actually, only two.
The CHM is very definitely a "real" museum. It takes as its purpose, the collection and preservation of artifacts and documents. Also as with most real museums, the part on display to the public is a tiny fraction of the whole collection, which comprises some 30,000 cataloged artifacts and even more documents. 99% of those are in a rather amazing warehouse in Milpitas, CA.
Far from being a junkpile, every artifact from single vacuum tubes or circuit boards up to the massive cabinets of the Zuse, is photographed, cataloged and stored on shelving in a climate-controlled space.
Most of the collection is pieces of computers because that's what people and companies donate, often discards and salvage.
Like that 360/91 console that features in the photographs? There is only the console panel; you go around back of it, and see thick bundles of yellow wires that were hacked off with a bolt-cutter when the machine was scrapped. Those lights will never blink again. So, should it be thrown out, or is there some value in preserving and displaying the hacked-off panel?
There are several working restorations at CHM. (1) That 1620 definitely works, I've seen it run. They interfaced a PC to replace the console typewriter, but otherwise it ran. (2) there is a complete, working PDP-1 that is demo'd every month, you can play the orignal spacewar game on its vector CRT, and last Christmas they had a carol sing with PDP-1 synthesizer accompaniment. (3) There is a complete 1950s-era machine room with raised floor containing two complete 1401 systems, along with working 026 keypunches, 085 sorter, and tape drives. These are demo'd monthly also. (4) The restoration of the IBM RAMAC, the original hard disk drive, is nearing completion and should be on display later this year.
All the above proceed slowly because they are 100% volunteer-run. They get minimal funding from CHM and only minimal help from the small paid staff. It takes tens of thousands of donated hours to get one of those old machines running and debugged. There are a myriad of age-induced problems, for example dried-up electrolytic caps, corroded contacts, hardened bearing grease and cracked or flattened rubber rollers, which introduce hard-to-trace problems.
If you live anywhere near Mountain View and know something about one of these machines, your help (or money) would be welcome.
what he said. The Geek Atlas has exactly the info you are looking for.
I've spent a lot of hours classifying galaxies at GalaxyZoo. The abstract sense of making a tiny contribution to research gets thin real fast. What keeps me coming back is the surprise factor. You'll click away sorting boring balls and streaks and then up pops a perfect barred-spiral, or a swooshy collision or an oddity that doesn't fit any of the categories, and wakes you up. There are millions of galaxies in the deep-field surveys that are the source, most of them never looked at individually, and you never know what the software will toss up next.
The site has an active and supportive forum community, and it was in the forums that the users -- not the astronomy post-docs who run the site -- first commented on the little green balls, suggested they might represent a unique class, and started collecting them as posts on a thread. There are user-run threads going on for other odd types of galaxy some of which might ultimately turn into research topics as well.
Dude, I watched the same episode of "Make" on PBS off my TiVO just last night. Switch on the baseball bat, and the dude who makes musical instruments out of found objects, AND the trebuchet.
You might site your sources instead of just saying "I saw..."
Bringing computers into the home won't change either one, but may revitalize the corner saloon.