I stopped at InfoAge again today. I measured the whole main hall (dining
room of the "Hotel" as it's known) along with the large adjacent room
(lounge) in some detail on grid paper. I'll turn that into a CAD drawing.
After that was done, I and Henry Stinga (a co-worker of Frank O.'s) began
investigating the electrical power situation. First, we labeled every
outlet in the dining room, from A to Z, and then to double-C (there are a
lot of outlets!) Second, we tested them all to see which worked and which
are dead. Most worked and we took notes on all this. Third, sometime in
the next few weeks, we're going to meet again and starting tripping the
breakers to determine which outlets are on which circuits. Then we can make
some informed decisions about how to organize the VCF exhibitors. Fred
pointed out that the dining room was set up to power kitchen appliances and
air conditioners, in many cases on 220V, so it's probably good enough for
our VCF requirements. But either way we'll be able to do things like spread
apart any high-amp exhibits so they're on different circuits.
And now for a funding update: in my last message (Thursday) I wrote: "Think
about it -- If 15 of us each get five people to donate $10, then 15 x 5 x 10
= $750! That goal should be EASILY reachable within a few weeks. And those
figures are just a starting point; there's no reason not to take them much
As the leader around here (whose dumb idea was THAT...!?), I decided to
beta-test the family donations concept on my own family first. :)
The test worked! My parents wrote a check tonight for $40, my aunt and
uncle sent a check for $25, and my brother and his wife pledged $20 (when
they return from a trip in early February.) The envelope from my aunt and
uncle included a note that says "It is so wonderful that you continue to
make your interests/passions your daily life. Good luck with Camp Evans!"
So, Jim the Treasurer, expect to get $85 from me soon, if not more (I'm
still counting on other family members.)
Everyone else: clearly the donations plea resonates with our loved ones.
The math above is very simple -- what's ten bucks, right? Surely we all
know five people who could contribute!! That's an insanely easy way to make
major money in a hurry. Go do it!!!
Here is some boilerplate text you can all use in email to people:
"A few years before World War I, the Marconi company established a research
facility on the New Jersey coast. Later that facility became a U.S. Army
base. Throughout both World Wars and the Cold War, the base known as Camp
Evans served as a communications and electronics research hub, where
engineers and scientists who were also soldiers worked on everything from
RADAR to the Manhattan Project to satellite technology.
"Now, the Army is gone from Camp Evans, and the property is called the
Information Age Learning Center, incorporated as a 501(C)3 non-profit
organization and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The
mission of "InfoAge" as it's called is to become a hands-on science
education center for children and adults alike. All of the work is done by
volunteers. When the restoration is complete, there will be several museums
in one, such celebrating the history of radio, telegraph, diving/boating,
military transportation, railroad, computing, etc. -- all parts of the whole
engineering and scientific effort that Camp Evans became famous for.
"Our part of InfoAge is a computer museum. The museum is run by our club
called MARCH -- the Mid-Atlantic Retro Computing Hobbyists -- which already
has a mailing list of more than 100 people in only one year of existence.
Our club is a non-profit organization on its own and our membership reaches
from Boston to Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C., and everywhere in between.
Per the InfoAge mission, we're building hands-on exhibits to teach adults
and future generations about the history of computing. We will also host
various events where historic computer hobbyists from all over the east
coast can gather a few times per year. Additionally, we intend to host
classes, lectures, swap meets, student groups, etc. -- but this means we
have to purchase some basic requirements such as insurance, display cases,
and all the things needed to effectively operate a museum.
"So we're respectively asking for your help. You are our families, friends,
co-workers, and more. We ask that everyone please contribute just $10.
However, if you are interested in preserving the history of technology, or
if you have or know of children who enjoy learning about computers, and if
you have the means, then we would be extremely grateful for any larger
contributions. For gifts over $100, please contact MARCH president Evan
Koblentz ahead of time at evank@...
, in order to arrange for a
donation receipt which may be tax-deductable.
"With your contribution, please include the name of the MARCH member you are
connected with, so that we may thank the member and include your name on a
plaque that will accompany our future museum grand opening.
"Checks may be made payable to Mid-Atlantic Retro Computing Hobbyists Inc.,
or payment may be made via PayPal to the email address
... of course we always welcome donations of
antique computers as well. Thank you! [Note: Much more information about
the amazing history of Camp Evans is located at www.infoage.org and tours
can be arranged by appointment only. The base is located at 2201 Marconi
Rd., Wall, NJ, 07719.]"
So again, I ** urge ** everyone in MARCH to send a friendly and sincere
message to everyone whose computer you might've fixed... This is a good way
for them to pay you back without it feeling creepy. :) And please don't
waste any time -- get right on this because, quite frankly, we REALLY need
Evan Koblentz's personal homepage: http://www.snarc.net
Computer Collector Newsletter:
Mid-Atlantic Retro Computing Hobbyists & Museum: