[vcf-midatlantic] Museum and Warehouse Short Term Plans

Douglas Crawford touchetek at gmail.com
Mon Dec 5 17:51:02 UTC 2022

A fairly comprehensive list is offered for a glimpse into the future.
Most of this has begun discussion in the steering committee.
A few are only proposal level that have been submitted in writing.




(Working the ideas of the Mission Statement)

- Beginning to consider initiatives to get more people to visit us and 
InfoAge needs the revenue and we need them to get revenue
to insure that they are around to have a place for the museum and
warehouse. Better notoriety would do VCF good, and our docents deserve
to be heard by more people.  Preparing for and pitching for more
of a learning experience is a concept that might open the museum to
interest beyond just those interested in seeing vintage computers.
We are entertaining producing more video features from the museum
to try to engage the main stream youtube viewership and create
demand to visit us and the campus.

- new docent recruiting initiative with new training materials and guides
to make it easy to get involved in the museum.

- Overhaul of our demonstration program content, methods, stories, and
documentation to raise our ability to support hands-on use of the 
our ability to show what made the equipment special, and enhance learning.
Some machines we have good demos, some so-so demos, some a wealth of demos.
None had any guidance on what demos to run and why.

- Overhaul of our BASIC programming experience to add a level of BASIC 
that give more inspiration about programming.

- Rework of the current IC exhibit into an overview of the hardware 
contributing to the progression of computer tech from the 1940s through 
the 1990s.
ie: the innovations that contributed to decrease size, increase in 
capacity, increase
compute power.  Specifically, it will show the parallel development of 
CPU and Memory:
On the "cpu" side: from relays to single IC CPUs and on the "memory" 
side from delay
lines to solid state.

- Working some ideas for more hands-on learning exhibits such as binary 
logic & machine coding.

- Instituting visitor feedback collection to know what they like, what 
don't what
they might like us like us to add.  Process improvement.   A form is 
being trialed now.


- Scelby and S100 demos are being set up soon with Corey's help.

- Enhancing the ENIAC "exhibit" is being pursued with Brian Stuart.
He is preparing his 1/10 scale model and a computer simulation for our use.
The ENIAC is the beginning of the museum tour now, espousing its size,
18,000 vacuum tubes and what it was designed to do and what it accomplished.
This is  starting point for discussing why computers were huge to be begin
with, how hard they were to make, and sets the stage for discussing the
innovations that caused continual shrinking and cost reduction through the
tour.  I hope to procure a piece of the ENIAC, as currently our 
"artifact" is a
period photograph of it installed at the proving ground, and a commemorative
poster of the ENIAC patent.

- Considering trying to get pieces of other foundational computers of the
ENIAC timeframe, ie, SAGE etc, so that we have exhibits that elaborate 
on the early
days of the digital computer revolution.

- IBM 1130 is scheduled for restoration and will likely be operable
in 2023, Jeff B is handling.

- Wang 4000 restoration is being planned.  We have a rough idea on the
steps we will take, and have help offered by Rick Bensene at 

- EIA Analog: I plan to free up Bill I. to work on his concepts for
demoing this machine developed some time back.

- George: we have interest from the folks from Philbrick Archive.org 
regarding restoration options.

- Interest expressed in restoring the TI Minicomputer, have begun some

- TRS-80 exhibit will be overhauled. Its part done-
we have a working "as released" Model I Level I in place for real
tape load demos in the "trilogy" exhibit.  Later, a  Model III
will be added to the complement to reliably run (compared to an expanded
Model I) disk based demos.


- Discussion has been broached with Bob at System Source for
adopting their data base system.  We will probably be given an overview
demonstration of using the data base soon.

- The warehouse physically is being held in a "steady as she goes" state
in anticipation of the renovation of the new space being handled by
Jeff B.  Fortunately we squeaked through hurricane season without a 

- No new leaks after last storm system came through.

- Some artifacts will be chosen soon for transfer to the museum and 
stored under
the exhibit racks for safer keeping until the the new space is ready 
receive the
warehouse contents.

Best Regards,
Douglas Crawford
VCF Museum and Warehouse Manager

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