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Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: Important, please read -- RE: exhibit planning

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  • Jim Scheef
    John, Evan and all, Surprise! I like it, too. It gives us a place to start and a target for the microcomputer exhibits. Unfortunately it still does not really
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2008
      John, Evan and all,

      Surprise! I like it, too. It gives us a place to start and a target for the microcomputer exhibits. Unfortunately it still does not really address my concern that we are headed for a room ringed by computers with no theme, no story, and possibly not even any power cords.

      When you walk into the radio museum at InfoAge, it immediately feels like a museum. There are pictures (big ones) of people, mostly radio stars, along with the displays. Each little section of their museum is *about* something. There are a few examples of "dead hardware" (vintage radios) with no signs or labels, but this is the exception rather than the rule. Even I look at those for less than 5 seconds and move on to the exhibits that SAY something. I hope our museum has a few displays that say something as opposed to the hardware on a shelf. Herb's PDP exhibit will be a "level 3" display, in that it will have all three levels that John describes. I fear we do not have time to develop a full theme for even a few computers as it will take months of arguing here to decide which theme is most important.

      So, I would like to respectfully suggest that we STOP discussing a list of computers and START discussing how we are going to get the top five or six machines on Evan's list up to "level three" in time for our grand opening in September. That means research, writing the exact text for the signs, printing the signs full size to see if they really work, rewriting the signs when they don't, etc. This will not be as easy as it seems.

      We also need to discuss HOW we will display anything in the museum rooms as right now all we have is floor. I suggest that we build some semi-permanent shelf/tables rather than buy plastic tables. Such table-shelves would also help with power (we can attach outlets to the tables in the back and run wires safely off the floor). I was impressed when Steve turned on the exhibits in the radio museum from a central location. We need that kind of safety if we are serious about displaying working machines. Building platforms that are simple yet strong is not rocket science. A couple of sheets of 3/4" plywood and some 2x4's and we can have display surfaces of any height (maybe 40") that are 3 feet from front to back to provide adequate space for a full size S100 chassis and all the stuff needed to make such a machine actually do something plus the signs to label every piece plus signs about the machine's significance. A complete Altair exhibit would need at least four feet of width for the chassis, terminal and disk drives. Two of these home-brew tables would give us 16 lineal feet of display space. Each table would be 8 feet wide by 3 feet front to back and 3' 4" high. The height makes them easy for adults to see and hard for children to grab.

      The discussion about VCF exhibits is fine but it diverts our attention from the real event in September - OUR MUSEUM. Some of us may need to forgo producing a VCF exhibit and instead put energy into the museum and its exhibits. Those who are traveling long distances can bring exhibits so those who are close enough to spend significant time at InfoAge can do just that and get the museum rooms and exhibits ready. Sorry but I think that's pretty much how it needs to work.

      So can we agree to move on and really get the museum ready for a truly first class opening day? Top 10 lists are fun but we need to talk about the first ten steps to museum opening day.


      ----- Original Message ----
      From: Evan Koblentz <evan@...>
      To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Monday, June 30, 2008 12:40:13 PM
      Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: Important, please read -- RE: exhibit planning

      >>> Might I suggest a 3-level approach to display information? ..... MARCH
      could develop an inventory of "themes" on a handful of story lines
      that you love to tell. Whenever you set up a display, you'd set up the
      overall theme boards for the whole story line, then for each machine,
      it's own Theme" and "Basics" boards. .... This would give MARCH an
      inventory of stories, and bring coherence into a unified display. Has
      nothing to do with graphics and flowers. Just good organization and

      Great idea, John!  I like it a lot.

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