Go back in time to the World of Retro Computing at this Kitchener expo

Say goodbye to 2022 and hello to “the good ol’ days” at the World of Retro Computing, a free one-day expo this weekend.

Fans of classic computers can visit the World of Retro Computing from noon to 5 pm at the Steckle Heritage Farm, at 811 Bleams Rd. near Strasburg Road.

Following a successful 2021 launch, the expo will showcase personal and commercial computers from brands like Commodore, Atari, Macintosh and Tandy, which were popular in the 1970s, ’80s and early ’90s.

It will also feature hands-on retro computing and gaming displays, guest speakers, vendors, workshops, raffles and food trucks.

Co-founder and event organizer, Justus Jurica, created the event to preserve pieces of history that younger generations may currently perceive as insignificant.

By showing the physical aspects of technology, the expo’s goal is to help youth understand that information still resides on physical machines, even though they may be more familiar with personal cloud-based internet services in their day-to-day lives.

Critically acclaimed Waterloo Region exhibit, GrassRoots History of Technology, will be presented on the main stage at 2:30 pm It will showcase an IBM Selectric I/O Model 1980 with service manuals, a very heavy typewriter-like remote computer terminal used at the Oshawa office of Household Finance Corp. in 1968. It was part of a North American-wide deployment to hundreds of HFC branches.

“These terminals were connected by telephone lines to one of three IBM System/360 Model 50 computers located in large metropolitan areas in the USA. They were used to enter details about a loan and then print the loan papers,” said vintage technology expert and presenter, Kevin Stumpf, in a statement on their website.

“(It was also used monthly) to print financial reports for the branch; lots and lots of paper was used. These were the common solution to remotely access computers even though ‘video’ terminals existed.”

Free parking is available on the west side of the farm at 205 McIntyre Dr; the event includes access to farm property.

A ticketed retro barn dance and social will take place from 6 to 8 pm For more information, visit the group’s website at www.worldofretrocomputing.com.

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