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Mactoberfest: October 14 Bay Area Classic Macintosh Meetup, Expo, Repair Clinic, Swap Meet

UPDATE: See newer Mactoberfest info here. It even has a fancy logo now.

Somebody stop me! On Saturday October 14 from 11am to 5pm, Big Mess o’ Wires invites you to the 1st Annual Mactoberfest San Francisco Bay Area Classic Macintosh Meetup / Mini-Expo / Repair Clinic / Swap Meet / Open House / LAN Party / Hangout. Bring your classic Macintosh collection, your tools, your extension cords, your Localtalk cables, and all your best nerd toys. If you want to bring some Apple II or other vintage computers too, I won’t stop you. I’ve rented a room for 50-ish people, furnished with tables and chairs, and the rest is up to you:

  • Mingle and chat. Stump the crowd with Macintosh trivia. How many of the signatures on the inside of the Mac 128K’s case can you name?
  • Hardware showcase. Demo your interesting computers, peripherals, software, and vintage tech. I heard a rumor that some never-released classic Apple prototypes might be there.
  • Repair broken equipment. Bring your soldering iron, multimeter, or scope. We’ll crowd-source some fixes.
  • Beam some notes to other Newton users with IR. When else will you have a chance to do that?
  • Play classic networked games like Bolo and Spaceword Ho!
  • Buy, sell, trade, or donate vintage equipment. Find that one weird part you’ve searched for since 2008.
  • Stock-up on BMOW’s vintage computer products. Yeah I’ll have stuff available for sale, but that’s not the point of this event.
  • Debate whether the Newton was just ahead of its time, or was actually hot garbage.

This will be fun, but set your organizational expectations low. It’s a large rented room with lots of tables and chairs, hosted by Big Mess o’ Wires. The rest is up to you. The photo above is from a computer festival in Europe, and is much better coordinated than the chaos we’ll probably have. Don’t expect a highly-polished and curated event with fancy exhibits, a speaker series, and mad prizes. Don’t expect to wander through museum displays without talking to anybody. This is a low-key participatory event built on your own involvement and whatever goodies we collectively bring to play with.

I’ve rented a large room near my home in Belmont California, in the middle of the San Francisco peninsula. Belmont is near Highway 92 and is roughly equidistant from San Jose and the South Bay, San Francisco and points north, and Oakland, Berkeley and the East Bay. If these words mean nothing to you, then you’re not in California and you’re too far away, sorry.

What to Bring
Please don’t forget to bring your electric extension cords! I’m not the AV department and I won’t be providing any electric cords. The room will have plenty of 6 x 3 foot tables and chairs, and copious electric outlets, but the closest outlet might not be near your table. There’s a hardware store half a mile away, if you need more extension cords on the day of the event. Also bring your classic Macintosh and other vintage computers, items to sell or trade or repair, tools for making repairs, and networking equipment if you want to LAN play. Don’t forget to put your name on your power cords and all your equipment, so it doesn’t get confused with somebody else’s stuff.

I expect to have between 30 and 100 people. If we have more than 50 who are interested, I’ll need to start making table assignments. If this event goes viral and 500 classic Macintosh fanatics show up, plus Tim Cook and all the members of the original Macintosh dev team, we’ll have a problem because there’s a hard maximum of 100 people for the room.

RSVP here (in the Google Form) if you’re maybe, probably, or definitely planning to attend. This will help me keep track of who’s bringing what hardware, and the likely overall attendance level. The street address within Belmont is on the RSVP form.

If it looks like we may exceed 100 people then I’ll close the RSVP. Don’t be that sad person who’s turned away at the door (although you might start a Classic Macintosh tailgate party in the parking lot).

1st Annual Bay Area Classic Macintosh Meetup / Expo / Clinic / Swap-Meet
Hosted by Big Mess o’ Wires

Saturday October 14, 11:00am to 5:00pm
Belmont, California
in the “Fireplace Room”
(event address is on the RSVP form)

See you there, and don’t forget to RSVP!


RSVP here for the Classic Macintosh Event


Read 8 comments and join the conversation 

8 Comments so far

  1. Mike - August 14th, 2023 5:42 pm

    Sounds like fun, looking forward to it!

  2. Steve - August 15th, 2023 4:13 pm

    After one day we have 18 people who have RSVP’d. Along with many more common Mac systems, a few people are bringing some interesting rarer stuff like Outbound and Colby Macintosh clones, and prototypes of never-released models. There will probably be some Lisa and Apple II stuff too.

  3. Steve - August 17th, 2023 11:49 am

    Now at 25 attendees.

  4. Steve - August 18th, 2023 5:33 pm

    Now at 33 attendees. Some other activities that might be fun:

    • Spare parts grab bag – Got some odds and ends you don’t need, like spare floppy drive cables, molex connectors, mounting brackets, etc? Drop them in a big bucket, where other people can grab anything they want.
    • Assemble a kit – There are several interesting DIY PCBs and kits for classic Macs released in the last few years, like this ATX to 10-pin PSU adapter. We could have some of these ready to assemble, or have people people bring kits they already purchased but don’t have the time or soldering skills to assemble by themselves.
  5. Zdrowersi - August 24th, 2023 10:00 pm

    What a GREAT event! Superb!

  6. Steve - August 27th, 2023 3:15 pm

    Now at 40 attendees. If you’ve already RSVP’d, I’ll be sending a follow-up email closer to the event date for planning table layouts, so we can make sure we’re all going to fit. I’ve rented additional rooms and some covered outdoor space, but there may be a shortage of electrical outlets. I’ll try to organize the collections into separate categories for things that need to be plugged-in and things that don’t.

    If anybody’s interested in helping to organize the hosting, I’d welcome it! There are lots of little things like name tags, indoor and outdoor signs, drinks, snacks, and table setup. And I need somebody to help me brainstorm and organize specific plans for ideas like the repair clinic, networked games, spare parts grab-bag, kit builds, etc.

  7. James Sime - September 2nd, 2023 9:47 am

    So awesome, thanks for organizing this! I forgot to mention in my RSVP that we are happy to arrive early & help you set up.

  8. Steve - September 3rd, 2023 9:28 pm

    Thanks James! I will probably be OK with initial setup, but there are several other places during the meetup where it’d be great to have help. There’s an updated post here with the latest Mactoberfest info, including suggested ways that everyone can lend a hand.

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