Perk about living in Seattle, is seeing what next Paul Allen will find to spend his money. Like a lot of billionaires form his age group he has chicks that he flaunts around like the SeaHawks but he also spends his money o make sure the art of Nirvana or Jimmy Hendrix does not get lost, and encases everything is a very flashy building.
His latest “hobby” is the new Living Computer Museum, I guess he figured employing engineers to maintain his collection was a little over the top so instead he decided to create a museum to expose his machines, AND employ engineers to maintain and act as tour guides, like Ian King below
|PDP 8 with open cabinet
The collection is amazing, many sure rare pieces (apparently, hard to verify but easy to believe), with very cool setups and colors to die for. The most impressive part of this collection is that everything is working, and if not being restored. I got to play on a Xerox Alto for example, the machine that inspired, well everything (Wysywig, Mouse, Ethernet etc…) but that never really got out of Xerox headquarters. And their Xerox Alto works, I played Pinball on it. Pinball !! with the Xerox Alto Mouse !!!
The museum is great by itself, but differentiating machines can be hard, so I highly encourage to get a tour with a guide like Ian, it brings the whole visit to another level. His knowledge is on par with the uniqueness of the machines shown on the floor. Be ready for the load room with air conditioning at full blast to keep the machines cool while they calculate Gemini’s trip to the moon. Electric bill is around $160k, all these leds are power hungry.
|The PDP-8, so cool, you can get one for home
|PDP 8 orange glory
|PDP 8e front panel
|PDP 11/70 front panel
|PDP 11/70 LED panel
|Earplugs when entering the air conditioned room
|Wires, wires, wires
|DEC System 2020
|More PDP Colors
|PDP-12 front panel and monitor
|Xerox Alto with monitor, keyboard mouse
|Xerox Alto close up on monitor with pinball
|First mouse, ever
|Ball rolling under the mouse
|Altair 8080 Bill's favorite
|IBM PC Jr