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Re: Idea for our Maker Faire exhibit

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  • Jeff Jonas
    ... I forgot the precise genesis of this idea. Evan and I were brainstorming while sorting parts in the H warehouse and I remember suggesting you are the
    Message 1 of 30 , Jun 12, 2013
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      --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, "Evan Koblentz" <evan@...> wrote:
      > Here's the big idea for a MARCH exhibit at Maker Faire this year.

      > We can get a 20x20 space and build a "Be the Bit" maze
      > out of PVC (frame) and painter's tarps (walls).
      > The exhibit will target families.

      I forgot the precise genesis of this idea. Evan and I were brainstorming while sorting parts in the "H" warehouse and I remember suggesting "you are the program" where you must execute a basic-like program with a GOTO with every step so you cannot just follow the charts in order. Like a "choose your story" book, it allows for multiple stories and different endings (ABEND! core dump!), or all the same ending (exit 0). More advanced programs would gosub/return, perhaps using musical notation like "to coda" since that's the same concept! So to answer those asking for more complex things: we already thought of that and Evan applied KISS.

      More complex would be punching everyone a paper tape with their name and perhaps some binary, so reading back the tape "runs the program" as they sneakernet the tape from one device to another. At least it would be an excuse for not just getting a paper tape but having to use it for something.

      Evan even thought ahead to layout/composition and keeping the staffing to just 2-3 people.

      And as folks have realized, it's extremely re-useable and applicable to MARCH's addressing the younger audience at Infoage too.
    • Mike
      My assumption is that most of the Maker Faire attendees have at least a passing interest in making stuff. Flash Corliss at VCF-atlanta had a display of
      Message 2 of 30 , Jun 13, 2013
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        My assumption is that most of the Maker Faire attendees have at least a passing interest in "making" stuff.

        Flash Corliss at VCF-atlanta had a display of reproduction/kit computers - Mark 8, Cosmac elf, etc. Would have been a very relevant Maker Faire exhibit. Another angle might be restoration of original gear - show a badly beat up garage find next to a completely restored and operating unit.

        Kids like games, but I have noticed that the the more modern the game is, the better they like them. Color graphics and a joystick seem like the minimum baseline for most (but not all) kids.

        By the way, does MARCH have handouts/info sheets that they give away to interested parties at these shows? If not, I may be able to help in that area.

        Regards,
        Mike W.
      • Dave McGuire
        ... Just one data point here...My PDP-11/70 at VCF-E last year had a few terminals running various text-based games. (and one just sitting at a RSTS/E prompt,
        Message 3 of 30 , Jun 13, 2013
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          On 06/13/2013 02:00 PM, Mike wrote:
          > Kids like games, but I have noticed that the the more modern the game
          > is, the better they like them. Color graphics and a joystick seem
          > like the minimum baseline for most (but not all) kids.

          Just one data point here...My PDP-11/70 at VCF-E last year had a few
          terminals running various text-based games. (and one just sitting at a
          RSTS/E prompt, of course) Young kids, age 10 or so, took to those games
          like ducks to water. They'd never been exposed to that sort of thing
          before, but they seemed to intuitively "get it". It was fascinating to
          watch their facial expressions as they figured it out, and then started
          playing.

          -Dave

          --
          Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
          New Kensington, PA
        • Bill Sudbrink
          ... That sort of matches up with a VCF display I m planning to do some day titled So You Say You ve Built A Computer . The display would be broken into
          Message 4 of 30 , Jun 13, 2013
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            Mike wrote:
            > My assumption is that most of the Maker Faire attendees
            > have at least a passing interest in "making" stuff.

            That sort of matches up with a VCF display I'm planning to
            do some day titled "So You Say You've Built A Computer".

            The display would be broken into segments like:

            Did you use a screwdriver? How about a drill or saw?
            This section would contain information and artifacts
            about the simple mechanical aspects involved in a
            vintage computer chassis. I have a number of hacked
            up chassis examples. Would contain various info about
            mounting your own power supply, fans and other cooling
            requirements, various switches, etc.

            Did you customize your OS? How about your bus?
            This section would show various add in cards (mostly S-100)
            and describe the process involved in setting them up and
            modifying the OS to use them. It would also describe the
            loose interpretation of some "standards" that ended up making
            cards that should be compatible incompatible. Display some
            of the really "wacky" cards with dozens of jumpers to try to
            cover all of the bases.

            Did you use a soldering iron? How about wire wrap?
            Did you copy the circuit out of a magazine? Did you
            design your own?
            This section would show full kits, bare boards and
            proto-boards and describe the process of construction
            and testing. I have a couple of unassembled S-100
            card kits. Also show vintage hobbyist magazines with
            construction/design articles.

            Bill S.
          • Cory Smelosky
            ... I like that guyÆs stuff. His stuff is what made me want some DECtalk gear so I could do some similar stuff. ... On 11 Jun 2013, at 14:32, Kyle Owen
            Message 5 of 30 , Jun 13, 2013
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              On 11 Jun 2013, at 14:32, "Kyle Owen" <kylevowen@...> wrote:





              Again, it was mostly adults that even were slightly amused at Tic-Tac-Toe on my 6800. The kids went straight for King's Quest. Playing "The Entertainer" on the 6800 drew some more people in. Stuff like this is entertaining, as it's actually pretty good music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w68qZ8JvBds

              I like that guy’s stuff.  His stuff is what made me want some DECtalk gear so I could do some similar stuff.


              Maybe it's just me, but I'm all about sharing this hobby to more people and get some general interest, even if it means emphasizing the more fun aspects of vintage computing. I personally think of it more as a hook into the fascinating realm of vintage computers than a reinforcement of these computers as toys.

              Kyle



            • Ray Sills
              ... That s the way a lot of kids operate: they push buttons, flip switches, and observe what happens. Eventually, (often quickly) they figure out what does
              Message 6 of 30 , Jun 13, 2013
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                On Jun 13, 2013, at 2:53 PM, Dave McGuire wrote:

                > On 06/13/2013 02:00 PM, Mike wrote:
                >> Kids like games, but I have noticed that the the more modern the game
                >> is, the better they like them. Color graphics and a joystick seem
                >> like the minimum baseline for most (but not all) kids.
                >
                > Just one data point here...My PDP-11/70 at VCF-E last year had a few
                > terminals running various text-based games. (and one just sitting at a
                > RSTS/E prompt, of course) Young kids, age 10 or so, took to those
                > games
                > like ducks to water. They'd never been exposed to that sort of thing
                > before, but they seemed to intuitively "get it". It was fascinating
                > to
                > watch their facial expressions as they figured it out, and then
                > started
                > playing.
                >
                > -Dave
                >
                > --
                > Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
                > New Kensington, PA

                That's the way a lot of kids operate: they push buttons, flip
                switches, and observe what happens. Eventually, (often quickly) they
                figure out what does what and are able to map that into their brains
                and begin serious usage. They simply are not intimidated by something
                "complex and difficult" to understand. You should see my 2 1/2 year
                old grandson navigate his way around my iPhone! Grownups, for
                whatever reason, seem to be afraid of "doing the wrong thing" and
                messing it up. Kids don't care.

                73 de Ray
              • Cory Smelosky
                ... I still solve problems that way. IÆm a /bit/ more cautious, but without that method of problem-solving, some of my problems would never get solved. ;) I
                Message 7 of 30 , Jun 13, 2013
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                  On 13 Jun 2013, at 15:01, "Ray Sills" <raysills3@...> wrote:



                  On Jun 13, 2013, at 2:53 PM, Dave McGuire wrote:

                  On 06/13/2013 02:00 PM, Mike wrote:
                  Kids like games, but I have noticed that the the more modern the game
                  is, the better they like them.  Color graphics and a joystick seem
                  like the minimum baseline for most (but not all) kids.

                   Just one data point here...My PDP-11/70 at VCF-E last year had a few
                  terminals running various text-based games. (and one just sitting at a
                  RSTS/E prompt, of course)  Young kids, age 10 or so, took to those  
                  games
                  like ducks to water.  They'd never been exposed to that sort of thing
                  before, but they seemed to intuitively "get it".  It was fascinating  
                  to
                  watch their facial expressions as they figured it out, and then  
                  started
                  playing.

                               -Dave

                  -- 
                  Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
                  New Kensington, PA

                  That's the way a lot of kids operate:  they push buttons, flip  
                  switches, and observe what happens.  Eventually, (often quickly) they  
                  figure out what does what and are able to map that into their brains  
                  and begin serious usage.  They simply are not intimidated by something  
                  "complex and difficult" to understand.  You should see my 2 1/2 year  
                  old grandson navigate his way around my iPhone!  Grownups, for  
                  whatever reason, seem to be afraid of "doing the wrong thing" and  
                  messing it up.  Kids don't care.

                  I still solve problems that way.  I’m a /bit/ more cautious, but without that method of problem-solving, some of my problems would never get solved. ;)

                  I got a broken I/O module to work in a Cisco 7200 by removing a burning transistor or resistor from the board through brute force once.  It made it (mostly) work believe it or not...


                  73 de Ray






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                • Mike Loewen
                  ... It s not just kids. Here s Alex Bodnar engrossed in Mystery Mansion on my HP 2109E:
                  Message 8 of 30 , Jun 13, 2013
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                    On Thu, 13 Jun 2013, Dave McGuire wrote:

                    > On 06/13/2013 02:00 PM, Mike wrote:
                    >> Kids like games, but I have noticed that the the more modern the game
                    >> is, the better they like them. Color graphics and a joystick seem
                    >> like the minimum baseline for most (but not all) kids.
                    >
                    > Just one data point here...My PDP-11/70 at VCF-E last year had a few
                    > terminals running various text-based games. (and one just sitting at a
                    > RSTS/E prompt, of course) Young kids, age 10 or so, took to those games
                    > like ducks to water. They'd never been exposed to that sort of thing
                    > before, but they seemed to intuitively "get it". It was fascinating to
                    > watch their facial expressions as they figured it out, and then started
                    > playing.

                    It's not just kids. Here's Alex Bodnar engrossed in "Mystery Mansion"
                    on my HP 2109E:

                    http://www.flickr.com/photos/osr/7151170579/in/pool-810295@N25/lightbox/


                    Mike Loewen mloewen@...
                    Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
                  • Mike
                    What I m saying is that if you have two systems, each loaded with a game, one with color and joystick and the other with a monochrome text and a keyboard
                    Message 9 of 30 , Jun 13, 2013
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                      What I'm saying is that if you have two systems, each loaded with a game,
                      one with color and joystick and the other with a monochrome text and a keyboard sitting side by side and a kid walks up, the vast majority of kids will gravitate towards one rather than the other.

                      I know that there are games running in monochrome text mode that any literate person would enjoy.

                      Regards,
                      MIke W.

                      --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Mike Loewen <mloewen@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > On Thu, 13 Jun 2013, Dave McGuire wrote:
                      >
                      > > On 06/13/2013 02:00 PM, Mike wrote:
                      > >> Kids like games, but I have noticed that the the more modern the game
                      > >> is, the better they like them. Color graphics and a joystick seem
                      > >> like the minimum baseline for most (but not all) kids.
                      > >
                      > > Just one data point here...My PDP-11/70 at VCF-E last year had a few
                      > > terminals running various text-based games. (and one just sitting at a
                      > > RSTS/E prompt, of course) Young kids, age 10 or so, took to those games
                      > > like ducks to water. They'd never been exposed to that sort of thing
                      > > before, but they seemed to intuitively "get it". It was fascinating to
                      > > watch their facial expressions as they figured it out, and then started
                      > > playing.
                      >
                      > It's not just kids. Here's Alex Bodnar engrossed in "Mystery Mansion"
                      > on my HP 2109E:
                      >
                      > http://www.flickr.com/photos/osr/7151170579/in/pool-810295@N25/lightbox/
                      >
                      >
                      > Mike Loewen mloewen@...
                      > Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
                      >
                    • Dave McGuire
                      ... Oh yes, absolutely. ... Sure. I was just sharing what happened, as I was surprised by it. -Dave -- Dave McGuire, AK4HZ New Kensington, PA
                      Message 10 of 30 , Jun 13, 2013
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                        On 06/13/2013 05:44 PM, Mike wrote:
                        > What I'm saying is that if you have two systems, each loaded with a game,
                        > one with color and joystick and the other with a monochrome text and a keyboard sitting side by side and a kid walks up, the vast majority of kids will gravitate towards one rather than the other.

                        Oh yes, absolutely.

                        > I know that there are games running in monochrome text mode that any literate person would enjoy.

                        Sure. I was just sharing what happened, as I was surprised by it.

                        -Dave

                        --
                        Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
                        New Kensington, PA
                      • Dave McGuire
                        ... -Dave -- Dave McGuire, AK4HZ New Kensington, PA
                        Message 11 of 30 , Jun 13, 2013
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                          On 06/13/2013 04:10 PM, Mike Loewen wrote:
                          >>> Kids like games, but I have noticed that the the more modern the game
                          >>> is, the better they like them. Color graphics and a joystick seem
                          >>> like the minimum baseline for most (but not all) kids.
                          >>
                          >> Just one data point here...My PDP-11/70 at VCF-E last year had a few
                          >> terminals running various text-based games. (and one just sitting at a
                          >> RSTS/E prompt, of course) Young kids, age 10 or so, took to those games
                          >> like ducks to water. They'd never been exposed to that sort of thing
                          >> before, but they seemed to intuitively "get it". It was fascinating to
                          >> watch their facial expressions as they figured it out, and then started
                          >> playing.
                          >
                          > It's not just kids. Here's Alex Bodnar engrossed in "Mystery Mansion"
                          > on my HP 2109E:
                          >
                          > http://www.flickr.com/photos/osr/7151170579/in/pool-810295@N25/lightbox/

                          :-)

                          -Dave

                          --
                          Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
                          New Kensington, PA
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