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RE: [midatlanticretro] Infoage visit report

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  • Evan
    We didn t discuss staffing. But they understand that we re all just casual collectors with lives and jobs, and that many (most) of us don t even live in New
    Message 1 of 9 , May 9, 2005
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      We didn't discuss staffing.  But they understand that we're all just casual collectors with lives and jobs, and that many (most) of us don't even live in New Jersey.  That is one reason why they'd like us to help devise very interactive exhibits.  No word about the hours either.  I will ask... they did mention long-term plans to hire a professional curator.
       
      InfoAge is currently funded by donations and some grants.  I don't know the gory details.
       
      It's safe to say that Andy and I both were somewhat thinking "these guys are in way over their heads!" at various times during the tour.  In that aspect, Jim, I fully agree with the implication -- there's a risk of biting off much more than we can chew.  But, again, I'm confident of the InfoAge crew's understanding that MARCH members are just a small band of local hobbyists.  The way they see it, we know more about vintage computers than anyone else in the region, and some help is better than no help.  They really emphasized the "we'll play they cards we're dealt" aspect.


      From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com [mailto:midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jim Scheef
      Sent: Sunday, May 08, 2005 8:30 AM
      To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Infoage visit report

      Evan,

      Two questions for those of you who made the InfoAge trip about MARCH running
      the computer museum:

      1 - Do they expect someone from MARCH to be on site whenever the museum is
      open?

      2 - What days of the week and hours would the museum be open?

      Running such a facility sounds like a full time operation. Do they have any
      paid staff? While having a safe place to display some collectable computers
      would be cool, this kind of project needs the full time attention of several
      people. How are you guys at fund raising? How many of you guys can work on
      this full time? [I say 'you guys' because I'm up here in Connecticut, too far
      for active participation in such a project.]

      Don't minimize the fund raising part of this. The museum will need lots of
      display cases, platforms, hand rails, etc., to house the exhibits. How much
      of this stuff is there now? How is InfoAge funded? (quantitiy and quality?)
      If they had all kinds of money, they would just hire a curator and some
      carpenters and be done with it.

      I don't really mean to rain on your parade. This does sound like a really fun
      project and we all know how much fun it is to tell people about old
      computers!

      Jim

      --- Evan <evan947@...> wrote:

      > Hi all,
      >
      > Here's the InfoAge trip
      report.
      >
      > But first: who posted the photo titled "1950s vision of
      home computers" to
      > our Yahoo group?  I'm sorry to tell you this,
      mysterious poster, but that
      > photo was just a joke that circulated the
      'net several months ago.  Bottom
      > line, it's fake, and you were
      duped.
      >
      > ...On to more exciting matters: today (well technically
      yesterday; it's 4am
      > Sunday right now), Andy and I visited the Infoage
      Learning Center.  Fred
      > Carl, who directs the whole operation, gave
      us a two-hour tour of the
      > campus.  The relevant history stems from
      the campus' days as a U.S. Army
      > research facility, although at various
      other times the area was a Christian
      > college and a private development
      tract dominanted by the KKK.  (Luckily
      > the
      > latter group
      failed.)  It's poetic justice that the facility now is an
      > official
      black history site.  We saw the insides of several buildings, many
      >
      closely resembling the original layouts.  Around almost every corner, Fred
      > pointed out some famous (and some infamous) aspects of military
      and/or
      > radio
      > history, many of which were top-secret during
      wartime.  Eventually, Andy
      > said he felt like looking over his
      shoulder for ghosts!  (There's an
      > official history at
      href="http://www.infoage.org/history.html">http://www.infoage.org/history.html -- check it out.)
      >
      > The campus is huge, and "campus" is the right
      word -- it's a very park-like
      > setting complete with a building referred
      to as the "hotel" were engineers
      > and other military people lived in
      dorm-like environments.  There was a
      > dining hall, recreation
      facilities, etc.  We also toured the
      > administrator's
      > house,
      which (if I recall correctly) will become the National Broadcasters
      > Hall
      of Fame.  Another cool attraction there is a massive dish antenna.
      >
      > Another building, which I forget the name of, houses where the
      technology
      > museum(s) will be.  (Andy -- was that part of the
      hotel?)  There will be
      > areas for diving technology (also with stuff
      they found in the Atlantic
      > Ocean, like U-boat things and even
      locomotives); radar and all sorts of
      > radio things; stuff related to
      military culture; and office space for
      > various science-related
      non-profit associations.  And, the part you
      > MARCHers
      > really
      care about: the computer museum.
      >
      > The room where they'll house
      the computer museum was about the size of a
      > small gymnasium or
      ballroom.  I apologize for not measuring it.  Best of
      > all, as
      I explained in a previously group message, they're about to inherit
      > an
      existing large collection from Dimitry Grabbe and the IEEE (more about
      >
      that at http://www.infoage.org/grabbe.htm -- check that out, too).  Fred
      > gave us a detailed list of what's in
      the collection.  The list includes one
      > full page of vintage
      computers and five more pages listing random
      > components.  Of the
      complete systems, some of the highlights are from DEC
      > (PDP 8/8, various
      Vax, PDP-11 stuff); a Friden 132 calculator; various HP
      > 2000 and 9000
      stuff; some NEC and Osborne portable stuff; a few Textronics
      > systems,
      and -- in my opinion what are the two most amazing things -- a
      > Prime
      mainframe and (saving the best for last here) -- what MIGHT be part
      >
      of
      > an ENIAC adder.....!!!
      >
      > So, here's where we come in:
      Infoage wanted to find a group of local people
      > to run the computer
      museum.  They want that group to interact with
      > visitors,
      >
      children, the other resident technology history organizations, the media,
      > etc.  As it turns out, just as Infoage was beginning to
      wonder who'd fill
      > this role, MARCH was founded.  Then, by
      coincidence, both Infoage (via
      > NJARC) and MARCH did the TCF thing; we
      also had some mutual contacts at the
      > IEEE History Center.  Talk
      about good luck.  Fred explained to Andy and I
      > that Infoage's board
      demands and expects nothing except that we try our
      > best, if we accept
      this task.  (Of course our club name would be a major
      > part of the
      museum.  We wouldn't merely be Infoage volunteers; it would be
      >
      something like "MARCH @ InfoAge" or whatever.)  Not only would be have
      > control of the computer museum and be the local experts, we'd also
      get to
      > store our own collections there if desired (they have excellent
      loading
      > facilities, etc.), and we'd be allowed to hold events there,
      such as swap
      > meets and the eventual VCF East.  They'd like us to
      help develop
      > interactive
      > exhibits, basically just web pages
      running on standard PCs adjacent to each
      > display.  So, for example,
      if we started the museum with 20 exhibit
      > categories, we could each take
      the lead of two or three categories, and
      > that
      > would be easy
      enough to accomplish in a few months' time.
      >
      > Andy: that's all I
      have for now; do you wish to add anything; did I forget
      > anything
      important?
      >
      > To all of MARCH: what say you?  Are we up to
      this unique challenge?  I vote
      > "hell yes!"...
      >
      >  - Evan
      >
      > PS -- Fred and other Infoage people are
      around almost every weekend, if
      > anyone else would like a tour.
      >
      > PS #2 -- Andy took some photos and will upload them soon.
      >
      > -----------------------------------------
      >  Evan Koblentz's
      personal homepage: http://www.snarc.net
      >
      > *** Tell
      your friends about the (free!) Computer Collector Newsletter
      > - 700
      readers and no spam / Publishes every Monday / Write for us!
      > -
      Mainframes to videogames, hardware and software, we cover it all
      > - W:
      href="http://news.computercollector.com">http://news.computercollector.com  E: news@...
      >
      >

    • Evan
      Heard back from Fred, re: how he envisions the computer museum operating. ... first. We will start opening it on a regular basis as we can. It takes time to
      Message 2 of 9 , May 10, 2005
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        Heard back from Fred, re: how he envisions the computer museum operating.  He said:
         
        >>>> The computer collection would be open by appointment for groups at first. We will start opening it on a regular basis as we can. It takes time to build attendance. The goal is to make it interactive so we do not need club members / experts to convey the message/information. Plus, once we capture the info from the experts their hard work and knowledge does not get lost.
         
        To me that's the right answer...
         
        Anybody have related or generic thoughts on how (or if) we should operate a club museum?


        From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com [mailto:midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jim Scheef
        Sent: Sunday, May 08, 2005 8:30 AM
        To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Infoage visit report

        Evan,

        Two questions for those of you who made the InfoAge trip about MARCH running
        the computer museum:

        1 - Do they expect someone from MARCH to be on site whenever the museum is
        open?

        2 - What days of the week and hours would the museum be open?

        Running such a facility sounds like a full time operation. Do they have any
        paid staff? While having a safe place to display some collectable computers
        would be cool, this kind of project needs the full time attention of several
        people. How are you guys at fund raising? How many of you guys can work on
        this full time? [I say 'you guys' because I'm up here in Connecticut, too far
        for active participation in such a project.]

        Don't minimize the fund raising part of this. The museum will need lots of
        display cases, platforms, hand rails, etc., to house the exhibits. How much
        of this stuff is there now? How is InfoAge funded? (quantitiy and quality?)
        If they had all kinds of money, they would just hire a curator and some
        carpenters and be done with it.

        I don't really mean to rain on your parade. This does sound like a really fun
        project and we all know how much fun it is to tell people about old
        computers!

        Jim

        --- Evan <evan947@...> wrote:

        > Hi all,
        >
        > Here's the InfoAge trip
        report.
        >
        > But first: who posted the photo titled "1950s vision of
        home computers" to
        > our Yahoo group?  I'm sorry to tell you this,
        mysterious poster, but that
        > photo was just a joke that circulated the
        'net several months ago.  Bottom
        > line, it's fake, and you were
        duped.
        >
        > ...On to more exciting matters: today (well technically
        yesterday; it's 4am
        > Sunday right now), Andy and I visited the Infoage
        Learning Center.  Fred
        > Carl, who directs the whole operation, gave
        us a two-hour tour of the
        > campus.  The relevant history stems from
        the campus' days as a U.S. Army
        > research facility, although at various
        other times the area was a Christian
        > college and a private development
        tract dominanted by the KKK.  (Luckily
        > the
        > latter group
        failed.)  It's poetic justice that the facility now is an
        > official
        black history site.  We saw the insides of several buildings, many
        >
        closely resembling the original layouts.  Around almost every corner, Fred
        > pointed out some famous (and some infamous) aspects of military
        and/or
        > radio
        > history, many of which were top-secret during
        wartime.  Eventually, Andy
        > said he felt like looking over his
        shoulder for ghosts!  (There's an
        > official history at
        href="http://www.infoage.org/history.html">http://www.infoage.org/history.html -- check it out.)
        >
        > The campus is huge, and "campus" is the right
        word -- it's a very park-like
        > setting complete with a building referred
        to as the "hotel" were engineers
        > and other military people lived in
        dorm-like environments.  There was a
        > dining hall, recreation
        facilities, etc.  We also toured the
        > administrator's
        > house,
        which (if I recall correctly) will become the National Broadcasters
        > Hall
        of Fame.  Another cool attraction there is a massive dish antenna.
        >
        > Another building, which I forget the name of, houses where the
        technology
        > museum(s) will be.  (Andy -- was that part of the
        hotel?)  There will be
        > areas for diving technology (also with stuff
        they found in the Atlantic
        > Ocean, like U-boat things and even
        locomotives); radar and all sorts of
        > radio things; stuff related to
        military culture; and office space for
        > various science-related
        non-profit associations.  And, the part you
        > MARCHers
        > really
        care about: the computer museum.
        >
        > The room where they'll house
        the computer museum was about the size of a
        > small gymnasium or
        ballroom.  I apologize for not measuring it.  Best of
        > all, as
        I explained in a previously group message, they're about to inherit
        > an
        existing large collection from Dimitry Grabbe and the IEEE (more about
        >
        that at http://www.infoage.org/grabbe.htm -- check that out, too).  Fred
        > gave us a detailed list of what's in
        the collection.  The list includes one
        > full page of vintage
        computers and five more pages listing random
        > components.  Of the
        complete systems, some of the highlights are from DEC
        > (PDP 8/8, various
        Vax, PDP-11 stuff); a Friden 132 calculator; various HP
        > 2000 and 9000
        stuff; some NEC and Osborne portable stuff; a few Textronics
        > systems,
        and -- in my opinion what are the two most amazing things -- a
        > Prime
        mainframe and (saving the best for last here) -- what MIGHT be part
        >
        of
        > an ENIAC adder.....!!!
        >
        > So, here's where we come in:
        Infoage wanted to find a group of local people
        > to run the computer
        museum.  They want that group to interact with
        > visitors,
        >
        children, the other resident technology history organizations, the media,
        > etc.  As it turns out, just as Infoage was beginning to
        wonder who'd fill
        > this role, MARCH was founded.  Then, by
        coincidence, both Infoage (via
        > NJARC) and MARCH did the TCF thing; we
        also had some mutual contacts at the
        > IEEE History Center.  Talk
        about good luck.  Fred explained to Andy and I
        > that Infoage's board
        demands and expects nothing except that we try our
        > best, if we accept
        this task.  (Of course our club name would be a major
        > part of the
        museum.  We wouldn't merely be Infoage volunteers; it would be
        >
        something like "MARCH @ InfoAge" or whatever.)  Not only would be have
        > control of the computer museum and be the local experts, we'd also
        get to
        > store our own collections there if desired (they have excellent
        loading
        > facilities, etc.), and we'd be allowed to hold events there,
        such as swap
        > meets and the eventual VCF East.  They'd like us to
        help develop
        > interactive
        > exhibits, basically just web pages
        running on standard PCs adjacent to each
        > display.  So, for example,
        if we started the museum with 20 exhibit
        > categories, we could each take
        the lead of two or three categories, and
        > that
        > would be easy
        enough to accomplish in a few months' time.
        >
        > Andy: that's all I
        have for now; do you wish to add anything; did I forget
        > anything
        important?
        >
        > To all of MARCH: what say you?  Are we up to
        this unique challenge?  I vote
        > "hell yes!"...
        >
        >  - Evan
        >
        > PS -- Fred and other Infoage people are
        around almost every weekend, if
        > anyone else would like a tour.
        >
        > PS #2 -- Andy took some photos and will upload them soon.
        >
        > -----------------------------------------
        >  Evan Koblentz's
        personal homepage: http://www.snarc.net
        >
        > *** Tell
        your friends about the (free!) Computer Collector Newsletter
        > - 700
        readers and no spam / Publishes every Monday / Write for us!
        > -
        Mainframes to videogames, hardware and software, we cover it all
        > - W:
        href="http://news.computercollector.com">http://news.computercollector.com  E: news@...
        >
        >

      • Dan
        Evan, Now if you could get somebody like Walter Cronkite or James Earl Jones to narrate a dialogue about the various computers would be great. Have it recorded
        Message 3 of 9 , May 11, 2005
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          Evan,

          Now if you could get somebody like Walter Cronkite or James Earl Jones to narrate a dialogue about the various computers would be great. Have it recorded on a PC where someobdy could just press a button beside each exhibit for playback. Maybe the Infoage folks might have some connections to get somebody like that.

          Dan
           ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          [ My Corner of Cyberspace                                           ]
          [   http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/                               ]
          [ Pittsburgh Robotics Society                           Got Robot ? ]
          [   http://www.pghrobotics.org/                                     ]
          [ Pittsburgh Vintage Computer Society             Classic Computers ]
          [   http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pghvintagecomp/                   ]
           ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

          Evan wrote:
          Heard back from Fred, re: how he envisions the computer museum operating.  He said:
           
          >>>> The computer collection would be open by appointment for groups at first. We will start opening it on a regular basis as we can. It takes time to build attendance. The goal is to make it interactive so we do not need club members / experts to convey the message/information. Plus, once we capture the info from the experts their hard work and knowledge does not get lost.
           
          To me that's the right answer...
           
          Anybody have related or generic thoughts on how (or if) we should operate a club museum?




          -- 
          
          
        • Jim Scheef
          Dan and all, The recorded descriptions for each exhibit is a great idea to supplement printed signs. I m not certain Darth Vader is quite what we want. This
          Message 4 of 9 , May 11, 2005
          • 0 Attachment
            Dan and all,

            The recorded descriptions for each exhibit is a great idea to supplement
            printed signs. I'm not certain Darth Vader is quite what we want. "This is
            the control room of the Death Star. Commander, you may fire at will." ;-) We
            could all record descriptions of different exhibits so there is variety. As
            for Conkite, I'll record a couple with a clothes pin on my nose - or is that
            Mister Rogers? So what would the exhibits be? I'm starting to see how this
            could work, and not everyone needs to be next door in New Jersey.

            Jim


            --- Dan <ragooman@...> wrote:


            ---------------------------------
            Evan,

            Now if you could get somebody like Walter Cronkite or James Earl Jonesto
            narrate a dialogue about the various computers would be great. Haveit
            recorded on a PC where someobdy could just press a button besideeach exhibit
            for playback. Maybe the Infoage folks might have someconnections to get
            somebody like that.

            Dan

            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[ My
            Corner of Cyberspace ][
            http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/ ][ Pittsburgh
            Robotics Society Got Robot ? ][
            http://www.pghrobotics.org/ ][ Pittsburgh
            Vintage Computer Society Classic Computers ][
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pghvintagecomp/ ]
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

            Evan wrote:
            Heard back from Fred, re: how he envisionsthe computer museum
            operating. He said:

            >>>> The computercollection would be open by appointment for groups at
            first. We willstart opening it on a regular basis as we can. It takes time to
            buildattendance. The goal is to make it interactive so we do not need
            clubmembers / experts to convey the message/information. Plus, once wecapture
            the info from the experts their hard work and knowledge doesnot get lost.

            To me that's the right answer...

            Anybody have related or generic thoughts onhow (or if) we should operate a
            club museum?


            ---------------------------------




            --


            ---------------------------------
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          • Evan
            How about Grandpa Simpson? Back in my day, computers ran on steam, and they weren t called computers, they were called adding machines, and computers meant
            Message 5 of 9 , May 11, 2005
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              How about Grandpa Simpson?  "Back in my day, computers ran on steam, and they weren't called computers, they were called adding machines, and 'computers' meant 'people' and <SNORE....>" / "What!?  Who's there?  What's that about the Windows crashing?" / "Awww... no one appreciates old people... damn whippersnappers and their PCs."


              From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com [mailto:midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Dan
              Sent: Wednesday, May 11, 2005 8:58 AM
              To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Infoage visit report

              Evan,

              Now if you could get somebody like Walter Cronkite or James Earl Jones to narrate a dialogue about the various computers would be great. Have it recorded on a PC where someobdy could just press a button beside each exhibit for playback. Maybe the Infoage folks might have some connections to get somebody like that.

              Dan
               ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              [ My Corner of Cyberspace                                           ]
              [   http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/                               ]
              [ Pittsburgh Robotics Society                           Got Robot ? ]
              [   http://www.pghrobotics.org/                                     ]
              [ Pittsburgh Vintage Computer Society             Classic Computers ]
              [   http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pghvintagecomp/                   ]
               ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

              Evan wrote:
              Heard back from Fred, re: how he envisions the computer museum operating.  He said:
               
              >>>> The computer collection would be open by appointment for groups at first. We will start opening it on a regular basis as we can. It takes time to build attendance. The goal is to make it interactive so we do not need club members / experts to convey the message/information. Plus, once we capture the info from the experts their hard work and knowledge does not get lost.
               
              To me that's the right answer...
               
              Anybody have related or generic thoughts on how (or if) we should operate a club museum?




              -- 
              
              
            • Dan
              Just so long as you don t get Jar Jar Binks......... Mesa hating crunchin puters. Dats da last ting mesa wantin Dan
              Message 6 of 9 , May 13, 2005
              • 0 Attachment

                Just so long as you don't get Jar Jar Binks........."Mesa hating crunchin 'puters. Dats da last ting mesa wantin"

                Dan
                 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                [ My Corner of Cyberspace                                           ]
                [   http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/                               ]
                [ Pittsburgh Robotics Society                           Got Robot ? ]
                [   http://www.pghrobotics.org/                                     ]
                [ Pittsburgh Vintage Computer Society             Classic Computers ]
                [   http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pghvintagecomp/                   ]
                 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


                Evan wrote:
                How about Grandpa Simpson?  "Back in my day, computers ran on steam, and they weren't called computers, they were called adding machines, and 'computers' meant 'people' and <SNORE....>" / "What!?  Who's there?  What's that about the Windows crashing?" / "Awww... no one appreciates old people... damn whippersnappers and their PCs."
                
                  
              • Jim Scheef
                ... Just so long as you don t get Jar Jar Binks......... Mesa hatingcrunchin puters. Dats da last ting mesa wantin Dan
                Message 7 of 9 , May 13, 2005
                • 0 Attachment
                  <chuckle>

                  --- Dan <ragooman@...> wrote:


                  ---------------------------------

                  Just so long as you don't get Jar Jar Binks........."Mesa hatingcrunchin
                  'puters. Dats da last ting mesa wantin"

                  Dan

                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[ My
                  Corner of Cyberspace ][
                  http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/ ][ Pittsburgh
                  Robotics Society Got Robot ? ][
                  http://www.pghrobotics.org/ ][ Pittsburgh
                  Vintage Computer Society Classic Computers ][
                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pghvintagecomp/ ]
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


                  Evan wrote: How about Grandpa Simpson? "Back in my day,computers ran
                  on steam, and they weren't called computers, they werecalled adding machines,
                  and 'computers' meant 'people' and<SNORE....>" / "What!? Who's there?
                  What's that about theWindows crashing?" / "Awww... no one appreciates old
                  people... damnwhippersnappers and their PCs."




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