Living Computers: Museum + Labs

Living Computers: Museum + Labs (LCM+L) is a computer and technology museum located in the SoDo neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. LCM+L showcases vintage computers which provide interactive sessions, either through time-sharing operating systems or single-user interfaces. This gives users a chance to actually use the computers on-line or in person in the museum. An expansion adds direct touch experiences with contemporary technologies such as self-driving cars, the internet of things, big data, and robotics. This puts today's computer technology in the context of how it's being used to tackle real-world issues. LCM+L also hosts a wide range of educational programs and events in their state-of-the art classroom and lab spaces.

Living Computers: Museum + Labs
Exterior of the Museum
Established25 October 2012 (2012-10-25)
Location2245 1st Ave S
Seattle, Washington
Coordinates47.582487°N 122.334708°W / 47.582487; -122.334708
TypeComputer museum
Key holdingsPDP-10, IBM Mainframes, Apple 1, PLATO
FounderPaul Allen
CuratorAaron Alcorn
Public transit access21, 594, 132, 106, 50, 102, 590, and 116 Bus Routes and the Link Light Rail
Nearest car parkOnsite and Street Parking
Websitewww.livingcomputers.org

According to an archived version of LCM's website, their goal is "to breathe life back into our machines so the public can experience what it was like to see them, hear them, and interact with them. We make our systems accessible by allowing people to come and interact with them, and by making them available over the Internet."[1]

The current site similarly shares that "Living Computers: Museum + Labs provides a one-of-a-kind, hands-on experience with computer technology from the 1960s to the present. LCM+L honors the history of computing with the world’s largest collection of fully restored—and usable—supercomputers, mainframes, minicomputers and microcomputers." [2]

History

LCM+L (originally known as Living Computer Museum, and before that, PDPplanet.com) was founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, on January 9, 2006. Through PDPplanet, users were able to telnet into vintage devices and experience timesharing computing on equipment from Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) and XKL.[3]

Users around the world can request a login through the LCM+L website and telnet into systems from XKL, DEC, IBM, Xerox Sigma, AT&T, and CDC.[4]

Living Computer Museum opened to the public on October 25, 2012 and guests can now visit in person to interact with the collection of mainframes, minicomputers, microcomputers and peripherals the museum has on display.[5] Various and changing exhibits in the museum show how much computers and technology have changed over the last 50 years and are changing still.[6]

In 2013, Seattle Weekly voted the museum the "Best Geeky Museum" because it highlights "an essential part of Seattle binary history- the founding of Microsoft and its role in establishing Seattle as a tech-driven industry".[7]

On November 18, 2016 the institution changed its name to Living Computers: Museum + Labs to reflect its enlarged goals of igniting curiosity through direct touch experiences with contemporary technologies as well as vintage computers.

Collections and exhibits

The collection consists of publicly donated items and Paul Allen's personal collection. The working computers on display include one supercomputer, seven mainframes, 10 minicomputers, and over three dozen microcomputers.[5]

Various artifacts from the museum have been borrowed and featured in TV shows such as Mad Men[8] and Halt and Catch Fire.[9]

A roughly 180° panorama of the "conditioned" room at the Living Computer Museum containing mainframes and large minicomputers.

Computers

ManufacturerModelTypeYear IntroducedAvailable for public useTelnet access[10]
AmazonKindle 1hand-held2007YesNo
Amiga500microcomputer1987YesNo
AppleApple 1microcomputer1976YesNo
AppleII[11]microcomputer1977YesNo
AppleIIe[11]microcomputer1983YesNo
AppleIIImicrocomputer1980YesNo
AppleLisa 2[11]microcomputer1984YesNo
AppleiMac G3microcomputer1998YesNo
AppleMacintosh SE[11]microcomputer1987YesNo
ApplePower Mac G4microcomputer1999YesNo
AT&TDMD 5620 / 3B2minicomputer1983YesYes
Atari2600video game console1977YesNo
Atari400[11]microcomputer1979YesNo
Atari1040 ST[11]microcomputer1985YesNo
Columbia Data ProductsMPC 1600microcomputer1982YesNo
CommodorePET[11]microcomputer1977YesNo
Commodore64[11]microcomputer1982YesNo
CompaqDeskPro 386S[11]microcomputer1989YesNo
CompaqPortable[11]microcomputer1983YesNo
Control DataCDC 6500[11]supercomputer1967NoYes
Control DataDD60 monitoroperator console1964NoNo
Control Data405 card readerperipheral1964NoNo
Control DataCDC 679-6 magnetic tape transportperipheral1964NoNo
CrayCray-1[12]mainframe1975NoNo
CromemcoZ-2D[11]microcomputer1978YesNo
Data GeneralNova[11]minicomputer1969YesNo
DECPDP-7[11]minicomputer1964NoNo
DECPDP-8/E[11]minicomputer1970YesNo
DECPDP-10 KA10 (DECsystem-10)[11]mainframe1971NoNo
DECPDP-10 KI10 (DECsystem-10)[11]mainframe1971NoNo
DECPDP-10 KL10 (DECSYSTEM-2065)[11]mainframe1974YesYes
DECPDP-10 KL10 (DECSYSTEM-1095)[11]mainframe1974YesYes
DECPDP-10 KS10 (DECSYSTEM-2020)[11]minicomputer1979YesYes
DECPDP-11/70[11]minicomputer1975YesYes
DECPDP-12[11]minicomputer1969NoNo
DECVAX-11/780-5[11]minicomputer1982YesYes
DECVT131terminal1981YesNo
DellDimension XPS B733[11]microcomputer1999YesNo
E.S.R.Digi-Comp II reproductiontoy computer1965 (original patent); 2012 (reproduction)YesNo
Honeywell6180 DPS-8/M maintenance panel and Multics emulator[11]peripheral; emulation of mainframe1973 (mainframe)NoNo
IBMSystem/360 Model 30 mainframemainframe1964NoNo
IBMSystem/360 Model 91 front panelperipheral1966NoNo
IBM029 card punchperipheral1964YesNo
IBM4361[11]mainframe1983YesYes
IBMPersonal Computer 5150[11]microcomputer1981YesNo
IBMPCjr.[11]microcomputer1984YesNo
IBMPC/AT[11]microcomputer1984YesNo
IMLAC CorporationPDS-1 "sImlac" emulator[11]emulation of minicomputer1970s (minicomputer); 2017 (emulator)YesNo
IMSAI8080[11]microcomputer1975YesNo
Interdata7/32[11]minicomputer1974YesYes
MITSAltair 8800[11]microcomputer1975YesNo
MicrosoftPixelSense[11]microcomputer2007YesNo
NeXTNeXTcubemicrocomputer1990YesNo
NintendoNES-101video game console1993YesNo
OsborneExecutive[11]microcomputer1982YesNo
PLATOTerminal Vmicrocomputer1976YesNo
Processor TechnologySol-20[11]microcomputer1976YesNo
Radio ShackTRS-80 Model 4[11]microcomputer1983YesNo
Sun Microsystems3/160[11]microcomputer1986YesNo
Tandy1000[11]microcomputer1984YesNo
TandyColor Computer 3microcomputer1986YesNo
TeletypeModel 33terminal1963NoNo
TeletypeModel 35terminal1963NoNo
TeletypeModel 37terminal1968NoNo
Texas InstrumentsSpeak & Spell Compacthand-held1982YesNo
Texas InstrumentsTI-99/4Amicrocomputer1981YesNo
XeroxSigma 9[11]mainframe1971YesYes
XeroxAlto[11]minicomputer1973YesNo
XeroxAlto "ContrAlto" simulator[11]emulation of minicomputer1973 (minicomputer); 2016 (emulator)YesNo
XKLTOAD-1[11]mainframe1995YesNo
XKLTOAD-2[11]mainframe2005YesYes

References

Further reading

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