The subject of this year's special exhibition is "Computer clubs".
The following exhibitions have been registered:
Concepts and technical details of the first programmable Computers are presented and compared: Analytical Engine (Babbage), ABC (Atanasoff und Berry), ENIAC (Eckardt und Mauchley), Harwell-Decatron (Cooke-Yarborough, Barne und Thomas), ACE (Turing) und Z3 (Zuse). Of these, only the ACE is a stored program computer. All have influenced my simple DIY-Computer MERAC (Mechano-Electrical Retrograde Automatic Computer). The theoretical concepts of register machines (Rödding, Minsky) provide structured loops for sequential program memory. The MERAC evaluator is presented in the exhibition.Rainer Glaschick, booth 10
The IBM System/360 was the dominant mainframe architecture in the 1960s and 1970s. The 360/30 was a small machine, introduced in 1964, and found its way into countless universities and companies. It used simple 8-bit data paths and registers internally, but its microcode provided the full IBM 360 architecture used in larger machines – that sometimes were hundreds of times as fast. Only a few Model 30s survive today, and only one is thought to be in a working state at present. Shown at this exhibit is an original front panel, now driven by a faithful recreation of the original hardware in an FPGA, together with a Selectric typewriter used as a console printer.Lawrence Wilkinson, booth 12
Early computers (1950s to early 1970s) were the birthplace of programming. But they are hard to keep running. Over the last few years, many Open Source Hardware projects have created faithful replicas of these machines. They allow hands-on experience with these old systems, and allow "software archaeology" to show how far we have come. Shown are replicas of the LGP-30 (1950s), PDP-8 (1960s) as well as the pioneering 1970s (Altair 8800, KIM-1, Cosmac Elf, and OSI-300). All of these are actually easy to build yourself – Open Source projects that often hide very low cost modern parts underneath faithfully recreated old front panels.Oscar Vermeulen and Jack Rubin, booth 13
The introduction of computers for the applications in arts is inseparably connected with the international artists' avant-garde movement [New] Tendencies ([N]T, Zagreb, Croatia,  1961 – 1973 ). The organizers Program "Computer and Visual Research" of Tendencies 4 (1968/1969) was the theoretical and practical breakthrough. Scientist and cybernetician Vladimir Bonačić, from The Laboratory for Cybernetics of The Croatian National Research Institute "Ruđer Bošković" (IRB, Zagreb), was addressed by artists of [N]T around mid 1960s for the collaboration on computer art and also on fusion of art and science. He joined the [N]T movement in the framework of the collaboration between IRB and the organizers of [N]T, the then Gallery of Contemporary Art (since 1998 Museum), and became in short one of the leading participants. Two computers from the Institute played a crucial role in 1960s/1970s for the application in art: The then very popular small laboratory computer PDP-8, and larger one SDS 930, a typical medium scale scientific real-time oriented computer of the 1960s. Both of them too expensive to be used in art objects. The solution was the simulation of artist's ideas on both computers. The rare programming language Real-Time FORTRAN for SDS 930 allowed mixture of assembler and FORTRAN code in the same program which is than translated (compiled) into machine code using compiler and assembler in a single run. After successful series of simulations, when Vladimir (artist and scientist in a single person!) was satisfied with the outcome, the results of the software would have been soldered into the hardware (digital and analogue electronics) and build into Cybernetic Art objects. "Dynamic Object GF.E16S/1969" is on disposal for VCFB. Original listing of the simulation program in the Real-Time FORTRAN for SDS 930 computer and the special purpose emulation digital electronics build into the Cybernetic Art object could be seen and experienced during the VCFB. The ongoing exploration in Cybernetic Art was eased in 1970s by arrival of Single Board Computers (SBC). Until 1975 bcd CyberneticArt team introduced several Dynamic Objects by integrating into them the Micro Computer System MCS-80 (based on Intel's 8080A processor). Practical solution was Intel's MCS-80 System Design Kit (SDK-80). Becoming immanent in the Cybernetic Art objects, Single Board Computers opened a new paradigm in Man-Machine-Communication – creative partnership in artistry. The sculpture "Dynamic Line 64" (DL64) by bcd CyberneticArt team personifies some key hypothesis of [New] Tendencies – e. g. holistic unity of artist, art work and computer, and spectator – utopian in 1960s, but becoming technological reality in 1970s. In particular DL64 was introduced already in 1975, and since then as WIP (Work in Progress) continuously further developed. Additionally it was used by bcd team as a prototyping system for number of similarly devised Cybernetic Art objects. The key intention of the bcd team participation at VCFB is to put the light on the cutting edge of advancements in the then contemporary art by introducing the computer as creative partner.bcd CyberneticArt team (Königswinter, Berlin, Zagreb): Miro A. Cimerman (Berlin) and Dunja Donassy-Bonačić (per DFNVC from Königswinter), booth 41
This year we invite associations devoted to the history of computing technology and computers to present themselves and their work in a special exhibition. In particular, the association for the preservation of classic computers (de) will hold their annual Classic Computing meeting at the VCFB. More info coming soon.
More information about the exhibitions is available in German.