What is the Compuseum?
The Compuseum is a project to create a Philadelphia-region interactive museum of hardware and software to be located by the organizing committee. It is envisioned that the museum will feature theaters and multiple galleries of historically relevant digital and computing devices, in addition to showcasing newest technology releases and inventions. The Compuseum’s primary gallery is to include a display of sections of the ENIAC, the earliest digital computer created within the University of Pennsylvania and in step-wise fashion, show the march of forward progress.
The mission of the Compuseum is to help the public and the computer industry share information about computing and to raise public awareness of the important role the digital age has played and will continue to play in society. The Compuseum will be a springboard to teach and discuss new and emerging technologies — and their implications — within the context of prior achievement.
See The Future By Looking at The Past
Interacting with devices will make learning fun and visitors will have a great family-day-out in an uplifting environment. On display will be the early work environments of teams of computer designers and creators, such as the ENIAC at PENN. The Compuseum hopes to gain praise for its content and interactivity.
The Compuseum should become the world’s most interactive computer museum and to be a place that is a marvel of technological innovation. Attractive floors, touch-screens, theaters, film and video, state-of-the-art studios, computer games, interactive kiosks, documentary footage and hands-on multimedia exhibits are envisioned. The Compuseum is to have both permanent and rotating/travelling exhibits.
Compuseum Location Evolution Philosophy
It is envisioned that there may be a need to have a smaller first location while building the momentum for a larger final location and project. This evolutionary approach may lead to developing a deeper bench of sponsors and supporters while also providing “lessons learned” in marketing and exhibition design.
Some of the components that will make-up the Compuseum will be (but not limited to): Museum, Exhibits, Visitors, Tours, Events, Awards, Library, Brown Bag Lectures, Symposium, First Fridays, Heritage Day, History Live, Innovation Day, Conference Rooms, Cafeteria, Catering, Online Presence, Fellowships, Scholarships, Publications
The design team has the following goals:
The showcase environments throughout the museum will be climate-, light-, and humidity-controlled to preserve and protect legacy computing devices. Sharing the building with the Compuseum will likely be an attractive array of restaurants, book stores, and computer device and service vendors (hardware, software, smart phones, etc.)
The mission is to build the most comprehensive, evocative look at the power and impact that computing has had on society; all under one roof. We would like it to be considered an “edgy, cool and contemporary museum” and to have interactive exhibits, to house important artifacts and to do an unparalleled job of telling the computing story.
Expanding Education – How to Bridge the “Digital Divide”
The Compuseum isn’t just about interpreting the machines of the past, but inspiring a new generation to design and build the machines of tomorrow. The Compuseum “Education Coordinator” will be using classroom space to teach school children key computer science concepts, such as core memory, the binary number system, representing images with pixels, debugging and digital computing. These lessons will help pave the way for our next generation of student leaders, as well as providing additional uses for the exhibits.
Compuseum Electronic Wall
Display breaking news from around the world of the newest in computing. Our goal is to make an indelible mark on computing education by selecting a great location with high traffic volume, producing solid content, revealing important archival information and displaying legacy equipment all packaged within an interactive environment.
The Walk-Through Computer
Imagine walking through a computer to lean about its components. Recorded in 1990 – How Computers Work: A Journey Into The Walk-Through Computer is an educational video produced by The Computer Museum (Boston) and hosted by David Neil of PBS’s Newton’s Apple. Join David Neil and his four young companions on an entertaining and illuminating trek through The Computer Museum’s one-of-a-kind, two-story working model of a desktop computer. The Computer Museum in Boston, Massachusetts was the predecessor institution to the Computer History Museum located in Mountain View, California since 1996. Sadly, the walk-through computer did not move to California with the Computer Museum’s collection, but as you can see from this video, it was a very engaging exhibit. An updated version of this exhibit could be incorporated into the Compuseum.
Compuseum Public Services
Compuseum will support a vibrant and growing “speakers bureau”; a source for speakers on various topics. Expert in computers, information technology, software, hardware, museums or business are welcome.
Making the World Work Better
Consider the things we can do today that earlier generations could not even imagine. Let’s explore the way computing has improved our daily lives through the advances of the past century and consider the possibilities unleashed by this technology. This exhibit is about better information technology, computing devices, tools and software—but that’s not all. Our objective is to reveal the deeply human quest to make the world more accessible, efficient, sustainable and fun.
A unique interactive experience
The Compuseum combines hardware, software and firmware to create a unique experience to engage visitors in a conversation about how computing technology has improved the way we live and work.
Visitors approaching the exhibit will be drawn in by striking patterns displayed on multiple digital walls. These wall panels help to visualize, in real time, live data streaming from systems around the world, including those used for weather, energy, to quality of life. Visitors will discover how we can see worldwide changes, unnecessary waste and opportunities for improvement in world systems.
Inside the exhibit space, visitors step into a media array composed of multiple LCD screens. As the screens come to life, visitors can read and experience immersive films surrounding them within a kaleidoscope of images. They will be enveloped in a rich narrative about the pattern of progress, told through awe-inspiring stories of the past and present of computing. They will be inspired to think about humankind’s quest for progress, and about making our world work better, today.
At the conclusion of introductory immersion, visitors will be invited to interact with touchscreens to transform the experience into a world of self-discovery. Visitors can explore mankind’s quest to see more, do more and be more. They can interact with clocks, scales, microscopes and telescopes, silicon chips and biomedical devices. They can learn how maps are made and have been used. They can interact with models used to understand the complex behaviors of our bodies, our world and our universe. They can hear from world leaders and learn how they built their own ecosystems with the help of computing technologies. They can read about some of the most inspiring examples of progress around the world. Each interactive touchscreen will give visitors the opportunity to view and learn about what others were thinking then and are thinking now.
Center of Innovation
Compuseum will show innovative business leaders and interested visitors how to stop wondering what is happening in IT and instead start embracing what the future is inviting forward. The Compuseum will highlight the then-current innovations of each of its objects, thus enabling deeper understanding of the march of progress in information technology and computing. We stand on the shoulders of prior innovation, and can learn how to map the ideas forward by studying the past. Thus, in this way, we hope to help drive innovation forward into the future.
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