The fourth annual Vintage Computer Festival will celebrate the history of computer technology with a walk down memory lane to the present and into the future in Roswell this Saturday and Sunday.
The festival will take place at the Kings Market shopping center at 1425 Market Blvd., Suite 200, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Admission is $10 for adults for one day or $15 for two days. Children age 17 and under — accompanied by a parent or guardian — and college students with a student ID are free.
The event is hosted by the Atlanta Historical Computing Society and Roswell’s Computer Museum of America.
Museum founder Lonnie Mimms said the north Atlanta area is a major technology center for the Southeast, and the festival is the only event of its kind in the region.
“Everyone I’ve talked to after the fact was absolutely amazed and surprised as to what it was — mainly, with the Computer Museum of America’s exhibits that are on display,” Mimms said.
“We’ve pretty much exceeded people’s expectations when they come out and take a look at what’s on display and the whole story surrounding it.”
The event will feature unique equipment exhibits, a rare opportunity to see the Computer Museum of America’s Apple and PC pop-ups, presentations by top computer designers and interactive entertainment for all ages.
Each year, the event is held in only four U.S. cities with exhibitors from around the country.
New this year, there will be a live auction to give bidders a chance to start or expand their personal collections.
Historic collections will be showcased with items including early Radio Shack equipment, half-century-old minicomputers and early handheld video games.
The event includes an exhibit on Apple as the technology company celebrates its 40th anniversary. The exhibit will include an Apple I, which is a personal computer released in 1976, and additional Apple artifacts.
The two-day event also features an exploration of the history of personal computers. Mimms will share his vintage computer collection — one of the largest in the world.
“There’s a lot of very important, interesting stories that go behind the technology that you use — whether you’re totally comfortable with it or not,” Mimms said.
“As one person put it — this shows the kids from where their iPhones’ grandparents came. This history is very important because all of technology is evolutionary. By looking at some of the past, you can see the direction things may go in the future as well.”
A vintage game station will be offered for playing classic games on computers and game console systems. Pac-Man, Super Pong and Mario on restored Atari, Sega and Nintendo machines and a classic video game wall also will be available.