News


Welcome to the Vintage Technology Association webserver. Recent updates are listed below.

 

2017-05-21 Jaynestown
Posted by Accutron  

 

Dayton Hamvention has once again reached its conclusion. Despite the fact that the flea market transformed itself into a disgusting swamp of sentient, prehensile mud by noon on Saturday, we effortlessly shattered our Hara Arena sales record and purchased a number of impressive new items for the museum. Particularly noteworthy finds include a MITE AN/UGC-41 compact teletypewriter, several new pieces of HP test equipment, a Dana 8010B Electronic Counter and a number of unusual vacuum tubes. Many of these new devices will be added to the museum in the upcoming weeks.

We would also like to give special thanks to LHF (James), who traveled all the way from China and attended Hamvention specifically to meet us and donate some fantastically rare LED displays.

2017-05-12 The New Nexus of Awesome
Posted by Accutron  

 

Dayton Hamvention 2017 starts next Friday in its new venue at the Greene County Fairgrounds & Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio. Our booth is located at Hamvention's exact geographical center, spaces 7414-7419 and 7514-7519 in the west section of the main flea market area. Inventory is even larger than it was last year, with a massive quantity of computers, calculators, electronic components, test equipment, typewriters, scientific apparatus, video games, technical books and other items too numerous to mention.

2017 Hamvention Program (PDF)

Amidst the frenzied pitch of Hamvention preperations, we have completed quality control updates to the Diodes, Triodes, Tetrodes & Pentodes, Spark Gap Tubes, Trigger Tubes & Passives and Detection & Imaging Tubes exhibits, and have also added several new devices to other exhibits. Among these new additions are a Victor 19-4461S desktop calculator and two gas discharge glow lamps: the General Electric AR-1 argon-nitrogen UV glow lamp, and the Melz TH-20, a Soviet analogue of the General Electric NE-34 neon glow lamp.

2017-05-03 Modem of Death
Posted by Accutron  

 

We have added two early laptops to the Digital Computers exhibit: the NEC PC-8201a and Epson PX-8 Geneva. In addition to these machines, an entry has been added for the Bell System Dataphone 9600, the world's deadliest modem. Weighing over 20kg, one might assume its preferred method of killing was blunt force trauma, but a Dataphone 9600 did in fact poison a pregnant woman and her unborn child in 1983.

Along with these new entries, most of the photographs in the Diodes, Triodes, Tetrodes & Pentodes and Spark Gap Tubes, Trigger Tubes & Passives exhibits have been replaced, along with the addition of several new devices.

2017-04-15 The Typing of the Old
Posted by Accutron  

 

The new Typewriters exhibit is starting to look like an actual exhibit. There are now articles for the IBM Model B Executive, IBM Selectric, IBM Personal Wheelwriter 25, Olivetti Lettera 32 and Lettera 33, Olympia SM7 DeLuxe and Remington SR-101. We have also added new articles for the Burroughs Cash Machine, Mostek MK5017BA clock controller and the exceedingly rare Proton KIPD73A, a Soviet-manufactured green LED prototype in an unusual 12x12mm package.

2017-03-24 Shoot the Core
Posted by Accutron  

 

We have added a number of interesting new items, mostly from a recent equipment donation:

- 2L101B, a primitive silicon carbide LED of Soviet manufacture.
- Allen Systems FX-97 single-board computer.
- Applied Microsystems EM-188 8080/8085 diagnostic emulator.
- Burroughs Portable Adding Machine, a motorized variant with direct subtraction.
- Burroughs SD-11-B-1000-635 sphericular optic display, a rare variant of the SD-11 with black digits on an illuminated background.
- D-G Electronic Developments Super 89 CPU card with two Heath/Zenith Z-89 I/O cards.
- Futaba DM-20 and Iseden DP89A VFD displays.
- Smith-Corona Marchant 10095-F calculator memory PCA with a highly visible TDK EM-2985 432-bit magnetic core memory plane.

In addition to these items, we have started building a new Typewriters exhibit.

2017-03-15 Integrated
Posted by Accutron  

 

In the past week, the Digital Integrated Circuits exhibit has received the same treatment as other recently rehabilitated sections, with over 100 new photographs, a number of new IC devices and other content improvements. We have also added four calculators from the 1970s to the Electronic Calculators exhibit: the Commodore US-1, Eiko Unitrex 1200, Victor Comptometer 83-1421 and the matchbox-sized Casio Micro-Mini M-800.

2017-03-07 Restoration
Posted by Accutron  

 

Our readers may have noticed some significant changes here recently. Three weeks ago, we migrated to new server hardware, and we are in the process of refurbishing the content of the entire website. Ultimately, every photograph which does not meet modern standards will be replaced. Many new items will be added, and a few will be removed, to reflect the current contents of our collection. This process is already well underway; all entries in Mechanical Calculators, Electronic Calculators, Logic & Memory Circuits, Integrated Optoelectronics, Glow Transfer Counting Tubes, Beam Switching Tubes, Discrete Semiconductors, Discrete Optoelectronics and Microwave Amplifier & Oscillator Tubes have been completely updated, and include about 60 new items in total. These new and refurbished entries can be easily identified by their larger thumbnails and non-shitty photographs.

The most important new entry in this ongoing update is a highly noteworthy Hewlett-Packard 9820A programmable desktop calculator, used internally at HP Loveland. The key-per-function 9820A is the direct predecessor of the powerful 9825A, and utilizes an earlier version of the HPL programming language. The 9820A CPU is a serialized adaptation of HP's early 16-bit minicomputer architecture, condensed into 128 TTL ICs. 98x0 series machines are the first computational instruments developed by HP which incorporate either semiconductor RAM or LED technology; the 9820A utilizes Intel 1103 1kbit dynamic RAM and features an impressive 16-character alphanumeric readout constructed from four horizontally stacked HP 5082-7101 LED displays.

2016-08-01 The Great Migration
Posted by Accutron  

 

Three days ago, it was announced that Hara Arena, home of Dayton Hamvention since 1964, would be closing permanently due to decades of mismanagement and neglect. After a nail-biting weekend of speculation and concern, it has been revealed that Hamvention will be relocating to the Greene County Fairgrounds & Event Center in Xenia, Ohio. DARA has wisely chosen a site beyond the reach of Dayton, a once-great city which has imploded into a sociological black hole of government corruption, poverty and crime. Although Hamvention will never be quite the same again, we believe the move to Greene County is an excellent decision, and will greatly benefit the event in the long term.

For those unfamiliar with the area, Xenia is a medium-sized farming town southeast of Dayton along Route 35. Xenia is the county seat of Greene County, and is perhaps best known as ground zero of the most badass tornado in written history, the 1974 Super Outbreak F5, which effectively erased half of the town. Be warned: if you approach Xenia from the north along Route 68, you will have to drive through Yellow Springs, the midwestern capital of poor life choices. Once you pass Young's Dairy, there's no turning back.

2016-05-22 Post-Aquatic Stress Syndrome
Posted by Accutron  

 

After the past two years of merciless rain, the weather for Hamvention 2016 decided to be relatively cooperative. We did experience one fatality however. On Thursday afternoon during vendor setup, a brief but strong gust of wind struck us out of the blue, anatomically inverting one of our canopies before we had everything tied down. Other vendors fared even worse - one of our neighbors' tents ended up stuck at the top of a telephone pole, and another vendor lost a huge rental canopy and a large amount of rather delicate inventory.

Customer turnout was nearly overwhelming this year, as we often had 30 or more people perusing our wares simultaneously. Even with four of us working the crowd, it was difficult to keep up with all of the people telling us to shut up and take their money.

On the intake end of things, we found a number of interesting new items, including a complete HP 9000/300 system, a TI Language Translator, a large Varian travelling wave tube and several huge 300MB disk packs for a Control Data 9766 Storage Module Drive.

We would also like to give special thanks to Bill Eaton, who stopped by our booth while I was away, and donated a circuit card from a GE-645 mainframe. The GE-645 is particularly noteworthy as being the first system which ran Multics.

2016-05-14 Tear Down This Wall
Posted by Accutron  

 

Dayton Hamvention 2016 begins next Friday, and we will be in our normal location at the exact geographical center of Flea Market East, spaces FE3038 through FE3042. We will have about twice as much inventory on site as we had last year, made possible by doubling our hauling capacity from one creepy pedophile van to two creepy pedophile vans.

As usual, we will be selling a bewildering array of computers, calculators, test equipment, typewriters, electronic components, scientific apparatus, video games, technical books and many other things too numerous to mention. If you only have time to visit one flea market booth at Hamvention, we absolutely guarantee that we're the booth to visit.

Although we will have double the inventory, we are unfortunately boxed in by other vendors, and consequently do not have a corresponding doubling of flea market space. Customers should be prepared to transact with us over an impenetrable eye-level wall of test equipment and Star Trek toys.

2016-04-28 Jon Johnston Passes
Posted by Accutron  

 

Jon Johnston, former HP employee and founder of the HP Computer Museum in Australia, died on Sunday, April 24, in a climbing accident on Shishapangma in Tibet. Johnston and climber Patrik Mattioli fell into a crevasse at 6200m, after a five meter section of ground gave way beneath them. At the time of this writing, their bodies have not yet been recovered.

Jon was an experienced climber, and had attempted to climb Everest in both May 2014 and May 2015. He hoped to take a HP-35 calculator to the summit, but both expeditions ended in disaster. In 2014, an avalanche killed 16 people, including three guides from Jon's team. In 2015, an earthquake-triggered avalanche swept through base camp, killing 20 people and narrowly missing Jon by only 10 meters.

Jon's HP Computer Museum has been an invaluable resource for many years. Despite the fact that he climbed some of the most dangerous mountains in the world, he considered the recent restoration of a HP 2116A computer to be one of his biggest accomplishments.

Our deepest condolences go out to Jon's family and friends. His vast contribution to the preservation of HP history will be greatly missed by the vintage HP community.

2016-04-05 Kwisatz Haderach
Posted by Accutron  

 

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Hewlett-Packard 9825A calculator, the world's first 16-bit microcomputer, and perhaps the most unsung technological revolution in computer history. The HP 9825A offered minicomputer-class power in a compact desktop form factor, and became a workhorse of science, engineering and real-time instrument control for the next two decades. In the late 1970s, when 8-bit "toy" computers were receiving most of the public's attention, thousands of 9825s were quietly performing critical tasks in all areas of science and industry, totally dominating their ostensible peers and successfully competing against much larger minicomputer contemporaries. The 9825A was the absolute bleeding edge of electronics technology at the time of its introduction, and to this day remains an impressive engineering achievement.

We have also added a number of other notable early calculators to the museum, including the Monroe CSA-10, Casio 121L, Commodore C112, Singer Friden 1009 and the Sharp EL-8M.

In addition to it being the 40th anniversary of the 9825A, 2016 is also the 50th anniversary of the 2116A, HP's first computer. The 2116A's 16-bit architecture spawned a wide range of computers, calculators and computerized test equipment, including the 2114B, 2100A and 21MX minicomputers, the aforementioned 9825A and the 4955A Protocol Analyzer.

2015-06-15 Calcoholics Anonymous
Posted by Accutron  

 

Continuing with the recent calculator theme, we've added several machines to the newly forked Electronic Calculators section of the museum: a first-generation TI-30 scientific calculator, a TI Programmable 58, the inexplicably legendary TI-81 graphing calculator, three models from the HP-48 series of graphing calculators, and an incredible HP-97 portable programmable desktop calculator, complete with software, manuals and carrying case, purchased for $5.00 at a garage sale.

2015-06-05 Somewhat Portable Somewhat Computers
Posted by Accutron  

 

Several interesting new items have been added to the museum: a Texas Instruments Silent 700 Model 745 portable terminal, a Lanston Monotype 'The Barrett' mechanical adding machine, a Burroughs C3200 Model C3207 ten-key adding machine with Nixie tubes and discrete logic, and a beautiful Hewlett-Packard HP-45 scientific calculator.

2015-05-25 Rain II: The Rainening
Posted by Accutron  

 

Despite getting rain in various quantities all three days, we had our best sales year so far. The scrounging wasn't bad either, with several notable finds, including an Apple II+, a HP-41C 1933A Bug 3 and HP-41CV 'halfnut', a complete and fully upgraded NEC PC8201a and a Mitsubishi MELSEC A6GPP programmable logic controller.

2015-05-12 Don't Etsy Me Bro!
Posted by Accutron  

 

Dayton Hamvention 2015 is in a few short days, and we will have our largest pile of junk ever, available for capitalist consumption. As usual, we're right in the middle of Flea Market East, spaces FE3038 through FE3042. We will be both selling and buying, so bring your wallets and your interesting artifacts, and hope for sunshine.

2014-06-02 Rain
Posted by Accutron  

 

Dayton Hamvention has come and gone once again. On Saturday morning, we were met with an intense thunderstorm, complete with hail, wind and near-freezing temperatures, which drowned a portion of our lower priority not-under-the-tents inventory. The rest of the day was spent cleaning up the mess and pouring comical amounts of water out of several unfortunate 8-bit microcomputers. Although the weather situation definitely impacted the festivities on Saturday, we still moved record quantities of junk on Friday and Sunday.

Between the rain and heavy sales, we didn't have time to shoot our traditional Hamvention video, but we did make a number of impressive purchases. Some of the more notable finds include: a Chelsea U.S. Navy clock, Lear Siegler ADM5 terminal, two IBM RS/6000 workstations, a NEC 8201A microcomputer, a Spectra Physics Model 127 helium-neon laser and two rare OKI millimeter wave klystrons. These items and many others will be added to the website over the next few months.

2014-05-14 Sus Electronicus
Posted by Accutron  

 

Dayton Hamvention 2014 is only a few days away, and we're very busy filling cardboard boxes with a wide range of electronics, scientific apparatus and various other items. Just like last year, we will be located at the exact geographical center of Flea Market East, spaces FE3038 through FE3042.

2014-01-12 Silent Service
Posted by Accutron  

 

Although it's been quite a long time since we've made a news post, many significant items have been quietly added to the site over the intervening months:

* Casio OH-7000G: An unusual instructor variant of the FX-7000g, the world's first graphing calculator.
* Computer Operations CO-4420 Serial Box: A rare and unusual portable terminal with an integrated DECtape drive.
* Digital Equipment Corporation VAXserver 3500: A 32-bit supermini, implementing DEC's CVAX chipset.
* Hewlett-Packard 1300A X-Y Display: The world's first commercially available graphical CRT computer display.
* Hewlett-Packard 2100A: A rare aftermarket-modified example of the 2100A minicomputer, re-branded as a Measurex 2650 Central Processing Unit.
* Varian V-45: A rare 1:5 frequency multiplier klystron; special thanks to Rick Hall K5GZR for donating this device.

2013-05-22 Dissecting History
Posted by Accutron  

 

Other than some minor vehicular problems and a couple hours of rain on Saturday, Hamvention 2013 went off without a hitch. The most noteworthy finds this year include a VAXserver 3500, a MicroVAX 3600, and the obscure CO-4420 Serial Box portable terminal with integral LINC Tape drive, built by Computer Operations. We ended up scrapping the MicroVAX 3600 on-site, live for our customer audience. Normally we'd never consider such a thing, but the immense RA82 disk drives were bad, and the chassis was far too large for us to transport back to our facility without suffering permanent injury. Furthermore, prior to scrapping, we offered the MicroVAX chassis and drives to three different active and well-known DEC collectors over the course of the weekend, and all three refused the machine, despite their on-site presence and the availability of appropriate transportation. The CPU boards will now live on as a MicroVAX conversion kit and backup replacements for the nearly identical VAXserver 3500, and the highly impressive RA82 disk packs are now serving a decorative function in our museum.

Special thanks to the kind stranger who showed us how to bypass the defective solenoid in our Ford pickup truck with a couple quarters. The legend of the helpful ham lives on.

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