ASCII by Jason Scott

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DENCON —

Yes, this is my week for dropping all sorts of announcements and news.  Here’s another one.

Last year, after DEFCON came to a close, I was hanging out with a couple people from the staff and organization, including Dark Tangent, and I proposed the possibility of a retro room, something with older technology for the kids to see in person and the older kids to remember by. They said hells yes and they’d fund it a bit.

A year later, with a week to go before the convention happens, I’m announcing DENCON, the den you wish you had as a kid in the 1970s, in conjunction with a terrifying army of vintage computing heavyweights. We’ve been given a good portion of one of the rooms in the convention space.

We originally were going to be a skybox, but we got too goddamned big.

I’m working a lot of this out with Sellam Ismail of Vintagetech. We have a bunch of stuff coming down to the room, but I thought I’d let you know the centerpiece ahead of time:

Meet Pavl Zachary, and behold the awesome power of this fully functioning PDP 11/70. Yes, forget Web 2.0, we’re going to Unix 2.0. Time for learning, people – for most people attending this may be your last time to sit in front of the real hardware that lived at the roots of so much we do today.

Unlike a lot of events at DEFCON, there’s really been no need to give progress updates, make a call for submissions, or otherwise get in the news, but maybe if you thought about bringing an old-school t-shirt, some cool old clothing, or really anything from 30 years ago, maybe you should go ahead and do that, because you’re going to have a big chance to have one hell of a background for your photos. And some stories to tell.

We’ll likely have a page up soon with final details, but I wanted you all to be aware.  See you there!


Categorised as: computer history

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8 Comments

  1. [...] surprise for attendees this year. With some help from VintageTech, he’ll be assembling a massive den of retro computing machinery. They’ll have fully functional systems like the PDP-11/70 for people to play with. It sure to [...]

  2. [...] surprise for attendees this year. With some help from VintageTech, he’ll be assembling a massive den of retro computing machinery. They’ll have fully functional systems like the PDP-11/70 for people to play with. It sure to [...]

  3. RonalD_55 says:

    Hey I have a tape reel that would work for you guys. It is an Epoch 480. KInda would like to know excactly what is on it. It came outta a building cleanout from a telephone company. Contact me and I can ship it on my dime to you. That woay you coulkd use it at DEncon.

    When would I need to get it to you so you can take it?

  4. Kuhltwo says:

    I used to build tape drives for a lot of the machines back then. Real to reel tape, air flow to keep the tape from getting stressed. Way cool equipment. Talk about a trip down memory lane.

  5. Chris says:

    Ah, I love those old VT-100s terminals. One of my former employers was throwing out a bunch of them ten years ago, and I was lucky enough to get one of them before it landed in the dumpster.

  6. pjustice says:

    So I could be wrong, but I think the 11/70 photo is the *other* one from that VCF. The blue color scheme on the system in this photograph look more like PDP-10 family.

    Yeah, ok, true trivia.

  7. Luigi Mantuano says:

    It is an 11/70. The blue scheme was used for DEC’s commercial systems (Datasystem). I worked on them. A friend has the blue front panel (switches & lights).
    lm

  8. [...] mentioned previously, the plan was set into motion many months ago to bring a little retrocomputing spirit to [...]