Living Computers: Museum + Labs
Exterior of the Museum
|Established||25 October 2012|
|Location||2245 1st Ave S|
|Key holdings||PDP-10, IBM Mainframes, Apple 1, PLATO|
|Public transit access||21, 594, 132, 106, 50, 102, 590, and 116 Bus Routes and the Link Light Rail|
|Nearest car park||Onsite and Street Parking|
Living Computers: Museum + Labs (LCM+L) is a computer and technology museum located in the SoDo neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. LCM+L showcases vintage computers which provide interactive sessions, either through time-sharing operating systems or single-user interfaces. This gives users a chance to actually use the computers on-line or in person in the museum. An expansion adds direct touch experiences with contemporary technologies such as self-driving cars, the internet of things, big data, and robotics. This puts today's computer technology in the context of how it's being used to tackle real-world issues. LCM+L also hosts a wide range of educational programs and events in their state-of-the art classroom and lab spaces.
According to an archived version of LCM's website, their goal is "to breathe life back into our machines so the public can experience what it was like to see them, hear them, and interact with them. We make our systems accessible by allowing people to come and interact with them, and by making them available over the Internet."
The current site similarly shares that "Living Computers: Museum + Labs provides a one-of-a-kind, hands-on experience with computer technology from the 1960s to the present. LCM+L honors the history of computing with the world’s largest collection of fully restored—and usable—supercomputers, mainframes, minicomputers and microcomputers." 
LCM+L (originally known as Living Computer Museum, and before that, PDPplanet.com) was founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, on January 9, 2006. Through PDPplanet, users were able to telnet into vintage devices and experience timesharing computing on equipment from Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) and XKL.
Living Computer Museum opened to the public on October 25, 2012 and guests can now visit in person to interact with the collection of mainframes, minicomputers, microcomputers and peripherals the museum has on display. Various and changing exhibits in the museum show how much computers and technology have changed over the last 50 years and are changing still.
On November 18, 2016 the institution changed its name to Living Computers: Museum + Labs to reflect its enlarged goals of igniting curiosity through direct touch experiences with contemporary technologies as well as vintage computers.
- Paul Allen also founded the Museum of Pop Culture, or MoPOP (earlier called EMP Museum) and the Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum.
- On March 17, 2010, it was recognized by Washington State Senate Resolution 8721 "for its role in the preservation of the history of information technology".
- In 2013, Seattle Weekly voted the museum the "Best Geeky Museum" because it highlights "an essential part of Seattle binary history- the founding of Microsoft and its role in establishing Seattle as a tech-driven industry".
- LCM was the main sponsor of the Seattle Retro Gaming Expo in 2016.
- Various artifacts from the museum have been borrowed and featured in TV shows such as Mad Men and Halt and Catch Fire, and movies such as Tomorrowland.
Collections and exhibits
The collection consists of publicly donated items and Paul Allen’s personal collection. The working computers on display include one supercomputer, seven mainframes, 10 minicomputers, and over three dozen microcomputers.
In April 2017 a permanent exhibit entitled From the Garage to the iMac: 1976-1999 was unveiled. On display is an operable Apple 1 that visitors can interact with, as well as Apple II, IIe, III, Lisa II, Macintosh 512K, Macintosh SE, and NeXT computers.
A list of most of the computers currently on display, and those coming soon, can be found below.
|Manufacturer||Model||Type||Year Introduced||Available for public use||Telnet access|
|Amazon||Kindle 1||hand-held||2007||Yes||No|
|Apple||Apple 1||microcomputer||1976||Yes||No|
|Apple||iMac G3||microcomputer||1998||Yes||No|
|Apple||Power Mac G4||microcomputer||1999||Yes||No|
|AT&T||DMD 5620 / 3B2||minicomputer||1983||Yes||Yes|
|Atari||2600||video game console||1977||Yes||No|
|Columbia Data Products||MPC 1600||microcomputer||1982||Yes||No|
|Control Data||CDC 6500||supercomputer||1967||No||Yes|
|Control Data||DD60 monitor||operator console||1964||No||No|
|Control Data||405 card reader||peripheral||1964||No||No|
|Control Data||CDC 679-6 magnetic tape transport||peripheral||1964||No||No|
|DEC||PDP-10 KA10 (DECsystem-10)||mainframe||1971||No||No|
|DEC||PDP-10 KI10 (DECsystem-10)||mainframe||1971||No||No|
|DEC||PDP-10 KL10 (DECSYSTEM-2065)||mainframe||1974||Yes||Yes|
|DEC||PDP-10 KL10 (DECSYSTEM-1095)||mainframe||1974||Yes||Yes|
|DEC||PDP-10 KS10 (DECSYSTEM-2020)||minicomputer||1979||Yes||Yes|
|DEC||VT131||terminal||1981||Yes||No|
|Dell||Dimension XPS B733||microcomputer||1999||Yes||No|
|E.S.R.||Digi-Comp II reproduction||toy computer||?||Yes||No|
|Honeywell||6180 DPS-8/M maintenance panel and Multics emulator||peripheral; emulation of mainframe||1973 (mainframe)||No||No|
|IBM||System/360 Model 30 mainframe||mainframe||1964||No||No|
|IBM||System/360 Model 91 front panel||peripheral||1966||No||No|
|IBM||029 card punch||peripheral||1964||Yes||No|
|IBM||Personal Computer 5150||microcomputer||1981||Yes||No|
|IMLAC Corporation||PDS-1 "sImlac" emulator||emulation of minicomputer||1970s (minicomputer); 2017 (emulator)||Yes||No|
|Nintendo||NES-101||video game console||1993||Yes||No|
|PLATO||Terminal V||microcomputer||1976||Yes||No|
|Radio Shack||TRS-80 Model IV||microcomputer||1977||Yes||No|
|Tandy||Color Computer 3||microcomputer||1986||Yes||No|
|Teletype||Model 33||terminal||1963||No||No|
|Teletype||Model 35||terminal||1963||No||No|
|Teletype||Model 37||terminal||1968||No||No|
|Texas Instruments||Speak & Spell Compact||hand-held||1982||Yes||No|
|Texas Instruments||TI-99/4A||microcomputer||1981||Yes||No|
|Xerox||Alto "ContrAlto" simulator||emulation of minicomputer||1973 (minicomputer); 2016 (emulator)||Yes||No|
Bendix G-15 – Under restoration
CDC 160-A - Under restoration
IBM System/360 Model 30 - Under restoration
Programming languages available at LCM+L
Operating systems available at LCM+L
- ITS Incompatible Timesharing System
- WAITS West Coast Incompatible Timesharing System
- VM (operating system)
- TOPS-10 6.03a
- TOPS-10 v7.04
- TOPS-20 v7.1
- OpenVMS 7.3
- UNIX v7
- UNIX SVR3
- BSD 4.3
- NOS 1.3
- Windows 1.0
- Windows 3.1x
- Windows 95
- Windows 98
- GEOS (8-bit operating system)
- Classic Mac OS
- Apple SOS
- Apple ProDOS
Games available to play and software to try on our microcomputers.
In the media
- Daily Mail - Is this robot better at Pokémon Go than you?
- Engadget - Inside Seattle's invitation-only VR summit
- Engadget - We took a nostalgic look around Seattle's Living Computer Museum
- FC Technology - Welcome to 1986: Inside "Halt and Catch Fire's" High-Tech Time Machine
- Forbes - Bill Gates and Paul Allen Reunite and Recreate Classic 1981 Microsoft Photo
- Fox News Travel - Seattle's Living Computer Museum: not just for techies
- Geek Wire - Paul Allen's quest: A 32-bit computer built by Interdata
- Geek Wire - Go inside Paul Allen's Living Computer Museum with this 3D virtual tour
- LA Times - High-tech effort calls up smartphones for Ebola Battle
- NYT Bits - A Place where Old Computers Go to Live
- Oregon Live - Living Computer Museum offers a hands-on tour of the digital age
- Oregon Live - Paul Allen's Living Computer Museum pays homage to trailblazing PCs
- PDP-7 Lights Up the Living Computer Museum
- Seattle Times - Paul Allen's new Seattle computer museum not just for geeks
- Science Daily - Inside Seattle's Living Computer Museum
- Seattle Weekly - Best Geeky Museum: Living Computer Museum
- The Economist - Keeping skin out of the game
- The Stranger - Two Geeks and an Art Critic Visit Paul Allen's Living Computer Museum
- USA Today Video - Seattle's Living Computer Museum Tempts Tech Tourists
- WSJ Video - A Look Inside Paul Allen's Living Computer Museum
- "What is Living Computer Museum?". Retrieved October 24, 2016.
- "About Living Computers: Museum + Labs". Retrieved July 4, 2018.
- "Paul G. Allen Launches Web Site Dedicated to Early Computers; PDPplanet.com Site Celebrates Historic Mainframes and Minicomputers | Business Wire". www.businesswire.com. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
- "Application for a Guest Account on the Living Computers: Museum + Labs". Retrieved 4 July 2018.
- "Home - Living Computer Museum". Retrieved 4 July 2018.
- "Seattle's Living Computer Museum tempts tech tourists". USA Today. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
- "Washington State Senate Resolution 8721"
- "Best Geeky Museum: Living Computer Museum". Retrieved 17 August 2016.
- "Seattle Retro Gaming Expo". Seattle Retro Gaming Expo. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
- "Fashion and Style: Episode 704: Mad Men: The Monolith". AMC.
- "Welcome To 1986: Inside "Halt And Catch Fire's" High-Tech Time Machine". 27 August 2016.
- "News / Press - Living Computers: Museum+Labs". www.livingcomputers.org.
- "Request a login". Retrieved October 31, 2017.
- "Vintage Computers". Retrieved October 31, 2017.
- Michael J. Miller (August 17, 2017), "Visiting the Living Computers Museum", PC Magazine
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