File - marchfaq.txt
- MARCH 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.
I realized about 60 seconds after hitting send you were pointing our the FAQ was outdated. Sorry about that.
On 10/11/2015 8:01 PM, Martin A Flynn maflynn@... [midatlanticretro] wrote:<Oversize image removed>
In case the screen shot does not work: https://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/pub78Search.do?ein1=47-4133714&names=&city=&state=All...&country=US&deductibility=all&dispatchMethod=searchCharities&submitName=Search
On 10/11/2015 7:51 PM, 'Bill Dromgoole' drummy@... [midatlanticretro] wrote:
However we do not yet have federal 501(c)3 tax status.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, October 11, 2015 6:35 AM
Subject: [midatlanticretro] File - marchfaq.txt
> MARCH frequently asked questions -- updated Sept. 29, 2014
> 1. What is MARCH?
> MARCH is a user group for people who enjoy collecting, restoring, using, and
> exhibiting antique/vintage computers. Our name is an acronym for Mid-Atlantic
> Retro Computing Hobbyists. Our club's legal name has an "Inc." on the end
> because we're incorporated as a non-profit in New Jersey. However we do not
> yet have federal 501(c)3 tax status.
> 2. Cool, I have some old-school Pentium IIs, and even a 486!
> Sorry, but that's not what we do. By "antique/vintage" we mean things that are
> far more historic. We start (with some exceptions) at the mid-1980s early GUI
> systems, go into early-1980s/late-1970s 8-bit microcomputers, back into
> mid-1970s homebrew kits and single-board computers, then find our way into
> 1970s/1960s minicomputers when "mini" meant as big as a desk or refrigerator.
> Finally, we're into mainframes of the 1950s and 1960s. Of course, we also
> focus on all sorts of books/magazines, cultural artifacts, I/O devices
> (teletypes, terminals) peripherals, software, storage hardware (keypunches,
> magnetic/paper tape, etc.), and everything from this realm. Not counting
> mathematical tools such as a slide rule, our oldest computer artifact is an
> IBM 082 punch card sorter, from 1948.
> 3. I'm a nerd and live somewhere between Connecticut and Virginia, yet I never
> heard of you before.
> Andy Meyer reiterated his idea for a regional user group in the second half of
> 2004. Evan Koblentz started the Yahoo discussion group
> (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/midatlanticretro/) in the beginning of 2005.
> MARCH became a legal entity later that year. Our expertise is technical, but
> we're not so good at marketing. Please help!
> 4. So I have to live in the Mid-Atlantic part of the U.S. to join?
> Nope. That description just conveys where most of our members and activities
> are concentrated -- in the scalene triangle between Hartford, Pittsburgh, and
> D.C. -- but people from beyond these areas are certainly welcome to join us.
> 5. What does MARCH actually do?
> In addition to the busy discussion list here in our Yahoo group, we also
> operate a bricks-and-mortar computer museum on the New Jersey shore. Currently
> our museum occupies almost 1,500 sq. ft. in a wing of the InfoAge Science
> Center, located in Wall Township, New Jersey. We also host various events
> throughout the year including the Vintage Computer Festival East (see question
> #11), technical repair workshops, and our legendary holiday party.
> 6. InfoAge Science Center? What's that?
> 7. InfoAge is a relatively new museum and 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Its
> construction began in the late 1990s and it opened in a "beta" mode in the
> mid-2000s. Its facility is a whole campus, not just one building. There is a
> very rich history here. The campus was built by the Marconi America Wireless
> Telegraphy Co. as a receiving station in 1912, was used as a communications
> laboratory by the U.S. Navy during WWI, and then was in private hands. It
> became a U.S. Army Signal Corps R&D lab just before WWII and remained so until
> the 1990s. Congress decided to close the lab and sell the land. Instead, local
> historians recognized its history and formed InfoAge. Now the campus is on the
> National Parks Service's National Register of Historic Places. InfoAge is also
> a Black History Site and had several other federal and state designations
> related to its service before, during, and after WWII. Public hours for our
> wing are Sunday from 1pm to 5pm. We're also open on many Wednesdays, and some
> Saturdays. You can also make an appointment. For more about the museum and
> campus history please visit www.infoage.org.
> 8. Okay, so back to this computer museum of yours. What's there?
> Our museum has five exhibits: Mainframes, minicomputers, homebrew-era
> computers, business microcomputers, and consumer microcomputers. We have many
> ideas for more exhibits, and we plan to implement those ideas just as soon as
> we move from our current space on campus into a larger building next door.
> That could happen in another year or so.
> 9. Do the computers just sit there or can I use them?
> We strive to restore our systems to operational condition. Some computers,
> especially the microcomputers, are relatively easy to restore and easy to
> replace if necessary. Others, such as our minicomputers, require a more
> serious effort. We make every effort to have these computers available for our
> members' use and to demonstrate them for visitors.
> 10. Can I help restore the computers?
> Yes! Join our group, get to know us, and volunteer to help out.
> 11. What else does MARCH do?
> Lots of fun stuff. In addition to our discussion list and our museum, we also
> host special events. Our flagship event is the Vintage Computer Festival East.
> "VCF East" is a multi-day celebration of computer history! It includes a
> hands-on exhibit hall, lectures, consignment room, book sale, food, prizes,
> museum tours, and more. Our first edition of this hobbyist convention was VCF
> East 3.0, in 2006, because the first two editions were run by a different
> organization. VCF East 4.0 was in June 2007; VCF East 5.0 was in Sept. 2008,
> VCF East 6.0 was in Sept. 2009, VCF East 7.0 was in May 2011, and VCF East 8.0
> was in May 2012. We skipped 2010 and 2013. VCF East "9.1" was April 4-6, 2014.
> VCF East 10.0 -- a.k.a. "VCFeX" -- will be April 17-19, 2015. Details are
> frequently updated at http://www.vintage.org,
> http://wwww.facebook.com/vcfeast, and http://www.twitter.com/vcfeast.
> We also produce smaller exhibits at other events such HOPE (Hackers on Planet
> Earth conference), NJ Science & Engineering Festival, Philadelphia Science
> Carnival, Trenton Computer Festival, and World Maker Faire. In addition, we
> have social events, tech days, museum days, a winter party, etc.
> 12. I still don't get it. Where can I learn more about what's antique/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; vintage-computer.com/vcforum,
> old-computers.com; and many, many, many others. (If you're interested in
> specific machines, just post your question to our discussion list and we can
> refer you to the best sites.)
> 13. What's behind the scenes of this wacky endeavor?
> We have some de facto officers; an official set of bylaws and all that boring
> stuff is being worked on... we're just so busy having fun that we keep
> procrastinating. The officers are (Evan Koblentz - prez), Jeffrey Brace and
> Corey Cohen (VPs), and Justin Jernigan (treasurer).
> 14. Members? Is it like just you and two buddies?
> We're much bigger than that! We have dozens of members, and around 300 people
> in our Yahoo group. Our youngest member is in his teens; our oldest is in his
> 15. What's it cost to join?
> Nothing. MARCH membership is free (as in beer).
> 16. So how do you fund the club?
> Our primary fundraiser is the Vintage Computer Festival East, during which we
> sell tickets, exhibit space, and various items. We also have an annual
> donation drive. Sometimes we also rent artifacts for use at film/television
> 17. Can I make a donation of artifacts or funds?
> Yes! Contact us first, and we'll make arrangements. Info is in the very next
> question of this FAQ.
> 17. I have a question.
> Okay. Reach out to us! Do so by posting to our message boards or pinging me
> (evan@... / phone: 646-546-9999) ... ask us anything, we're not shy!
> (And moreover, unlike some computer clubs, we're not cliquey. All are welcome
> 18. What else should I know before diving in to MARCH?
> If you're a nerd who thinks really old computers and their related
> technologies were cool, then give MARCH a chance. You'll be glad you did.
> Also, if you were wondering, we're NOT a bunch of old farts who sit around and
> whine about how much better things used to be. Quite the contrary: we're a
> bunch of young and mid-life farts who ... ooooh maybe we said too much. :)
> 19. What is your web site?
> We're at www.midatlanticretro.org.
> 20. Are you on social media?
> Yes! We're facebook.com/marchmuseum and twitter.com/march_museum.