Today in Philly Tech History 5/2/1976: The first Trenton Computer Festival held

Tom Paine

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The first Trenton Computer Festival was held on May 2, 1976 at Trenton State College (now the College of New Jersey) in Ewing NJ, outside of Trenton. It was started by Sol Libes of the Amateur Computer Group of New Jersey and Allen Katz of The College of New Jersey. It later moved to Mercer County Community College as it grew larger, and in 1999 moved to the NJ Convention Center in Edison, NJ, but returned to the College of New Jersey in 2005.

In the days before the Internet and the presence of most computer retail outlets, user groups and other channels of information, TCF played a particularly critical role as a source of learning and knowledge dissemination for the East Coast in the fledgeling microcomputer industry.

TCF has had a notable and varied list of keynote speakers throughout its history, including Bill Gates, Dr. Adam Osborne, Mr. and Mrs. John W. Mauchly (of ENIAC fame), Eric Raymond, Dr. Ken Iverson, and Gordon E. Eubanks.

In the past a weekend-long event, in recent years it has been a one-day event held on a Saturday in March. The next TCF is scheduled for March 15, 2014.

David Gewirtz wrote an ode to the early days of TCF in ZDNet last year.

This a slide show from the first Trenton Computer Festival in 1976, produced by TCF co-founder Sol Libes:


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