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Vintage Computer Festivals Rock On, VCF East 2014 Larger Than Ever

Vintage Computers at VCF

A Univac mainframe, early hard disk drives, Zork, and an Altair 8800 at VCF East 2014.

What do you get when you combine several hundred serious geeks, two large rooms, five decades’ worth of vintage computers, and a weekend in New Jersey? The Vintage Computer Festival East, of course!

The ninth running of the VCF East was held April 4-7 at the InfoAge Science Center in Wall Township, New Jersey. Hosted by MARCH, the MidAtlantic Retro Computing Hobbyists group, the 2014 show saw the largest number of exhibitors and attendees for a VCF East yet, with exhibit halls expanded from one to two rooms and three days of lectures and seminars available for attendees. The show featured a wide range of computing history, from a seminal, room-size UNIVAC computer, through the DEC, Prime and HP minicomputer era, to the workstations and home computers of the 1970s and ’80s.

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Macs in the Box: The Incredible Mac Collection of Marion Stokes. Now For Sale.

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Marion Stokes Macintosh Collection in a Rhode Island storage locker

Are you a Mac collector? An Apple investor? Do you like to buy old computers still new in their original packaging? If so, do we have a storage locker for you!

Marion Stokes was a librarian, activist and local access television producer from Philadelphia. Recently she made news for her incredible archive of 35 years of TV news broadcasts, recorded continuously on home videotapes from 1977 until her death in 2012. But Stokes was also a longtime Apple investor and Macintosh fan. Over the same timeframe she acquired nearly two hundred new-in-box Macintosh computers and related Apple gear, and kept much of this equipment sealed for posterity.

It’s another incredible history, about technology and one unique Silicon Valley tech entity. And it can be yours, if the price is right. The whole kit and caboodle is available on eBay, listed for the Buy It Now price of $100,000!

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When Your Mac Slows Down, Give It A Tune Up [MacRx]

Mac Tune Up

Tune up your Macintosh and do a bit of spring cleaning

This article first appeared in Cult of Mac magazine.

Macs are solid machines, but just like their owners they have a tendency to get lethargic as they age. Launching and switching programs takes longer, simple tasks become arduous, and the dreaded beach ball of doom appears more often. The Operating System just starts to feel crufty, and can get worse over time. I see these issues in my IT consulting business regularly.

You may be asking, why does this happen? There are many reasons, but some are more common than others. Sometimes your hard disk (or SSD) gets too full and interferes with normal computer operations. Crashes or misbehaving programs can corrupt the disk directory or application cache files. Remnants from old software may still be running behind the scenes, or you don’t have enough RAM to deal with your OS and workflow.

OK, so is there some sort of tune up or spring cleaning you can do that sorts it out? Your tech always tells you to just reboot the computer, but there’s got to be more than that. The good news: yes, there are some things you can do. And, perhaps, adopt some more efficient computing practices for yourself along the way.

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Meet the Unitron Mac 512 – the World’s First Macintosh Clone

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The Unitron Mac 512 was the world’s first Macintosh clone (photo: Chester’s blog)

The first Macintosh clone in the world was not one of the Apple sanctioned systems released in 1995, such as those from companies like PowerComputing, Radius, Umax or Daystar Digital. Nor was it the Outbound laptop in 1989, a hybrid system produced using Mac ROMs taken from working Mac Plus systems.

No, the first Macintosh clone was the Unitron Mac 512, a unauthorized copy of the 512k “Fat Mac” produced by a Brazilian company in 1986. And it was a pretty darn impressive copy. The fallout from that effort nearly help start a trade war between Brazil and the United States; to prevent theft of Intellectual Property, Apple and other companies lobbied Congress to hike import taxes on Brazilian goods like oranges and shoes as a response.

And as we know, nobody messes with Tropicana …

It’s not a widely known story. Pieces of this long-forgotten chapter in Mac history can be found scattered on websites around the world. Here is the fascinating tale of the first Macintosh clone in the world.

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Ending Soon: Get 11 Explosive Mac Apps With The Name Your Own Price Bundle 4.0 [Deals]

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Time is running out to get some more Mac apps at a price that only you can name.

Cult of Mac Deals has partnered with 11 of the world’s finest Mac app developers to bring you the fourth-ever Name Your Own Price Mac Bundle. You pay what you want for Camerabag 2, Chronicle 5, Folx Pro, and Elite Keylogger Pro and if you pay more than the average price, you’ll receive all the apps in the bundle. And you get to support a charity of your choice in the process!

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Hit Play For A New Music Experience With “Beats Music” App [Video Review]

With popular music streaming apps like Spotify and Pandora already popular and on devices all over the world, any newcomers are faced with an immediate challenge. The makers behind the popular headphones and speakers Beats By Dre are taking their crack at the genre, with their new app and service Beats Music.

Take a look at the new Beats Music app and see how it compares to the competitors.

This is a Cult Of Mac video review of the iOS application “Beats Music” brought to you by Joshua Smith of “TechBytes W/Jsmith.”

Macintosh “Picasso” Artwork Was Actually Inspired By Matisse, Artist Says

Matisse Picasso Artwork

Artwork by Matisse (left) inspired the Mac Picasso graphics.

The famous Macintosh “Picasso” trademark logo was developed for the introduction of the original 128k Mac back in 1984. A minimalist line drawing reminiscent of the style of Pablo Picasso, this whimsical graphic implied the whole of a computer in a few simple strokes. It was an icon of what was inside the box, and became as famous as the computer it represented.

The logo was designed by Tom Hughes and John Casado, art directors on the Macintosh development team. Originally the logo was to be a different concept by artist Jean-Michel Folon, but before launch it was replaced by the colorful line drawing. It’s been famous ever since, and the style has endured across decades.

Casado recently attended the 30th Anniversary of the Mac celebration, and emailed Cult of Mac to shed some light on the history of this famous graphic. It turns out Picasso was not the primary inspiration for this after all – rather, it was Henri Matisse!

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Get Over $600 Worth Of Photography And Design Assets With The SuperStacked Mac Bundle 2.0 [Deals]

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This Cult of Mac Deals is the perfect software stack for any creative. It’s so perfect, you could even call it a “super” stack.

Cult of Mac Deals has assembled $650 worth of creative resources in one massive package, featuring software that is ideal for the designer and photographer. We’ve even planted an app in there that many bloggers and online writers use. And you can get all of these apps – 9 in total – for just $29 during this limited time offer!

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DreamShot: One Keyboard Shortcut For All Your Screenshot Needs [Deals]

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Getting a screenshot on your Mac using the default keystrokes can be adventure in dexterity to say the least. This Cult of Mac Deals offers you a one stroke solution to this dilemma…and at a price that’s tough to beat.

DreamShot uses just one keyboard shortcut to take and send screenshots to all apps, services, and destinations on your Mac that deal with images. Keeping your current system in place, DreamShot is the brain of your screenshot workflow, tying it all together into one seamless experience. And Cult of Mac Deals has it for 50% off – just $4.99.

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This Week In Cult of Mac Magazine: Celebrating The Mac

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@Susan Kare. Her four sketches for the Cult of Mac Magazine cover. Which one do you prefer?

This week, we’re all about the Mac. Cult of Mac Magazine fetes the 30 year anniversary of the Macintosh, arguably the first Apple product to gain a large (dare we say cult?) following.

To do it right, we’ve got an exclusive cover created by Mac icon designer Susan Kare; the final version you’ll find in Newsstand was picked from the four sketches above by Cult of Mac readers who voted on Twitter and Facebook.

The issue focuses on the impact of the Mac and includes a Q&A by Cult of Mac publisher Leander Kahney with Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki plus recollections straight from the 80s of Macworld founder Dave Bunnell. Along with the birthday celebrations, we’ll also feature our weekly picks from iTunes and the App store along with advice from an actual Apple store Genius.

This week also marks the debut of latest version of our app, brought to you by the smarties over at XOXCO using Packagr, a multi-platform digital publishing tool. We think it’s pretty great. But if you run into any problems downloading the mag, email me directly or hit the “send” tab top right and we’ll sort it out for ‘ya.

Cult of Mac Magazine