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[personal profile] scrottie had a friend in town for a visit, so on Saturday night we engaged in the time-honored tradition of a whole bunch of back-and-forth on what sort of expedition to go on on Sunday.

Eventually, S said that there was a Vintage Computer Festival happening this past weekend at the Computer History Museum in Palo Alto. An expedition out to the Computer History Museum sounded intriguing to J, and while we were chatting [personal profile] sytharin also happened to mention that one of her favorite parks could potentially be included along the route.

And so the plan was born: we took BART to Union City, disembarked, and headed towards the Alameda Creek multi-use path. The path made for extremely pleasant riding that reminded me of riding through the Danish countryside.

Alameda Creek bike path towards Coyote Hills Park

We eventually arrived at a gravel turnoff into Coyote Hills Park, and turned off to ride among the marshland.

Marsh view, Coyote Hills Park

S had recommended a brief stop in the park at the visitor's center to hike up a hill and take in the view, so we did:

Marsh view, Coyote Hills Park

Hilltop view from Coyote Hills Park

Hilltop view of the marshland in Coyote Hills Park

Hilltop view, Coyote Hills Park

Hilltop view of the salt flats from Coyote Hills Park

Scrutinizing the map, we determined that it was possible to ride out through the saltwater flats to meet up with the bike entry ramp onto Dunbarton Bridge, so we did.

That was an amazing landscape and I highly recommend it for the sake of adventure.

Riding in the salt flats, Coyote Hills Park

Riding in the salt flats, Coyote Hills Park

Eventually S suggested that we might want to pause for another photo. I suspect he had ulterior motives.

Stopping for a quick dip in the salt flats, Coyote Hills Park

The plunge, Coyote Hills Park

Come on in, the water's fine

We reached the Computer History Museum in time for a late lunch, and then pondered our options: Vintage Computing Festival, or the museum proper? We sent S on ahead to scout out the Vintage Computing festival, and his facial expression when he came back made our decision clear.

I have to admit, vintage computers aren't really my scene. On the other hand, it was cool to see all the people who were totally into it, and how they interpret their hobby. It was also way more interactive than the museum proper because the displays consisted of things people had brought with them to show each other and us.

Vintage Computer Festival Exhibition Hall

I found this one especially intriguing. This person has collected original prototypes of various computers and calculators, which are encased in transparent plastic so you can see all the guts.

Vintage Computer Festival Exhibit

All of the other stuff was fascinating and creative, too. For example, another person displayed a collection that highlighted the evolution of different storage formats, from the original 8-inch floppy disks to the various terrible flavors of zip disks. Someone else was working to feed modern media images to old Commodore 64s, working within the Commodore's graphics capabilities as a creative constraint. Another table was hosted by members of the Apple II's fanbase, who put together a poster illustrating ongoing current projects for the Apple II. There were also lots of Ataris to ogle and interact with, and S got sucked into chatting on a Unix workstation with other users, among whom was a user whose handle was "GhostOfSteveJobs", heh heh heh.

Many of the booth creators were standing by, excited to explain things even to a total newcomer such as myself.

We had to fight some headwind on the ride home, but once again the route and landscape for the return ride were wonderful. It was also good to get in at least some training mileage in preparation for the upcoming Ride from Seattle to Vancouver to Party.

This entry was originally posted at http://rebeccmeister.dreamwidth.org/1171339.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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