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VINTAGE COMPUTER FESTIVAL MIDWEST 9.0 September 13-14, 2014, Lombard, IL

Past Events


VCFMW Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How much are the rooms at the Heron Point?
A: This year the convention rate is $79/night. Ask for the "Fall Commodore Expo" group rate.

Q: Is the show really free? Even if I'm selling a U-Haul full of hardware?
A: VCFMW and ECCC are made possible via the generosity of the local vintage computing community. It is a tradition we've managed to maintain for nine years now - the spirit of a casual gathering of hobbyists and friends. That said, donations to the primary funders are gladly accepted. Buy us pizza, give us cool stuff, let us have first look at your U-Haul, etc.

Q: I really do have an entire truck full of things to sell and trade. Can you accomodate me?
A: We'll certainly try. In the past, we've fit large-scale vendors and late-comers in the hallways outside the main display area, which worked out well for them as they were in high-traffic areas while still having access to power outlets. Some vendors also brought in items one or two tables at time and replenished their displays as items sold. We'll do our best to fit you in.

Q: I'm selling/showing/want to buy a shirt early/want to meet everyone - when should I arrive?
A: Show staff arrive around 3pm on Friday to secure the rooms and bug the hotel staff to let us in. We generally have a very narrow window for set up and load-in - often only an hour - usually beginning between 5pm and 6pm. If you want to help set up or load in your own equipment, it is important to be here before that time. There is *no* access to the show area on Friday evening once Heron Point has locked us out.

Q: How much are the shirts? What sizes will you have?
A: Shirt prices have not yet been set for VCFMW 9.0, however we try to keep them affordable (past years were $15, any size.) In the past we have had sizes M through 3XL. This year we are considering adding ladies' sizes as well as childrens'. Some sizes sell out earlier than others - claim yours early!

Q: How many people attend the show?
A: Since we don't charge admission or otherwise track attendance, it is difficult to tell. Based on shirt sales figures and educated guestimates, we figure that we top 100 attendees each year.

Q: Do you have a map of the facility?
A: Here's one. VCFMW occupies room "C" and the "Deli" while ECCC is in rooms A and B. We may also set up tables in the hallways.

Q: I plan on spending the entire weekend at the show. I need to eat! What's the deal with food?
A: Our contract with the Heron Point stipulates that no food is to be served or sold at the show. Bringing in a burger or sandwich for yourself is fine; we just don't want to burden the HP crew with significant clean-up issues. There are many great restaurants in the area as well as fast-food within walking distance of the hotel. VCFMW/ECCC tradition dictates that we take a break from the show on Saturday night for a large group dinner.

Q: Will there be Internet access at the show?
A: The Heron Point building has wireless internet access throughout the basement area where our show takes place. Coverage is good in all areas, however bandwidth is limited and there will be many devices active on the network. Internet access is provided as a courtesy to Heron Point guests and VCFMW has no control over the wireless network at the facility.

Q: How about a wired network? This is a vintage show!
A: VCFMW staff will be constructing a wired network with private subnets for local traffic and a bridge to the wireless network for Internet access. Exhibitors may also bring their own wireless bridges to provide a hardware Ethernet port for their display.

Q: I want to display my classic computer/project/stuff for sale at VCFMW - how large are the tables? How many may I have?
A: Most tables at the Heron Point are 2'x5' rectangles. There are also a number of 2'x2' and round tables that are about 4' in diameter. We make do with what's on-hand and usually use every last table they can give us. Tables are apportioned on a first-emailed, first-allocated basis, with consideration given toward making sure we can welcome as many differnet exhibitors as possible. VCFMW staff reserve the right to reduce table allocation and move table assignments as they see fit (but we will certainly try our best not to!) If you have folding tables that aren't a pain to transport, you may want to bring them.

Q: I want to bring something BIG. How large an item can you fit?
A: As much as we'd like to have the IBM 370 on display, the real challenge is the fact that we're in a basement. The elevator doors are 83" tall and 40" wide, however the doors to the show area are only about 79"x31" (and no, we can't take the doors off.) If you have a rack of equipment that will fit in the elevator but not the room doors, it may be possible to display it out in the hallway. Email us with your ideas.

Q: How about power? My mainframe needs 50 amps of clean 3ph 208V!
A: We have yet to get accurate power specs for the Heron Point facilties. The main display area has 12 20-amp outlets but we do not know if they are on separate circuits or not. If you've got a power-hungry device, let us know and we'll see about making sure it finds its own circuit. Unfortunately there is no 240v or 208v power available.

Q: What's this I hear about a FREE PILE?
A: One of the most honored traditions of ECCC (and now VCFMW!) is the Free Pile. This is where you can try to unload your unloadables, donate your donatables and maybe find the other half of the thing you found there last year. There is only one rule for the Free Pile: if you brought it and it's still there on Sunday afternoon, you take it away! Heron Point staff do not want to haul your electronics scrap (and it's not in our contract.) Please help us get welcomed back next year and not upset our hosts! Oh yes, there's a second semi-rule for the Free Pile: no printers! It's not really a rule...but printers are really hard to give away. Just be prepared to take it back home with you.

Q: I want to help get the word out! What can I do?
A: Post about our show on your favorite (on-topic) mailing list, web forum, or newsgroup. Pass out a flyer at user group meetings, coffee shops or wherever geeks hang out.


Last update: 05/11/2014