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Mactoberfest Bay Area Meetup is October 14!

Classic Macintosh fans, don’t miss your chance to revisit the halcyon days of Hypercard, desk accessories, and flying toasters! Mactoberfest Meetup is coming to the San Francisco Bay Area on Saturday October 14, hosted by Big Mess o’ Wires in Belmont California. Bring your classic Macintosh, your 1993 issues of MacUser magazine, your LocalTalk cables, and your test and repair tools. I’ve rented an old church building for the day, with enough space for about 50 to 100 of the Macintosh faithful. Come join the fun! And if you don’t live in California, steal a car and drive here. If you’re in jail, break out! You don’t want to miss this.

This is a meetup, so the main activities will be meeting other classic Macintosh fans and admiring everybody’s collection – hardware, media, collectibles, or anything else. If you feel that you don’t have anything special enough to be worth showing – don’t worry! A common Macintosh running an old popular game can make for great conversation.

What you’ll definitely find at Mactoberfest:

  • Rooms full of vintage Macintosh fanatics and crusty old computers
  • Display tables, chairs, electricity, bathrooms
  • Flea market – Items can be offered for sale at display tables or in the “marketplace corner”. Label your for-sale items with your name and phone number so that interested buyers can text you if you’re away from the table.
  • Freebies table – Got anything you can give away for free? Put your donations of extra disk drives, cables, adapters, and peripheral cards here. See something you like? Take it!
  • Workshop table – Stocked with soldering irons, tools, a multimeter, and maybe an oscilloscope or logic analyzer. Troubleshoot your broken computers here, or build a kit.
  • Kits – I’m donating some ATX PSU conversion kits that are easy to assemble with simple soldering. These kits can adapt a standard ATX power supply for use with the Macintosh IIcx, IIci, IIsi, IIvx, IIvi, Performa 600, Centris/Quadra 650, Quadra 800, or PowerMac 7100.
  • Tetris Max high score competition – It’s on! Warm up your wrists, the best score by the end of the day will win a complete vintage Macintosh system, including keyboard, mouse, and monitor. See the contest details and rules.
  • BMOW products – Buy any BMOW vintage computer product at Mactoberfest, and get it at the meetup.

What you’ll hopefully find at Mactoberfest:

  • A knowledgeable person at the workshop table to advise on repairs or kit assembly
  • LAN game competition – I nominate Bolo at 3:00 PM. Start practicing now!
  • Spontaneous ideas – System 6 trivia quiz? 2400 baud modem demos?

Please bear in mind there’s no “staff” for this meetup, and you’ll pay no admission fee. There’s only me and my desire to enjoy a fun day with other Macintosh nuts, but I definitely can’t do it all by myself. I need help from you! I’m happy to pay the building rental fee and other costs, but I need you to bring Mac-stuff to show, and to help coordinate some of the activities, and to chill out when things don’t go as planned. Set your expectations for a boisterous ad-hoc get-together, rather than a polished trade show experience, and we’ll get along just fine.

What you should bring:

  • Vintage computer hardware, media, and collectibles.
  • Extension cords and power strips for your computers – I definitely won’t have enough for everybody.
  • Items to sell in the flea market.
  • Soldering irons and tools like tweezers, cutters, and magnifiers. Multimeters and test equipment. Capacitors and components for common repairs.
  • Odds-and-ends to donate for the Freebies Table – How many old SCSI drives and spare motherboards do you really need, anyway? Stop hoarding them.
  • Kits and DIY stuff – Can you donate anything that ‘just needs assembly’, like a microcontroller kit or a set of replacement floppy drive gears? I’ll have the ATX conversion kits, but it would be fantastic to have other DIY stuff too.
  • Cool stuff you can donate as prizes for the Tetris Max competition.
  • Snacks, water, or drinks – Donations will be very appreciated.

How you can help:

Can you take a turn for an hour at the workshop table, helping somebody to troubleshoot a Sad Mac error code or recap a motherboard? How about organizing the LAN tournament? Or if you have another idea for a fun activity, great! Your willingness to help is the critical ingredient for the meetup’s success.


Bay Area Classic Macintosh Meetup / Demo / Workshop / Swap-Meet / Tournament / Whatever
Hosted by Big Mess o’ Wires
Saturday October 14, 11:00am to 5:00pm
Belmont, California
(event address is on the RSVP form)

Please don’t forget to RSVP if you’re if you’re maybe, probably, or definitely planning to attend. This will help me keep track of who’s bringing what items, and the likely overall attendance level. The street address in Belmont is on the RSVP form.

RSVP here for Mactoberfest

You’ve got Mactoberfest questions! I will try to answer them. Leave a comment below, or shoot me an email. See you in a few weeks.

Read 12 comments and join the conversation 

12 Comments so far

  1. Steve - September 8th, 2023 6:38 am

    We’ve now received more than 50 RSVPs for Mactoberfest, and as word spreads new people are continuing to sign up. I’m very excited. If you know any members of the original Macintosh development team, please encourage them to come!

  2. Steve - September 8th, 2023 11:19 am

    On top of loads of familiar classic Macintosh models, here are some of the more unusual items people have indicated they’re bringing: Outbound 125, Colby prototype, Newton prototypes, clear Newton 110, a touchscreen iMac, Lisp Machine cards for Mac, eMates, QuickTakes, an Intel DTK / Apple T1 dev tool, memory testing tools, homebrew Yamaha FM Sound Card, NEUROBLAST HyperCard DiskZine, and a collection of Dogcow items. More to come!

  3. Steve - September 20th, 2023 9:00 pm

    Many people have told me their Mac stuff is too unremarkable to be worth bringing or showing off. I wouldn’t view it that way. My biggest fear is that everyone will think their stuff is too unremarkable, and won’t bring it, and so we’ll end up with way too many “spectators” and not enough contributors, and the meetup will be a bust.

    A rare piece of hardware is nice, but once you’ve seen it you’ve seen it. It’s probably not going to hold anybody’s attention for very long, just sitting there with a “this is super rare” sign. But something like a garden variety Macintosh SE could be interesting for *hours* if it’s set up with an interesting piece of classic software, or can join a networked game, or is paired with an old printer or camera or audio digitizer to make a hands-on demo. There will be lots of friends and family at the meetup who haven’t ever spent much time with classic Macs, and we want to give them interesting things to do, not just uber-rare hardware boxes to look at. So definitely bring whatever you can, rare or not, put some fun software on there, and let people mess around with it. Who doesn’t enjoy drawing bitmap artwork in MacPaint 1.0?

  4. Steve - September 25th, 2023 9:24 pm

    Latest statistics: As of today, I’m estimating we’ll have 31 computer displays (most with several computers) and 67 people. RSVPs continue coming in, so the final totals will surely be higher.

  5. dankcomputing - September 26th, 2023 12:27 am

    If this didn’t clash with AmiWest I would go. Maybe next year?

  6. Steve - September 26th, 2023 7:05 am

    “Next year” – I like your optimism. We’ll see!

  7. Barry Brown - September 30th, 2023 1:45 pm

    Dang. This coincides with the annular solar eclipse.

  8. Steve - October 6th, 2023 7:24 am

    Update: MORE MACINTOSH! As of today we have a predicted attendance of 90-something people, and I expect the final tally will be over 100. I’ve counted 37 separate table displays and perhaps 100 individual computers and collectable items. I’m not really prepared for this. We’ve got people traveling here from LA, Sacramento, and all over the state. I am excited and terrified. 🙂

  9. Clarus - October 9th, 2023 6:11 am

    I just saw this and want to plan on planning (¯\_(ツ)_/¯) to go next year when i can arrange. There are direct flights to SFO from here but i can’t swing it (wing it??) now.

    How can i help to make Mactober 2024 happen?

    “Bring your classic Macintosh”

    Which one? Decisions, decisions”

    “your 1993 issues of MacUser magazine”,

    Boxed. Along with MacWorld, MacAddict. We are still moving in. :-/

    “your LocalTalk cables”

    Can do!

    “and your test and repair tools.”

    Need help with this, actually.

    “I’ve rented an old church building for the day”

    Admittedly, that seems appropriate. ;-D

  10. Steve - October 13th, 2023 10:23 am

    Final tally: We’re expecting 122 people tomorrow at Mactoberfest Meetup. The building will be overflowing with classic Macintosh excitement. See you there!

  11. Bob P - October 14th, 2023 3:23 pm

    Steve, thank you so much for the event today! It was wonderful, and I hope it can become a yearly tradition.

  12. Bill L - October 15th, 2023 10:30 am

    The event was so much fun! Thanks Steve for organizing this!

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