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VINTAGE COMPUTER FESTIVAL MIDWEST 11 September 10-11, 2016, Elk Grove Village, IL

Past Events


VCFMW Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What is a VCF?
A: A vintage computer festival is a gathering of collectors, hobbyists and curious observers who enjoy tinkering with the computers of decades past. No one can agree upon what constitutes "vintage" but a general rule is anything made before 1990 that is not an IBM PC-compatible - but of course there are exceptions. You may find early home computers like the Commodore, Apple and Atari as well as once inaccessible business and scientific systems that cost tens of thousands of dollars in their day. At VCF Midwest, we welcome a wide variety of exhibits, with emphasis on the creative and obscure.

Q: How much are the rooms at the Holiday Inn?
A: We have reserved a block of rooms at the Holiday Inn for $84/night, only $5 more than last year. Follow the link to reserve yours now!

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 and, beginning this year, your donations. It is a tradition we managed to maintain for nine years now - the spirit of a casual gathering of hobbyists and friends. Due to greatly increased costs, we are asking for monetary donations from the community as well - but there will still be no admission charged.

Q: How much space will we have?
A: Here is the Holiday Inn floor plan. As of right now, we have the entire Woodfield room and the Elk, Grove and Village rooms, which will be used as shown here.

Q: How much do you need to raise for the show to happen?
A: We would like to raise around $2800 from the community. That is not the total cost of the show but will offset the increase in costs vs. the previous years, when the organizers footed the entire bill. If we raise more, we'll reach out to the community for ideas on what to spend it on, or start a fund for next year.

Q: I want to say "thanks" for organizing the event!
A: Helping to fund the show would be great! Otherwise, 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. We will no longer have hallways for display use but our larger show area may offset that loss. As the date gets closer, we'll be crunching the numbers so everyone will have a spot. 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 hope to have more flexibility on load-in than in the past. Load-in may begin between 5pm and 6pm as before but last longer. 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 we have locked the doors.

Q: How much are the shirts? What sizes will you have?
A: Shirt prices have not yet been set for VCFMW 10, however we try to keep them affordable. 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 and educated guestimates, we figure that we top 150 attendees each year.

Q: Do you have a map of the facility?
A: See the "How much space" entry above for the hotel floor plan. We'll publish a table chart closer to the show date.

Q: I plan on spending the entire weekend at the show. I need to eat! What's the deal with food?
A: The hotel houses a full-service restaurant and bar. The local area has a full array of fast-food outlets as well as two world class Chicago eateries, Portillo's and Lou Malnati's. Note, however, that because we are in a commercial zone, many area restaurants are closed or close early on the weekend.

Q: Will there be Internet access at the show?
A: The Holiday Inn building has wireless internet access throughout the hotel and show area. 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 Holiday Inn 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: We do not have table dimension stats for the new venue yet. There will likely be a mixed lot of rectangular and round banquet tables of various sizes. 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 different 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: This is one of the big upgrades from previous years. Where we were in a basement before, we are now on the main floor of the hotel and have a pair of large loading doors that open directly to the back parking lot. The show area is large but not cavernous, so as much as we'd like to have your IBM 370 on display, floor space is still finite. If you ahave a large display, think tall, not wide (we have 11' ceilings.) We'll know better what we can fit as the show gets closer. 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 Holiday Inn facilties. The main display area has a number of 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.

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! Holiday Inn 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. We'll have a flyer sometime soon that you can pass out at user group meetings, coffee shops or wherever geeks hang out.

Last update: 05/09/2016