Us vs. Museums

From: Jeff Hellige <>
Date: Tue Mar 6 15:23:16 2001

>Of course, there are good and bad museums. Computer museums should be a hands-
>on experience to as large an extent as possible.

        One thing that should be remembered is that a great many
museums are run by fairly small staffs, often volenteers who may not
even be all that familiar with the operation/repair of the exhibits.
Couple this with the beating any hands-on machine would receive over
time and it should be easy to see just how difficult it may be to
keep even the most common machine functional and available for
hands-on time. A better idea might be to have the historical machine
on display and a kiosk next to it running more modern hardware with
an emulator of that machine on display. There are plenty of
excellent emulators for various 'classic' platforms out there,
including the SOL, Altair, SWTPc 6800/6809 series machines, etc.
This would provide the feel of the classic machine while preserving
the actual hardware/software without the high maintainance associated
with keeping it running constantly.

        I myself am most interested in functional machines but over
time, even the simplest and/or the most common of the older platforms
are going to become difficult to repair and keep functional. A
machine in the open available for constant use would just compound
this problem. Hands-on museums are nice, but not the most practical
of things and most involved with them find them difficult to maintain
and keep open.

       Collector of Classic Microcomputers and Video Game Systems:
                      Home of the TRS-80 Model 2000 FAQ File
Received on Tue Mar 06 2001 - 15:23:16 GMT

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