An Organization (was: Do we have a VAX organization?)

From: Sellam Ismail <>
Date: Wed Oct 31 01:26:44 2001

On Tue, 30 Oct 2001, Gunther Schadow wrote:

> We certainly don't need another mailing list. With port-vax and
> classiccmp (and occasionally comp.os.vms) we have what we need.
> Certainly we don't need a new style online forum ... those are
> notoriously non-populated.

I would agree. However, the online forums would become repositories for
information, in much the same way that the CC archives are repositories.

> I also don't have a sophisticated portal web site in mind. Something
> simple that states the mission of the organization, a few articles
> about why preserving classic computing equipment is good. Something
> that plays down the collectible asset value (that's important in many
> respects!). And most important a list of people and their collections
> and activities all over the country and the world. Linking to their
> project web sites.

The VCF website is already like this to some extent.

> The web site must be simple so it's maintainable. is
> fairly simple, but even so some links and features on the front page
> don't work, and that shouldn't be. Rather have less stuff that does
> the job.

Aside from the language options, which features do you refer to? (I found
the problem with the "NEW" link ;)

> About local chapters and national meetings etc. I'm sceptical too. It
> couldn't hurt for some of us weirdos to come out and have some face to
> face interaction with real humans, OTOH, this takes even more time
> away for those who are already struggling having a family life and
> their collection (aside from making a living.) We don't want to steal
> people from their spouses and kids.

I envision meetings being held monthly. It would depend on the organizer
of the local club. I can't imagine the club keeping dads or moms from
feeding their kids and giving them the nurturing love that they need to
grow up to be productive and non-threatening members of society. Hell,
bring the kids to the meetings...start them off early with an
appreciation for old tech.

> I guess that Isildur is right, the non-profit incorporation would be
> most critical. This would actually provide incentives for folks who
> have stuff to decommission. Instead of competing against scrap dealers
> we would have an advantage of a tax deduction for old stuff. That's
> also why I think we must downplay the collectible asset value. This

I don't like non-profits. Too much overhead and formality required. It
has its benefits, but I prefer the philanthropic approach.

> BTW: that's also why I appreciate a clear cut between the
> and the things. I wouldn't ask Sellam to move any
> money from his business to the association but the appearence of a
> for-profit business next to VCF should not be confounding the
> non-profit nature of the association either.

I agree. VintageTech utilizes the VCF Archive for profit gaining motives.
That profit goes towards, among other things, funding the VCF enterprise.

> In terms of the need for funds, I'm mostly interested in a
> "dachorganization" that would make it possible to put old computers
> into public use. Help those that do. If you run a cluster of VAX
> 11/780, 8600, and couple of 6000s with full gear, this makes no sense
> for the privatier to do 24/7 in terms of electricity. Add the costs of
> a decent Internet connection too. If you want to show blinkenlights
> (like the cyber PDP-8) you need an even better Internet connection.

Yes, but where do you set up such a playhouse? If everyone is to enjoy
this experience, multiple old computer funhouses would have to be setup
throughout the world.

> The whole point of mainframes is multi-user applications, so it's only
> natural that the 11/780 wants to serve users through the network. One
> way of doing this would be a "vintage-pass" available to the public
> for a fee and for members at a discount. The vintage-pass would give
> people accounts on the systems of all members. This could have
> multiple levels, like dec-pass, vax-pass, pdp-pass, ibm-pass, etc. It
> would include various levels of service, such as guest-account,
> individual-user account, up to sysadmin-account. Optional operator
> services (Joe Jones mails his old PDP-11 tapes to bring his old work
> back to life, etc.) You (or your wife or kids) put the tape in and go.

Aside from the practicality issues and the management of such a network, I
like the idea.

> Organizing cyber events, video-conferences, a worm of 1988 revival
> fest, could be periodic highlights that warrant press releases and may
> draw attention. Perhaps more than an annual meeting that people won't
> usually attend anyway.

Any sort of mainstream interest in such an organization is years away. I
was expecting VCF to be big by 5.0. Guess what? I was disappointed. I'm
figuring it MIGHT be a large event by 10.0. But will I even still be
interested in this crap five years from now?

Ask me again in five years... ;)

Sellam Ismail Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger
Received on Wed Oct 31 2001 - 01:26:44 GMT

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