|Location||Mountain View, California, US|
The Computer History Museum (CHM) is a museum of computer history, located in Mountain View, California. The museum presents stories and artifacts of Silicon Valley and the information age, and explores the computing revolution and its impact on society.
The museum's origins date to 1968 when Gordon Bell began a quest for a historical collection and, at that same time, others were looking to preserve the Whirlwind computer. The resulting Museum Project had its first exhibit in 1975, located in a converted coat closet in a DEC lobby. In 1978, the museum, now The Digital Computer Museum (TDCM), moved to a larger DEC lobby in Marlborough, Massachusetts. Maurice Wilkes presented the first lecture at TDCM in 1979 – the presentation of such lectures has continued to the present time.
TDCM incorporated as The Computer Museum (TCM) in 1982. In 1984, TCM moved to Boston, locating on Museum Wharf.
In 1996/1997, the TCM History Center (TCMHC) was established; a site at Moffett Field was provided by NASA (an old building that was previously the Naval Base furniture store) and a large number of artifacts were shipped there from TCM.
In 1999, TCMHC incorporated and TCM ceased operation, shipping its remaining artifacts to TCMHC in 2000. The name TCM had been retained by the Boston Museum of Science so, in 2000, the name TCMHC was changed to Computer History Museum (CHM).
In 2002, CHM opened its new building, previously occupied by Silicon Graphics, at 1401 N. Shoreline Blvd in Mountain View, California, to the public.The facility was later heavily renovated and underwent a two-year $19 million makeover before reopening in January 2011.
John Hollar, a former media executive, was appointed CEO in July 2008.Dan'l Lewin, a former technology executive, replaced Hollar as CEO in March 2018.
The Computer History Museum claims to house the largest and most significant collection of computing artifacts in the world (the Heinz Nixdorf Museum , Paderborn, Germany, has more items on display but a far smaller total collection 4,000 ft (1,200 m) of cataloged documentation and several hundred gigabytes of software.). This includes many rare or one-of-a-kind objects such as a Cray-1 supercomputer as well as a Cray-2, Cray-3, the Utah teapot, the 1969 Neiman Marcus Kitchen Computer, an Apple I, and an example of the first generation of Google's racks of custom-designed web servers. The collection comprises nearly 90,000 objects, photographs and films, as well as
The CHM oral history program conducts video interviews around the history of computing, This includes computer systems, networking, data-processing, memory, and data-storage. There are over 1,000 interviews recorded as of 2021, including panel discussions on the origins of the IBM PC and the hard disk drive, and individual interviews with Joanna Hoffman, Steve Chen, Dame Stephanie Shirley, and Donald Knuth.
The museum's 25,000 sq ft (2,300 m2) exhibit "Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing," opened to the public on January 13, 2011. It covers the history of computing in 20 galleries, from the abacus to the Internet. The entire exhibition is also available online.
The museum has a Liquid Galaxy in the "Going Places: A History of Silicon Valley" exhibit. The exhibit has 20 preselected locations that visitors can fly to on the Liquid Galaxy.
Other exhibits include a restoration of an historic PDP-1 minicomputer, two restored IBM 1401 computers, and an exhibit on the history of autonomous vehicles, from torpedoes to self-driving cars.
An operating Difference Engine designed by Charles Babbage in the 1840s and constructed by the Science Museum of London was on display until January 31, 2016. It had been on loan since 2008 from its owner, Nathan Myhrvold, a former Microsoft executive.
In 2010 the museum began with the collection of source code of important software, beginning with Apple's MacPaint 1.3, written in a combination of Assembly and Pascal and available as download for the public.In 2012 the APL programming language followed. In February 2013 Adobe Systems, Inc. donated the Photoshop 1.0.1 source code to the collection. On March 25, 2014 Microsoft followed with the source code donation of SCP MS-DOS 1.25 and a mixture of Altos MS-DOS 2.11 and TeleVideo PC DOS 2.11 as well as Word for Windows 1.1a under their own license. On October 21, 2014, Xerox Alto's source code and other resources followed.
On June 23, 1990, the Walk-Through Computer exhibit opened to help visitors learn how computers work.The interactive exhibit included a desktop computer, a giant monitor, a 25-foot keyboard, and a 40-inch diameter trackball (initially planned to be a "bumper-car sized mouse") used by visitors to control the World Traveler program. In the Software Theater, animation and hardware video is used alongside a video feed of the World Traveler Program to show how computer programs work. This exhibit was closed on August 5th, 1995, and re-opened as the Walk-Through Computer 2000 on October 21, 1995 to include an updated monitor, 3D graphics, and more interactive features. One of these features allowed visitors to change the pits imprinted on a giant CD-ROM, and the changes are seen on a monitor.
The CHM Fellows are exceptional men and women 'whose ideas have changed the world [and] affected nearly every human alive today'. The first fellow was Rear Admiral Grace Hopper in 1987. The fellows program has grown to 84 members as of 2019.
DR-DOS is an operating system of the DOS family, written for IBM PC-compatible personal computers. It was originally developed by Gary A. Kildall's Digital Research and derived from Concurrent PC DOS 6.0, which was an advanced successor of CP/M-86. As ownership changed, various later versions were produced with names including Novell DOS and Caldera OpenDOS.
Xenix is a discontinued version of the Unix operating system for various microcomputer platforms, licensed by Microsoft from AT&T Corporation in the late 1970s. The Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) later acquired exclusive rights to the software, and eventually replaced it with SCO UNIX.
Digital Research, Inc. was a company created by Gary Kildall to market and develop his CP/M operating system and related 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit systems like MP/M, Concurrent DOS, FlexOS, Multiuser DOS, DOS Plus, DR DOS and GEM. It was the first large software company in the microcomputer world. Digital Research was originally based in Pacific Grove, California, later in Monterey, California.
IBM PC DOS, an acronym for IBM personal computer disk operating system, also known as IBM Personal Computer DOS, is a discontinued operating system for the IBM Personal Computer, manufactured and sold by IBM from the early 1980s into the 2000s.
CP/M-86 was a version of the CP/M operating system that Digital Research (DR) made for the Intel 8086 and Intel 8088. The system commands are the same as in CP/M-80. Executable files used the relocatable .CMD file format. Digital Research also produced a multi-user multitasking operating system compatible with CP/M-86, MP/M-86, which later evolved into Concurrent CP/M-86. When an emulator was added to provide PC DOS compatibility, the system was renamed Concurrent DOS, which later became Multiuser DOS, of which REAL/32 is the latest incarnation. The FlexOS, DOS Plus, and DR DOS families of operating systems started as derivations of Concurrent DOS as well.
86-DOS is a discontinued operating system developed and marketed by Seattle Computer Products (SCP) for its Intel 8086-based computer kit. Initially known as QDOS, the name was changed to 86-DOS once SCP started licensing the operating system in 1980.
Tim Paterson is an American computer programmer, best known for creating 86-DOS, an operating system for the Intel 8086. This system emulated the application programming interface (API) of CP/M, which was created by Gary Kildall. 86-DOS later formed the basis of MS-DOS, the most widely used personal computer operating system in the 1980s.
Charles Patrick "Chuck" Thacker was an American pioneer computer designer. He designed the Xerox Alto, which is the first computer that used a mouse-driven graphical user interface (GUI).
In computing, the
find is a command in the command-line interpreters (shells) of a number of operating systems. It is used to search for a specific text string in a file or files. The command sends the specified lines to the standard output device.
Abandonware is a product, typically software, ignored by its owner and manufacturer, and for which no official support is available. Although such software is usually still under copyright, the owner may not be tracking copyright violations.
Proprietary software, also known as non-free software or closed-source software, is computer software for which the software's publisher or another person reserves some rights from licenses to use, modify, share modifications, or share the software. It is the opposite of Open Source. Sometimes includes patent rights.
format, a command-line utility that carries out disk formatting. It is a component of various operating systems, including 86-DOS, MS-DOS, IBM PC DOS and OS/2, Microsoft Windows and ReactOS.
Windows 1.0 is a graphical operating environment for personal computers, developed by Microsoft. Microsoft had worked with Apple Computer to develop applications for Apple's 1984 original Macintosh, the first mass-produced personal computer with a graphical user-interface (GUI) that enabled users to see user-friendly icons on screen. Microsoft released Windows 1.0 on November 20, 1985, as the first version of the Microsoft Windows line. It is a type of software that runs as a graphical, 16-bit multi-tasking shell on top of an existing MS-DOS installation, providing an environment which can run graphical programs designed for Windows, as well as existing MS-DOS software. Microsoft's founder Bill Gates spearheaded the development of Windows 1.0 after he saw a demonstration of a similar software suite, Visi On, at COMDEX in 1982.
MS-DOS is an operating system for x86-based personal computers mostly developed by Microsoft. Collectively, MS-DOS, its rebranding as IBM PC DOS, and some operating systems attempting to be compatible with MS-DOS, are sometimes referred to as "DOS". MS-DOS was the main operating system for IBM PC compatible personal computers during the 1980s, from which point it was gradually superseded by operating systems offering a graphical user interface (GUI), in various generations of the graphical Microsoft Windows operating system.
In computing, diskcopy is a command used on a number of operating systems for copying the complete contents of a diskette to another diskette.
The command-line tool
exe2bin is a post-compilation utility program available on MS-DOS and other operating systems.
Kathryn Betty Strutynski was a mathematician and computer scientist, who taught at Brigham Young University and Naval Postgraduate School. Besides jobs at Pan Am Airways and Bechtel Corporation, she worked at Digital Research, where she contributed to develop CP/M, the first mainstream operating system for microcomputers.
With the permission of the Palo Alto Research Center, the Computer History Museum is pleased to make available, for non-commercial use only, snapshots of Alto source code, executables, documentation, font files, and other files from 1975 to 1987.
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