Retro computing expo transforms Kitchener farm into tech time capsule

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If you like bulky keyboards and two-inch screens, Kitchener’s Steckle Heritage Farm was the place to be Sunday.

The World of Retro Computing Expo featured computers, video games and type writers dating back to the 1970s.

About 100 machines from brands including Commodore, Tandy and MacIntosh were on display at the one-day free interactive event.

“There will always be nostalgia in computers,” says World of Retro Computing founder Justus Jurica. (Tyler Kelaher/CTV Kitchener)

“From the 70s you really had to tell [the computer] what you wanted it to do,” said World of Retro Computing founder Justus Jurica. “Now, they’re beginning to know what you want it to do.”

Nostalgia was the name of the game on Sunday and Jurica doesn’t see that disappearing from the sphere anytime soon.

“The evolution of computers is growing all the time and there will always be nostalgia in computers,” Jurica said.

“[It’s] really cool seeing the stuff my parents used in the past,” said attendee Erik Jarnevic. (Tyler Kelaher/CTV Kitchener)

While some machines at the expo on Sunday were in their original condition, others had serious upgrades.

“This is a 1981 Commodore PET 2001,” explained one person in attendance. “I decided to put an entire new computer inside of it, it’s my main computer. Anything I can do on my laptop, I can do on my desktop.”

As retro computing enthusiast Kirk Rietveld explained, old computers can still have modern uses.

“We can connect old computers and the internet, we can talk to people online using computers from 40 years ago. So even just because it’s old doesn’t mean it has to be thrown out,” Rietveld said.

Enjoying some retro games. (Tyler Kelaher/CTV Kitchener)

Others at the event were looking for parts for their devices.

“I need a floppy drive, maybe a graphics card would be great,” said Taylor Allen. “This table is perfect for me, this is what I’m looking for. You can’t really get this stuff anymore.”

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