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12472My day as tour guide for the Vintage Computer Museum

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  • Jeffrey Brace
    May 3, 2009
      Hello everyone,
      I filled in for Evan at the museum today.  Despite the rain, a good number of people stopped by the museum (around 15-20).  This was my second time filling in for Evan, but I think I did a pretty good job.  
      There was some sort of free museum day in Monmouth County according to one woman that visited the museum.  Maybe that is why we got more traffic than expected on a rainy day.  She actually said that she worked at Perkin-Elmer a local company (Oceanport, NJ I believe) that made mini-computers. She the president of Perkin-Elmer Founded Interdata which was bought by Perkin-Elmer (we have one of their computers in the museum).  She also said that he founded another company later on called Syntrex. 
      One father who seemed really interested was telling his son (who is about 10 years old) how he used punch cards when he was in college.  I showed them all the personal computers and the mini computer parts etc.  I said how we like to be hands on for the most part unlike some other museums.  I said you could even type in a simple program yourself.  I didn't think he actually would, but the son typed in a short character animation program from the User Guide of the Commodore 64.  He seemed to enjoy it. Hope I can spark some interest in him and others into supporting vintage computers and their history.
      There seemed to be a mixture of 1) those just passing by 2) those mildly interested and 3) those with great interest (mostly because they had personal experience with any of these computers).  It's nice to talk to people who used these computers first hand and get their personal experiences. I got a lot of positive feedback about what we are doing.
      Since I have more knowledge of the Commodore 64 than any of the other computers. I had one opened up so I could show the chips inside. I even show a bit of the Jim Butterfield Commodore 64 training video from my laptop. 
      I got out of there at 4:30, which is 30 minutes later than the museum is supposed to be open, but I didn't mind giving one last tour that went over time.
      It was fun and hope to do it again when I have time.
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