Vintage Computer Fest - East 8.0 Exhibit

Most recent revision for this page dated May 9 2012, updates Jan 2016. Web page copyright (c) 2016 Herb Johnson, content produced by others is copyrighted by producers.


The computers shown on this page exhibited by Herb Johnson, and other exhibits as referenced, were shown at the Vintage Computer Festival - East 8.0 in April 2012. The VCF-East was operated and sponsored by the (former) MARCH vintage computer organization. at InfoAge in Wall NJ.- Herb, Jan 2016

Herb Johnson's S-100 retrospective exhibit


Left to right: Xitan, Dynabyte, Zenith drive case w/Wyse terminal, Compupro 8/16 chassis, Zenith Z-110 and monitor, Northstar and DEC terminal.

Technical Design Labs or TDL (photo courtesy of Bill Degnan) was based in Princeton or Trenton NJ. Roger Amidon, a founder of TDL, produced "the ZPU", the first Z80 S-100 card, in July 1976. TDL software including the Zapple monitor ROM, Zapple Basic, were early and signifigant influences in the Z80 personal computing world of the mid-1970's. TDL S-100 cards included memory, floppy controllers, and I/O.

Compupro, formerly known as Godbout produced leading S-100 systems from the mid-1970's well into the 1980's. Bill Godbout was a leading designer and promoted a standardization of the previously called "Altair bus" into an IEEE-696 standard. Godbout and Compupro boards, boards, and documentation were of the highest quality. this particular system is a Compupro 8/16 configuration with a Macrotech MI-286 CPU instead of the Compupro 8/16 CPU board.

Zenith computers, formerly Heathkit produced computers and digital devices before and during the microprocessor age. The Z-110 system (commonly called a Z-100) on exhibit was produced in about 1983, and has a dual 8088 and 8085, and a S-100 bus. It ran CP/M 80, CP/M 86, and MS-DOS, and supports a CGA-class color or B/W analog monitor. It competed well with the IBM PC and was used by the hundreds of thousands in universities and the US Military academies. Earlier Heath computers including the H-8 and H-89 are still very popular and restored today. Later Zenith PC-compatibles are of less interest today.

[S-100 work]

[S-100 work]
Left: S-100 systems on exhibit. Right: Bill dromgoole's photo of my Compupro and Northstar.

Dynabyte (photo courtesy of Bill Degnan)was shown as an example of an industrial/business computer. Dynabyte was one of many companies which produced a multi-user system to support several terminals, a printer, and a hard drive with data and programs. Many S-100 systems of the 70's and 80's provided business information technology support, even well into the IBM-PC eral of the late 80's.

Northstar was an early Altair-compatible company which produced a floppy controller card. The Northstar Horizon system shown provided a full computer with hard-sectored diskette support. The wooden case is distintive. These were popular machines for personal, business, and scientific use - this one was used for psychological testing and statistical analysis at a northeastern US university.

The Membership Card kit and literature on top of the Dynabyte (photo courtesy of Bill Dromgoole) are a modern version of the COSMAC 1802 ELF kits of the mid-1970's and decades later. It has a front-panel much like the IMSAI and Altair S-100 systems. See this linked Web page for more information.

My comments as posted May 9th 2012 at the MARCH yahoo group

Adding my compliments to MARCH and my exhibiting colleagues, after a few days of catch-up. I enjoyed the show as a chance to meet up with my good friends in vintage computing. Also, a chance for many people to meet me, after years of emails. Some people I've not seen in a decade showed up to say hello. Other visitors were new to me, but not new to the S-100 world I showed off. I'm sure the other exhibitors had the same experiences.

And, it was a great and rare opportunity to see a range of computing power in action - SGI systems, DEC iron, Apple II's, my own S-100 computers, an IBM PC tribute display, SWTP, on and on. "Impressive".

I was too busy as a commuter and exhibitor to catch all the programs, but my colleagues did good work in discussing S-100 and mini/mainframe restoration. I was also pretty busy, loading and unloading [for other people and for MARCH] before and after the show. Some of the for-sale items [in the consignment area] were interesting, even surprising. Some were absolutely dumpster material. The sales and dealer area needs to be re-examined for next year.

Those are some of my highlights, don't interpret a lack of mention as a lack of interest. I'll work a Web page on the show pretty soon with more content.

Herb Johnson
"Dr." S-100 again

Snapshots of other VCF-E 8.0 exhibits, talks

follow this link to email me, to add or change info about the exhibits and photos below. Thank you.- Herb

VCF-E 8.0 sessions, exhibits

A link to a list of exhibits and sessions, from the VCF-E 8.0 Web page at, Following are photos I and others took at the event and related activities. - Herb

Ian Primus' massive Apple II exhibit Here's a "wired" view of some Apple clone cards "can we fix some Apple II's?"

Bill Sudbrink's SWTPC exhibit Here's another view showing the Vectrex

David Gesswein "straight 8" PDP-8 setup

Dave McGuire's PDP 11/70 exhibit:
exhibit space as 11/70 racks brought in tape on right, drives on left
McGuire (left) and Roganti (right) as 11/70 CPU racks placed
11/70 assembled
11/70 data center, operational, on Saturday AM
11/70 shutdown Sunday PM

Mike Ross' PDP-15 restoration:
photo of ??? early in assembly of PDP-15
assembly of PDP-15 racks. Note grocery cart of parts.
scrub some rust. PDP-15 panel on table.
PDP-15 panel on right, 11/04? panel on left
My's full of modules...!
A box of hex-width boards....
put away the toys when you are done...

Mike Loewen's HP 2109E exhibit

Brian Cirulnick and Chris Liendo's SGI exhibit. Here's an >SGI Indy at work.

On the left, the "save" exhibit, is by Rutgers University Vintage Computer Club. On the right, Corey Cohen's Apple I replica exhibit.

Michael Kelly's printers

"Handmade Computers" exhibit of Ben Greenfield. He's showing a range of VERY vintage digital and computing devices, before they were mass produced.Dan Roganti took a good photo of boards and a memory tube.

center: Ethan Dicks's exhibit of text-adventure games on Commodore 64 and Kaypro. Lowen's HP exhibit to left. Upper right is Michael Holley's exhibit of advertizements of early personal computers.

Jonathan Chapman's S-100 talk

Dan Kottke's talk on early Apple and Steve Jobs
Dan Kottke at Ian Primus' Apple exhibit

Andy Meyer's 3B2 AT&T system, top down and Teletype 5620 "bitblt" display terminal

Sunday crowd and several exhibits. Bill Degnan's IBM PC exhibit of several units in background, 11/70 foreground, straight-8 exhibit left rear


dinner on Friday at diner
HErb Johnson says hello

half of InfoAge exhibit of computing technology displayed in lecture room.

Saturday crowd

MARCH consignment

MARCH operated a consignment sale, taking a commission of sale price. There were also vendors or individuals who sold items.

MARCH consignment area, Saturday AM
books for sale
Commodore drives like Easter Island icons
Compaq luggables, more tombstones
rare sighting, a PERQ workstation did it sell? a Sun 3/50 - somebody bought it.

Other VCF-E 8.0 related sites

In late 2015, MARCH was dissolved and assets were acquired by the Vintage Computer Federation Inc. formed in late 2015. Web site for VCF-E 8.0 show
home Web site for MARCH [obsolete]
MARCH Yahoo group site [obsolete]

Bill Degnan's Web site for VCF-E 8 photos

Bill Dromgoole photos

Mike Loewen's photos

Dan Roganti's photos


Herb Johnson
New Jersey, USA
follow this link to email @ me or order

Copyright © 2016 Herb Johnson