyway onto the good parts. It started out slow, maybe 6 visitors per hour for the first two hours. Then it started to double and triple, until there was generally a steady flow and a small line. Especially when it poured rain outside and many people came inside. So it got quite busy. There were different types of people. Those that didn’t have a clue what an Apple 1 was, those who had some clue, those who knew about it, and those who thought they everything about it.
      I would get questions like: “I thought it was sold in a wooden case”, “what can you do with an Apple 1”, “Did you build this yourself ?”. It was fun when a parent would explain to a kid that this was how things were “back when I was a kid”. One guy even showed his daughter how to write a BASIC program. You know input “what is your name”;a$ print A$.
      My spiel was “Do you know what an Apple 1 is ?”, then “Do you know who Steve Wozniak is ?”, “What about Steve Jobs'”. Then explaining how Steve Wozniack build it and then Steve Jobs convinced him to sell it and how it led to the Apple 2. 
      So there were lots and lots of visitors and just when I thought I could sit down and take a break, then another person came by. I was quite glad that Christian Liendo came at 2:30 to give me a break, as I had done it nonstop for 5 hours at that point and was getting quite tired.  I took that opportunity to eat, rest and then look around Maker Faire. Quite some fun stuff there ! 3D printing, quad copters, coke zero and mentos, live electronic music with all kids of instruments etc.
      The highlight of my day was meeting Jeri Ellsworth ! I had a 10 minute conversation with her, but had to get back the Apple 1 because I happened to be alone at that time (Jeff Jonas was taking a break). I didn’t want strangers to damage the Apple 1 by tapping away on the keyboard etc.
      I also told all visitors about MARCH, VCF, Infoage and all it’s museums. Our museum hours, the famous aspects of Infoage and Camp Evans. So hopefully we will get visitors because of this. One guy seems to have gone to our exhibit at Maker Faire every year, because he remembers what we did each time. Jeff Jonas brought the “Weird NJ” magazine which had an article about InfoAge.
      All in all it was very successful and well worth it for me. It was quite fun and quite exhausting.
      Jeff Brace
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