road trip to the MARCH museum, was Re: Museum for sale
mcguire at neurotica.com
Fri Jan 22 17:51:19 CST 2010
On Jan 22, 2010, at 4:46 PM, Evan Koblentz wrote:
> >>> I would consider Robert Krten's pdp12.org to be an on-line museum
> I strongly disagree. An individual's personal web site about his
> private collection is not a "museum" of any kind.
Sure it is. Look at it from the users' standpoint. It's nowhere
near as big of an experience as an afternoon spent in a real physical
museum (like the MARCH museum in NJ), but it's definitely worthwhile
and can serve at least part of the same purpose.
> Note to everyone: call things what they are! Making a web site
> about your own stuff isn't a freaking museum. Geez.
Perhaps we need a different term for online museums. ;)
About real museums...I've not really had a spare few minutes to
mention this, but a couple of months ago I had the pleasure of
visiting the MARCH museum in NJ. I was on a road trip to retrieve a
(non-vintage) mainframe from Boston for my employer, and had the
opportunity to help the MARCH crew relocate part of a Burroughs L7000
system from Delaware to their facility in NJ, since I was heading
through that area with a mostly-empty truck. Unfortunately Bill was
sick that day and was unable to help me load the Burroughs system,
but I got it done myself, and the museum folk threw me a few bucks to
help with the fuel expenses.
The L7000's console was in the basement and I couldn't get it up
the stairs myself, so that stayed behind until enough manpower is
available to move it. It's pretty heavy. The main unit, a wheeled
cabinet-like structure with a formica (I think) top that forms a sort
of table, contains a big stack of boards and two of the most unusual
hard disk drives I've ever seen. That part was already upstairs and
only needed a little bit of hefting to load into my liftgate-equipped
Sridhar took a train down and met me at the museum, where we hung
out with Evan for most of the night. The three of us offloaded the
L7000's main unit and got it situated in a holding area...a room so
full of goodies that I could barely concentrate on what I was doing.
Evan then gave me a truly fantastic multi-hour tour of the facility.
I got to touch the "holy grail" of my world, a Straight-8, as well as
another machine that I've always been fascinated with, an IBM System
38. I also got to type BASIC statements on a chicklet-keyboard
Commodore PET, which was, well, interesting! ;)
I'm absolutely thrilled to have touched a Straight-8. I've
drooled over that machine for, oh, almost 30 years. There's also a
pristine PDP-11/20 there, which is also a "biggie" for me. I really
enjoyed seeing that.
The guys are running a really nice operation up there, and it's
definitely worth a trip to see it. I was kinda rushed on my trip,
and was a bit sleep-deprived while I was there so I didn't get to
spend as much time as I would've liked. When finances permit I hope
to spend a few days up there and help them get some of their DEC
stuff beaten into shape. (that is, if I can actually convince Evan
that I know my way around DEC stuff! ;) *poke!*)
As a brief aside, a few other interesting things happened on that
trip. First, I picked up an IBM System/36 model 5360 (the big one)
from a small company in Atlanta and delivered it to Sridhar in NY. I
have a 5360 as well, so when we have time we'll bring them up and
compare notes. Next, I acquired a DEC PDP-14, which I hope to take
some pictures of soon.
Port Charlotte, FL
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