Note: This blog post was authored by Gordon Bell and edited by Alan J Weissberger.
The Computer Museum website is a place to view all the extensive material of The Computer Museum (which was relocated to Mt. View, CA in 116/97), whereby one can go immediately to an exhibit, event, etc. and 350+ files (10K pages) of computer history.
For the nostalgic visitor or historian, downloading the Museum Reports, 1979-1988 and Annual Reports 1988-1998 describe the events from the opening in 1975 at Digital and in Marlborough MA, though the museum’s move to Boston and eventually to Mountain View’s Moffett Field, CA. It is a work in progress that will continue to evolve and hopefully attract more content. However with all the files and publications, the files are valuable reference.
The website is a living cyber museum providing accessibility to all aspects of The Computer Museum (c1979-2000) to the extent content was preserved.
Ideally, a visitor can walk along the timeline as a guide to:
· View and attend a lecture e.g. the first ones by JV Atanasoff, the inventor of the Atanasoff-Berry Computer
Or hear what the first useful stored program computer was and how it was programmed by Prof. Maurice V. Wilkes, of Cambridge U. Or listen to Bob Noyce explain the first integrated circuit invention at the opening of TCM, Boston in xxs, 1984. Or a talk by me on The Computer Pioneers...
· Replay or recall the East-West Computer Bowls over their 10 year history.
View all the book of questions from this 1988-98 era when the web was born.
· Visit the various exhibits
· Marketing Material is where you can download various press kits about openings, store catalogs, and especially about 100 posters of pioneer lectures, the Computer Bowl, and Historical/Taxonomic trees.
· The Museum Catalog (namely what are the museum’s holdings) as a publication. Ed Thelen scanned the original A Museum Catalog is itself an artifact of 20th century museums before search. The catalog was eventually published in the Reports (see 400 page compendium of all the reports xxx)
· View all the documents that described the Museum in roughly 350 scanned files: Reports, Annual Reports, posters announcing the lectures and pioneers, store catalogs, Timeline Posters and Product Trees, flyers, awards, PR releases, and more.
· Backroom look at artifacts
· Back Office working files used for design etc. All the available scanned files including deliberation and sounds of gnashing of the teeth especially all the correspondence of Gordon Bell asking for support Note some of the 30+ year ago, 1984 Asks (Begs( include Brook Byers, Ed DeCastro, Bill Gates, Bernie Gordon, Regis McKenna, Heinz Nixdorf Max Palevsky, Tom Perkins, Bill Perry, John Pierce, Ben Rosen, Al Shughart and many more.
· Governance files of BOD, etc. especially later ones from Gardner Hendrie’s period as Chairman that he had retained.
· A BLOG (TBD) Participate in a blog e.g. comments by former board members, comments re. particular artifacts, talks, etc.
The timeline is a nice way to visit the TCM.
Note the 1000 x 15,000 pixels timeline on the site chronicling events and exhibits.
The goals is to be able to traverse it and to see and hear content of those days. You have to look at the items and then use some imagination but eventually all will be hot linked to something interesting to see/hear! We will be experimenting with wider, deeper, and different timelines—this one was events that were rendered from XLSX.
The Computer Museum, Boston on Wikipedia has the story of TCM. Oliver Strimpel used archived items and made a really complete and compelling story Wikipedia.
TO BE BUILT:
A site search is still needed that will reveal the documents if you know a name or phrase. Also crawlers need a way to find it and its content. CHM will post a few links to enable the TCM part of the museum to be found (l think we can say/prove the museum will be 40 years old next year).
The site is beginning to fulfil a view of a Cyber Museum being a dusty place that you might want to visit because you once visited it in physical space and want to see it again or get an artifact..
The particular joy of this site is that it is an experiment… so if you have something that you believe someone else associated with TCM will want, we’ll host it.