gilcarrick at comcast.net
Wed Sep 14 21:09:18 CDT 2005
> I feel the same way. You can spot the people who only care
> about the biggest
> collection because they have very little in the way of
> hardware upgrades,
> software, magazines, and manuals in their collection (since they don't
> usually turn them on).
I have been thinking about this question the last couple of days, and I just
want to share a slightly different point of view. I teach Computer Science
at a University, and being a pack rat of long standing, convinced our then
chairman to let me start a "computer museum" so I could clean out my garage,
closets, attic, study, etc. In this environment there is merit in older
machines, even if they don't run. One of my favorite items, and one that
gets the attention of the students, is a voice coil magnet out of an unknown
drive. It weighs about 60 pounds, IIRC.
I tell them that it was in a drive about the size of a washing machine and
that held no more than 100 MB & probably much less. Then I contrast that
with a 2.5 inch drive that holds perhaps 10s of GBs and weighs only a few
ounces, certainly runs faster and costs less than whatever drive the magnet
came out of - heck, probably less than the magnet!
Similarly I have a magnetic core plane that gives new meaning to the terms
"core dump" and "non-volatile memory" for these students and a tube circuit
out of a IBM 709 (or 704 - not sure which) which I show with a copy of an
IBM adv. that talks about such tube circuits and the machines that
incorporated them. If I had a 709 here there is no way I could run it for
even 10 minutes. No power (don't even know what kind), no A.C., no raised
floor, ... . Does that mean that it is unreasonable to want to have such a
machine here? I would love it. I might only be able to display a part of it
at a time, but it would be very educational to compare it to cell phones
which certainly have more power, etc.
So for me, bigger is better. The more stuff I have, the more I can help give
perspective to the visitors who have no comprehension of what it means to
say that disk drive technology has improved something like 6 orders of
magnitude since they were introduced.
I am collecting lots of stuff. I don't have time to turn them all on and
mess around with them (though I would love to.) I think it is important to
archive this stuff before it goes away and work on finding means to insure
the continuance of the collection.
A. G. (Gil) Carrick, Director
The Museum at CSE
University of Texas at Arlington
Department of Computer Science & Engineering
Box 19015, 471 S Cooper Street
Arlington, TX 76019
More information about the cctalk