Computer History Museum
The Computer History Museum is a museum established in 1996 in Mountain View, California, USA. The Museum is dedicated to preserving and presenting the stories and artifacts of the information age, and exploring the computing revolution and its impact on society.
The museum's origins date to 1968 when Gordon Bell began a quest for a historical collection and, at that same time, others were looking to preserve the Whirlwind computer. The resulting Museum Project had its first exhibit in 1975, located in a converted coat closet in a DEC lobby. In 1978, the museum, now The Digital Computer Museum (TDCM), moved to a larger DEC lobby in Marlborough, Massachusetts. Maurice Wilkes presented the first lecture at TDCM in 1979 – the presentation of such lectures has continued to the present time.
In 1996/1997, The TCM History Center (TCMHC) in Silicon Valley was established; a site at Moffett Field was provided by NASA (an old building that was previously the Naval Base furniture store) and a large number of artifacts were shipped there from TCM.
In 1999, TCMHC incorporated and TCM ceased operation, shipping its remaining artifacts to TCMHC in 2000. The name TCM had been retained by the Boston Museum of Science so, in 2000, the name TCMHC was changed to Computer History Museum (CHM).
Collections and exhibition space
The Computer History Museum claims to house the largest and most significant collection of computing artifacts in the world (the Heinz Nixdorf Museum, Paderborn, Germany, has more items on display but a far smaller total collection). This includes many rare or one-of-a-kind objects such as a Cray-1 supercomputer as well as a Cray-2, Cray-3, the Utah teapot, the 1969 Neiman Marcus Kitchen Computer, an Apple I, and an example of the first generation of Google's racks of custom-designed web servers. The collection comprises nearly 90,000 objects, photographs and films, as well as 4,000 feet (1,200 m) of cataloged documentation and several hundred gigabytes of software.
The museum's 25,000-square-foot (2,300 m2) exhibition "Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing," opened to the public on January 13, 2011. It covers the history of computing in 20 galleries, from the abacus to the Internet. The entire exhibition is also available online.
The museum has several additional exhibits, including a Difference Engine designed by Charles Babbage in the 1840s and constructed by the Science Museum, a restoration of a historic PDP-1 minicomputer, and a new exhibit on Google Street View and the history of "surrogate travel".
Former media executive John Hollar was appointed CEO of The Computer History Museum in July 2008.
In 2012 the museum began with the collection of source code of important software, beginning with the APL programming language. In February 2013 Adobe Systems, Inc. donated the Photoshop 1.0.1 source code to the collection.
- Vintage Computer Festival held annually at The Computer History Museum
- Computer museums
- History of computing
- History of computer science
- Bell, Gordon (2011).
- Backgrounder Press release on the Computer History Museum
- Heinz Nixdorf Museum
- How Google Works David F. Carr, Baseline.com, July 6, 2006
- Wollan, Malia (2011-01-13). "Computer History Museum Unveils Its Makeover". The New York Times.
- Bilton, Nick (2010-01-14). "Bits Pics: The Computer History Museum". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-15.
- "Computer History Museums Major New Exhibition Opens January 12th 2011". Computerhistory.org. Retrieved 2011-01-15.
- Shustek, Len (2012-10-10). "The APL Programming Language Source Code". computerhistory.org. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- Bishop, Bryan (2013-02-14). "Adobe releases original Photoshop source code for nostalgic developers". theverge.com. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- Adobe Photoshop Source Code
- Bell, Gordon (2011). Out of a Closet: The Early Years of the Computer [x]* Museum. Microsoft Technical Report MSR-TR-2011-44.
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