Living Computers: Museum+Labs is devoted to showcasing the history of the evolution of computers and keeps adding landmark machines and models that may be a part of history and folklore now, but the future generations might find them interesting. The latest addition to this museum, to be unveiled on April 14 is what is known as the Steve Jobs computer.
Steve jobs became a legend even before his life was cut short and there are millions of his fans around the world, who virtually worship him. For many, therefore, the metal box with a few buttons, however crude it may appear, signifies a lot more emotionally. In fact, what is being opened at the museum is a new permanent Apple Computer Exhibit. A whole floor at the museum has been designed to narrate to the visitors the progression of Apple as a technology company through over two decades from 1976 to 1999. Though many of Apple’s early computers have been exhibited in the museum, this is the first time a whole section is being dedicated to Apple.
The significance of this Apple I computer is that only 200 of them got built of which just around 70 survived and according to this report, around seven of these computers are still operable!
Interestingly, Living Computers: Museum+Labs has been conceived, owned and run by Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft and as reported in the piece above, the Executive Director of the museum is said to have explained that some people who visit the museum do wonder as to how Apple’s products are exhibited in a place associated with Microsoft. He goes on to remind people that during Apple’s early days, Microsoft used to supply hardware and software to Apple. There was even an investment of $150 million by Microsoft in Apple when Steve Jobs went back to take over the company. The Apple I would be running with the good old BASIC being written on it live and this will be carried on for the next 10 years.
Living Computers: Museum and Lab should be an interesting place for people to learn and to cherish how technology took shape over the years. So Seattle will become a must stop place for many dedicated tech professionals of this generation travelling to the US.