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Presentations and Demonstrations

2021 Presentations

Kevin Jordan, Nostalgic Computing Centre

The Nostalgic Computing Center operates a network of virtual computer systems from the 1970's, 1980's, and early 1990's. The systems are iconic mainframes and minicomputers from that period of computing history. To be given in person!

Rob Jarratt, The Manchester MU5 Emulator

Dave Wade, The Manchester Baby

The Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine, nicknamed ‘Baby’, was the first computer to store and run a program.

The original Baby computer was built at the University of Manchester using technology developed for Second World War radar and communications equipment.

Baby was just a prototype, but it led to the development of the Ferranti Mark 1, the world’s first commercially available computer.

2019 Presentations

Jim Austin, New Stuff in the Pig Sheds

Jim will be doing another of his now famous (infamous?) online visits to his Pig Shed based Computer Collection.  

Mark Wickens, VAX APL

Following Hans' 2018 talk on VAX Lisp Mark presents VAX APL, a journey in programming language and software archeology.

Rob Jarratt, MU5 SIMH Emulation

MU5 was a research computer built at the University of Manchester. The University started thinking about a successor to Atlas in 1966, design started in earnest in 1968, commissioning began in the summer of 1971 and the machine became operational in 1973. The machine ran until 1982.

Hans Hübner, Lisp Part #2

Hans will be providing a practical demonstration of Lisp installation on my DEC 3000/600 AXP.


2018 Presentations

Camiel Vanderhoeven, Restoring 1980s and 1990s Supercomputers at Home

Camiel has 14 supercomputers in his barn, and counting. No Crays, unfortunately, but Convex, DEC, Intel, SGI, Sun and Ardent are all represented in the collection with machines that once stood at (or at least near) the pinnacle of what was technically possible. From the first supercomputer with an integrated graphics subsystem (the Ardent Titan), to a huge, power-hungry quad-processor ECL vector machine (the Convex C240), and from an early SMP systems (the Intel iPSC/860) to the first ccNUMA architecture (the Convex Exemplar), this presentation offers a look at the engineering effort that went into designing and building these machines back in the past, as well as into restoring these machines in the present.


Hans Hübner, VAX Lisp

Hans has been a programmer since his high school years and acquired a serious affection to VAX/VMS back in the days of X.25 networks, acoustic couplers and HEPNET. Eventually, he became a professional Lisp developer and took on preserving VAX LISP on VMS as a hobby.


Oscar Vermeulen, PiDP-8/11/10

Oscar, from Obsolescence Guaranteed is bringing his recreation of the PDP-8, PDP-11 and work-in-progress on the PDP-10 and will be talking about the journey he has taken that results in these amazing products. 


Jim AustinThe Jim Austin Computer Collection

Jim will be making one of his now legendary remote presentations from his pig sheds. Pig Shed 1 is now finished and will feature this year. 


2016 Presentations

Jim Austin, The Jim Austin Computer Collection

Jim will be making one of his now legendary remote presentations on Saturday afternoon from his pig sheds.


TC-USB – TURBOchannel USB host option

Felix Deichmann, Hardware Developer

TC-USB is a single-slot-width TURBOchannel USB host option based upon a Cypress (former ScanLogic) SL811HS USB 1.1 controller. It can be operated at typical TURBOchannel frequencies between 12.5 MHz and 25 MHz. A Lattice ispMACH 4000ZE family CPLD serves as glue logic for interfacing the 8-bit USB controller and 32-bit TURBOchannel. I/O read and write transactions and interrupts are supported. A basic option module ROM implemented in the CPLD compatible with TCF0 and TCF1 systems provides option information. The USB host port is an ESD-protected USB-A receptacle connector capable of sourcing 500 mA of current (limited) to devices.

The TC-USB card will be demonstrated at the event.


VMS on x64

Camiel Vanderhoeven, OpenVMS Kernel Engineer, VMS Software

Camiel will be talking about his work on the x86 port of OpenVMS.


The PiDP/8 - a modern replica of the 1968 PDP-8/I computer.

Oscar Vermeulen, Obsolescence Guaranteed

Oscar will be giving a presentation on his fantastic PDP replicas, a limited number of which will be available for purchase at the event!


'You can't make this stuff up'

Nic Clews, Senior Systems Engineer

This session will explore some of those unexpected calamities, showing how the unintentional could have dramatic consequences for service. If ever you needed proof that a sense of humour was essential in our business, this session will prove it. Names have been changed to protect the innocent (or guilty) but by taking real life examples, it explores how availability and service can be affected in ways you could not predict.

Nic Clews has worked with OpenVMS systems for around 35 years for multiple clients and has effected a number of ‘rescue’ situations. Started with OpenVMS in 1982, jointly managing VMS (since V3) and PDP systems with RSTS/E, worried in education, manufacturing, defence, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, nuclear, engineering, telecommunications and utilities. Currently working as a Senior Systems Engineer for CSC Computer Sciences managing systems from V4 to V8 on VAX, Alpha and Integrity.



2015 Presentations

VAX MP - Simulating a SMP VAX

Mark Wickens, DEC Legacy Organiser

I'll be providing a hands-on demonstration on how to create a simulated multi-processor VAX on modern hardware using the excellent VAX MP.


Unearthing an important historical computer at the computer sheds museum

Jim Austin, The Jim Austin Computer Collection

Jim will be making a presentation on Sunday morning from his computer collection remotely.


Video Presentation - FAFNER and its' Legacy

Bernd 'vaxman' Ulmann

Providing a valuable service to the VMS community with his public access system FASOLT, Bernd epitomises the fine tradition of the DEC hobbyist. For a number of years Bernd selflessly provided 24/7 access to his beloved VAX 7000 FAFNER and is now rocking an ES40. Berd is going to take us on a tour of his many working DEC systems and the associated infrastructure.


An Update from the Living Computer Museum

Rich Alderson, Senior System Engineer

I was very fortunate to have Rich and Ian visit from Seattle in 2011 at the first DEC Legacy Event - bizarrely on the only flight into the UK due to the Volcanic Eruption. This time round via remote presentation Rich is going to provide an update to the activities that have been keeping him busy in recent years.


The MCPRINT Utility, 30 years in the making

Malcolm Blunden, retired VMS Systems Manager

I've had the pleasure of knowing Malcolm since the first DEC Legacy Event. Malcolm cut his teeth on the Elliot 920 in the Avionics industry before moving on to the VAX 11/780 running VMS V3. A self-taught Fortran programmer the MCPRINT utility's origins date back to 1985 - having been completed in 2012 to Malcolm's satisfaction.


The Future of VMS 

Sue Skonetski, VP of Customer Engagement, VMS Software

Sue is a long term VMS ambassador and has worked tirelessly to promote VMS. Now a key member of the newly formed VMS Software team, Sue is going to talk us through the new developments and bright future of VMS.


Getting the DEC experience on modern hardware

Peter Allan, ex VAX system manager and VMS programmer

Several years ago, I discovered the simh computer simulator. I was blown away by the fact that I could simulate the VAX systems that I used to use 25 years previously. With the right keyboard and mouse, you can get the true DEC experience using what is now standard hardware. More recently, I discovered a PDP-11 emulator that runs on an FPGA so I now have real hardware on which to run PDP-11 software. I will demonstrate several simulated VAX and PDP systems using simh, and the emulated PDP-11 attached to a VT420 terminal.


HECnet - A worldwide DECnet network

Mark Wickens, DEC Legacy Organiser

HECnet is a multi-architecture, multi-OS DECnet based network that connects a vast range of real or simulated DEC hardware and operating systems. This talk will provide an overview of the network and an introduction on how to become a member of the community.