Would anyone be interested in a retro-tech conference?


The best ideas occur while drunk, don't you agree? Having just attended the blisteringly brilliant Hackference Brum, a bunch of us were drinking in a pub and chatting about how focused on the future most conference are. There's rarely any time to reflect on the past.

That got me thinking...

This... this idea seems to have some legs!

Interesting talks!


No PowerPoint!

Controversy!



Demonstrations


What about catering?

And other cool things?

What about people who can't get there?

Remember the dress code!

Wait a moment!

Now, there are some inherent problems with revisiting the past.

That reminds me of the American company who held a corporate party in a plantation house and asked attendees to dress in period costume. Their lone black employee decided to attend while dressed as a slave.

A salient reminder past isn't always a great place to visit.

I rather drunkenly made light of the situation.

Which, on sober reflection, wasn't the right response.

We can celebrate the past without glorifying it.

So, you want to attend?


Is this a good idea?

I've never organised a conference myself. The ones I've been involved in have been fiendishly complicated - corralling venues, sponsors, ticket sales, speakers, and catering is tough.

And yet... people seem to like this idea. Perhaps it would be worth holding it as a track at an existing conference to see if people really want to spend 45 minutes learning about COBOL.

If you've been to a similar event - or know of an upcoming one - please do let me know.

Finally, here's what I'd like you to do. Find a conference and pitch them a retro-tech session. Do a talk on "classic" computing. Bring along old equipment to demonstrate. If there's enough interest, let me know and perhaps we can run a full-day event.

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