[vcf-midatlantic] Problems we face as collectors/curators: The last lesson of Bob Pease

Herb Johnson hjohnson at retrotechnology.info
Mon Aug 26 19:41:08 EDT 2019

Herb wrote:
>> The last lesson of Bob Pease, may well be as suggested in the title of 
>> the article: "What is this stuff, anyhow?". What's to be done - if 
>> anything - with artifacts of technical work and products? Do they have 
>> value? What do they mean? Can they inform us, or simply amuse us, or 
>> do they just get in the way?
On 8/26/2019 4:01 PM, Evan Koblentz wrote:
> This is why, when giving museum tours, I focus hard on explaining the 
> "so what" instead of technical specifications. Other than storage (how 
> many of these doodads are needed to make one modern memory cards), most 
> of our visitors couldn't care less about speed, memory, or whatever 
> else. They want to know what is this thing and why should I care. If you 
> don't make that point early, then you lose them.

So Evan, what works for the visitors you describe? Do they need an 
explanation of "floppy disks" or "where's the mouse?". What do they end 
up caring about, from what they see, about a world before their time or 
outside some technical interest?

The Pease circuits are a harder "sell" because they lack reference to 
anything at all, if one doesn't know a wire or an IC or a circuit. But 
I'd not sell them - exhibit or curate them - to anyone BUT circuit 
designers and period-engineers.

And that's fine, just another specialized collection. Any providence or 
function - as Dean suggests is useful - won't work for anyone beyond 
those knowledgeable in the craft of design. But -  most of them will see 
"obsolete" and lose interest. "Catching" them is like Evan's problem in 
catching modern interest in old computers - when both "old" and 
"computers" are out of vogue today.

Regards, Herb

Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey in the USA
http://www.retrotechnology.com OR .net
preserve, recover, restore 1970's computing
email: hjohnson AT retrotechnology DOT com
or try later herbjohnson AT retrotechnology DOT info

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