UK VCF or equivalent

Sellam Ismail sellam at
Mon Aug 6 18:28:42 CDT 2007

Ok, back again to clear up some misperceptions.

1) Yes, I am subscribed to the list, but I have message delivery turned 
off.  I still just don't have time to plow through the dozens of messages 
a day this list generates.  I really would like to re-join the discussion 
as a regular but time prevents this.

2) I do scan the archives regularly to see what people are discussing.  
>From time to time I chime in.  Invariably, someone (willfully or 
otherwise) misinterprets what I say, and chaos ensues.  Sigh.

3) Gordon Pearce:

> I would call it something completely different if I was going to run
> one.  If people are going to get all precious about their valuable
> trademarks then sod 'em.

I'm not getting "precious".  I've put a lot of time, energy and MONEY into 
developing the Vintage Computer Festival.  If someone wants to put on an 
event that celebrates vintage computers, fine!  More power to you!!!  Just 
don't use the name "Vintage Computer Festival" unless it's actually 
organized under the tutelage of the VCF.

*IF* you put on an event of your own and choose to call it the "Vintage 
Computer Festival", *THEN* I will bury your event.  Do what you like, but 
find your own name.

> Sellam, if you're so enthusiastic as to set up a "rival" VCF to spite
> someone setting up a VCF-a-like, why not just set up a VCF in the UK?

I would love to, Gordon.  Perhaps you'd like to offer to be the local 

As I've said numerous times previously (why do some people seem to miss 
this part?) I am always happy to expand the VCF to locations throughout 
the world, where ever there is enough interest to have an event where 
enough people will attend to justify the enormous commitment of time and 
money that is involved.  I will share with you my hard won experience and 
secrets in pulling off a successful event, share my large list of contacts 
to help book speakers, help attract and organize exhibitors and vendors, 
get the word out through the VCF mailing list, help with advertising, and 
even help with financing.

4) Jules Richardson:

> I suspect a lot of people will underestimate the time, money and effort 
> needed to organise and promote something like this. Anything making that 
> a little easier seems invaluable.

Indeed.  Between the first two events I lost something like US$5,000.  
Aside from some occasional monetary sponsorship throughout the years 
(totalling maybe US$3,000) the event is completely financed by me and/or 
the local coordinators.  The key is to find a venue sponsor: i.e. someone 
that would be willing to give you a space to hold the event for free or 
for very cheap.  Otherwise, the admission you have to charge regular 
attendees and the fees you would have to charge exhibitors and vendors 
would be too high.  Even in the early days I didn't believe charging too 
much for admission because I want as many people to attend as possible.  
Admission to the VCF has always been cheap (I think the most ever charged 
was $15 per person per day).

The matter of TIME is the bigger expense.  People don't realize how many 
little things need to get done, and how all those little things add up to 
hours and days and sometimes weeks of time.

As an aside, I've had numerous discussions with Jules and Adrian Graham 
over the years regarding a VCF UK, but so far the stars have not aligned 
properly due to various issues and constraints (usually those dealing with 

All it takes is one person to say, "I will do it".  Once that happens, 
the ball starts rolling: a date is selected, an announcement is made, and 
then it's just a matter of filling the blanks.  So, again, if anyone is 
interested, just say the magic phrase ;)


Sellam Ismail                                        Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger      

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