A little background on the RICM. We used to have nice display space in the Shady Lea Mill, a 200+ year old mill in North Kingstown. We were one of the first groups to rent space in the building as it was being converted into studios. Artists discovered the mill and soon filled it. Our rent went up and we had no place to store our growing collection. We had about 15 storage lockers filled with equipment, which is not the best place to store electronics. We decided that having a single location for the whole collection was better than having a nice display space. We found 5,000 sq/ft inexpensive warehouse space and relocated. At least everything is in one location now and is accessible.
I agree that the display area is not very pretty and should be improved. We are working on that and would welcome suggestions.
Warren and I are doing most of the restoration work. We both like older DEC equipment and have revived a PDP-8/S, PDP-8/L, PDP-8/I and are now working on a PDP-9. (We tried to demonstrate the PDP-9 when Evan and Jeff visited, but it refused to run. We fixed it the next day.) A few years ago I got Rich's 11/34A running and added an RL02 disk to it. I also assembled an 11/44 system, but have not gotten the RA81 disks to work yet. So many big iron systems to work on...
We would welcome a small system enthusiast who would get our large collection of small systems running and demonstrable. Since this is a volunteer group what gets fixed depends on who will volunteer to do the work. No one has stepped up to the task yet. If you know of anyone who would like to help with this, please let us know.
Our funding is very limited and most of the available funds go towards rent. It would be nice to spend a little making the display area look nice, but we just don't have the funds.
We could also use volunteers for IBM mini, Data General mini, and Wang mini restoration. Recommendations appreciated.
Dan and Harlan have been doing Community Outreach work introducing kits to programming with MIT's SCRATCH language. That has been extremely well received. They are expanding that program by building Arduino kits and controlling them with SCRATCH. It would be nice to have the classes in our facility, but as Evan pointed out, our space is not very pretty.
So, in summary, an infusion of volunteers and cash would help us grow and make the collection a lot more presentable.