The Coming Revolution: Showcasing Two Millennia of Computing
A new signature exhibition, “Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing,” is currently under construction at The Computer History Museum (CHM). The exhibition will be the world’s most comprehensive physical and online exploration of computing history, spanning everything from the abacus and slide rules to robots, Pong, the Internet and beyond. It will examine how computing came to be and how it has shaped the way we live today.
A 25,000-square foot wonderland of more than 1,000 artifacts alongside the people and stories that illustrate the social impact of computing, “Revolution” will open in January 2011. It includes 18 originally produced mini-movies and more than 40 oral histories on interactive personal viewing stations. Visitors will engage in a variety of sensory experiences, from picking up a 24-pound Osborne computer and playing vintage computer games like Pong, Spacewar!, Adventure and Pac-man to surfing the Web in the 1990s.
In addition to expanding CHM’s physical exhibit space by 50 percent, “Revolution” will be an on-site and online experience. The Web exhibit will showcase an expansive collection of one-of-a-kind artifacts, engaging stories, never seen before interviews with pioneers and dozens of videos produced exclusively for this exhibition.
“We are delighted to bring to life the world’s premier historical exhibition on the Information Age,” said John Hollar, President and Chief Executive Officer of CHM. “Revolution represents nearly a decade of work by hundreds of people in consultation with our professional staff. The result is an accessible, multi-layered approach to storytelling that suits a variety of learning styles, both on site and online. People of all computing generations will be engaged in unexpected ways when they see how the devices and software they used over the years, and use today, originally came to be.”
CHM’s curatorial staff, working with historians and experts throughout the world, hand-picked materials for “Revolution” from the Museum’s vast collection of more than 100,000 artifacts and 5,000 linear feet of archived documentation to illustrate the most complete picture possible of computing. The compelling display of technological icons selected for “Revolution” includes the Abacus, Hollerith Tabulator, Nordsieck Differential Analyzer, ENIAC, UNIVAC, SAGE, IBM System/360, IBM RAMAC disk drive, Cray-1, PDP-8, Moore’s Law, Shakey the Robot, Xerox Alto, Utah Teapot, Pong Prototype, Apple II, IBM PC, Palm Pilot, Google Server Engine and more.
“Revolution” is broadly funded by a large community of supporters. The exhibition is made possible through the generosity of William H. Gates III, who gave the establishing gift for “Revolution.” Major funding has been provided by more than 75 donors to the Museum’s long-term capital campaign.
For more information about “Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing” and CHM, please visit http://www.computerhistory.org/exhibits/revolution
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press