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Thread: Classic Computer Exhibit At Local Museum

  1. #1
    Crono (Level 14) Pantechnicon's Avatar
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    Zeno2112

    Default Classic Computer Exhibit At Local Museum

    Did you know that Albuquerque, NM is the birthplace of both the personal computer as well as where Microsoft was officially founded?

    You probably did know both of those factoids, as a matter of trivia. Well, it looks like the city of Albuquerque is finally taking some interest in acknowledging these facts on a larger scale:

    http://www.startupgallery.org/home.php

    The museum hosting this exhibit is only about a block from my house. I went over to check it out last week and it's a pretty phenomenal display. Most of the exhibits are from Paul Allen's personal collection and he puts our combined computer collections all to shame.

    Highlights include:
    - A UNIVAC console
    - A 5MB hard disk platter, manufactured in 1962 and as big around as a manhole cover, juxtaposed next to a 2GB USB drive for comparison.
    - A PDP-11 running Spacewar!
    - Two Altair 8800's under glass - one assembled and one in kit form ("Meh", says Ubikuberalles)
    - Pong on a 15-foot screen.
    - "Rise of the Machines" - Half movie/half animatronic show of every significant microcomputer from the Altair to the first Apple Macintosh telling their history (the best part is when, to represent the market competition of the 1980s, the computers all start shooting lasers at each other while the Star Wars theme is playing).

    I have a few pics, but not any good ones yet. I made the mistake of taking my kids and one of their pals and therefore spent more time keeping them in line instead of savoring each and every artifact like I wanted to. Rest assured I will go back and get some good pics.

    I'm especially interested in this exhibit. The subject material is enough of a reason, but for me the significance lies in the fact that about a year ago as a project for a Technical Writing class I actually wrote a proposal for the Albuquerque City Museum suggesting something like this be done. A few months later I found out about the Allen-funded exhibit was coming to town. No I don't think Paul Allen stole my idea, but it was an interesting coincidence. (If you're interested in reading my proposal, you can download it here).

    Anybody who happens to be travelling through Albuquerque between now and whenever this exhibit closes is welcome to crash at my house if they want to walk over and check it out.
    Last edited by Pantechnicon; 12-05-2006 at 10:57 PM.

  2. #2
    I like Fezzes. Fezzes are cool. ubikuberalles's Avatar
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    I'm thinking about going to the musuem this coming Saturday. Will I be allowed to take pictures inside the museum?

    (Pronounced: OO-bik-OO-ber-ALL-ess)
    Reality is false and decaying. Ubik restores form and substance.

  3. #3
    Crono (Level 14) Pantechnicon's Avatar
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    Ubik: Taking pictures is perfectly fine. Here are the few I took on my last visit:


    In case you can't make out the the text in between me and the background picture of the tractor feed paper, it says: "We were called computer nerds. Anyone who spends his life on a computer is pretty unusual. - Bill Gates". Yep. I got nothing to add to that.


    Isabella and the UNIVAC console.


    My kids playing Spacewar! on the PDP-11. Death Match 1962 style. Hell yes!

    Trust me, you'll love this. If you come down Saturday let me know ahead of time if you want some company. Alex and I will be happy to tag along and see it again.

  4. #4
    I like Fezzes. Fezzes are cool. ubikuberalles's Avatar
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    That setup looks really good. I can't wait to see it on Saturday (I'll give you a call).

    (Pronounced: OO-bik-OO-ber-ALL-ess)
    Reality is false and decaying. Ubik restores form and substance.

  5. #5
    I like Fezzes. Fezzes are cool. ubikuberalles's Avatar
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    I went to the Altair musuem on Saturday, 12/9/06. Here's my blog entry on the trip. Good stuff!

    (Pronounced: OO-bik-OO-ber-ALL-ess)
    Reality is false and decaying. Ubik restores form and substance.

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