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Big update on our museum and InfoAge stuff

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  • Evan Koblentz
    Hello MARCHins! Or is it martians ... I wonder about some of you! ;) Here s what going on lately. - Saturday, Sept. 16 is the grand re-opening of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 20, 2006
      Hello MARCHins!

      Or is it "martians"... I wonder about some of you! ;)

      Here's what going on lately.

      - Saturday, Sept. 16 is the grand re-opening of the National Broadcasters
      Hall of Fame. This used to be here in the metro NYC area, then was moved to
      Hollywood many many many years ago, and now it's back. The guys from the
      various InfoAge radio clubs are running it. This year they will induct the
      voice actor Arthur Anderson, the news anchor Charles Osgood, and guitar
      legend Les Paul. Tickets for the actual ceremony are pricey and personally
      I'm not that interested, but we've been asked to set up a small demo of
      vintage computers. I'm still not clear on the times for that demo (i.e.,
      when the public will be passing by, vs. when they'll be in the ceremony, but
      I'm trying urgently to get that sorted out and will report back to this list
      ASAP.) For more info on the ceremony: http://infoage.org/NBHF.htm

      - Big thanks to Joe Giliberti for telling us about this Star Trek event in
      November: http://www.creationent.com/cal/stny.htm ... This week I'll contact
      the event organizers to see if MARCH can have a display there. The audience
      might be one of the few groups around where the members are even bigger
      nerds than us!

      - Regarding our musuem per se: on paper, the InfoAge board wants to be
      officially "open" as of the second week in September. The plan is to have
      at least one member of one associated group staff the place every Saturday
      (or Sunday -- that's to be determined.) Each group will make a simple
      training document to explain its exhibits to the docent-of-the-day. So for
      example, if someone from NJARC or the model train group was the designated
      staffer one Sunday, he's have a bunch of documents at the front desk, and
      when visitors arrive they would express their particular interest and the
      docent could guide them around. It's perfectly acceptable for the docents
      to emphasize their own group, but it will also be an easy and fun way for
      each group to learn about the others. Since there are a dozen-ish groups,
      each with dozens of members, it should be pretty simple for InfoAge to get a
      list of a 52 week's worth of volunteers. (The specific dates when you're
      available are not important right now.) So ... I'll volunteer for as many
      days as possible, albeit less in the winter (hey, I have Giants season
      tickets, deal with it! :) .) Who else would like to volunteer? (And
      finally, just to be super-duper-clear: all we're seeking is for members to
      volunteer ONE weekend day per year, although more is of course very
      welcome.) There might also be a training day, when we learn who to call in
      case of emergencies, what's off-limits, where they keep the fire
      extinguisher, what to do if aliens invade, etc.

      - Bill Degnan and I plan to attend the California VCF (the biggest, oldest
      VCF) which is Nov. 4-5 in Mountain View. Because of airplane issues, we're
      planning an exhibit of vintage laptops and portables. Sellam said he'll
      lend us almost anything we need for the exhibit so we don't have to haul it
      all on the airplane. That means we only have to bring computers that he
      doesn't already have, and he pretty much has everything! So we can limit
      our exhibit baggage to one or two specific systems and any necessary
      documentation / software / etc. We can also use his workshop to build some
      actual exhibit displays on-site if necessary. If anyone else is interested
      in going (which I ** HIGHLY ** recommend, then fyi, I found the best airfare
      prices so far via Travelocity and United -- in the $340 range.) Some more
      background: the main VCF is just like our VCF East show was, but bigger!
      For starters, it's basically three days. Everyone starts arriving
      throughout the day on Friday to set up their exhiits and to help Sellam set
      up the tables and stuff in the afternoon. Informal group meals/socializing
      are inevitable Friday night. Instead of having the exhibits and the
      speakers run simultaneously, as we did at East, at the main VCF the speakers
      are Sat. and Sun. in the morning, while the exhibits are also both days in
      the afternoon. Saturday night all of the exhibitors and VIPs go to dinner
      together. Just as I explained ahead of the East show, the single most fun
      thing to do at VCF isn't seeing the actual computers, it's hanging out with
      your fellow collectors. LOL, they get some REAL characters in California --
      lots of names you'll know from classiccmp. As far as venues go, it's night
      and day compared to us/InfoAge. Whereas we're a literal start-up with
      practically no money, the main VCF is help at the Computer History Museum,
      which is a former Silicon Graphics marketing headquarters; the building is
      all glass and exposed steel. It's amazing. Of course, they have a $75
      million endowment... Right now I'd be happy if someone approached us with a
      plain old $75 donation. :)

      - Lest anyone think that all these events are getting in the way our of our
      museum plans: you'd be somewhat correct, but hey, we're having fun right?
      Still our museum is coming along albeit slowly. Last week, stored in a
      remote InfoAge building which I hadn't ever been inside of before, I found
      three displays from the U.S. patent office which somehow made their way to
      InfoAge and got stored away and forgotten ... They were refridgerator-sized
      displays in honor of Bob Noyce, Jack Kilby, and Jay Forrester. Good stuff!
      They were very dirty and will need some TLC, but as per the InfoAge culture
      of "it's better to do first and apologize later than to ask first and never
      get," I decided these exhibits should be part of the MARCH preview room. So
      I rounded up a "volunteer" (ha -- thanks Steve G.!) and we brought them to
      our space. I'm also eyeing which space to carve out for our first real
      exhibits in that secondary building behind the main building. I was
      thinking that a "Computers of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast U.S." might be
      a good first exhibit for us -- there are plenty to choose from in that
      category. So, please start thinking about it. :)

      - We're still looking for * energetic, active, hard-working people * to help
      with various club-related jobs. We need someone who will be in charge of
      membership. That means tracking members, their donations, and actively (not
      passively!) getting new people involved. We also need someone who's
      interested in advertising and marketing. By default, Jim S. and myself have
      been doing most of this stuff, but we need help.

      That's all for now.

      - Evan
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