Computers & Business Machines
Imagine the loss, 100 years from now, if museums hadn't begun preserving the artifacts of the computer age. The last few decades offer proof positive of why museums must collect continuously—to document technological and social transformations already underway.
The museum's collections contain mainframes, minicomputers, microcomputers, and handheld devices. Computers range from the pioneering ENIAC to microcomputers like the Altair and the Apple I. A Cray2 supercomputer is part of the collections, along with one of the towers of IBM's Deep Blue, the computer that defeated reigning champion Garry Kasparov in a chess match in 1997. Computer components and peripherals, games, software, manuals, and other documents are part of the collections. Some of the instruments of business include adding machines, calculators, typewriters, dictating machines, fax machines, cash registers, and photocopiers
- The Velo 1, made by Philips in 1997, is a personal digital assistant weighing less than a pound. The owner could use popular Microsoft programs, send faxes, surf the Web, record voice memos, and much more. It used a stylus instead of a mouse to navigate the screens. Files, e-mails, and other data could be synchronized between the Velo 1 and a desktop computer using a docking station and ActiveSync software.
- This handheld device shipped with Microsoft’s Windows CE version 1 operating system. Bundled with the operating system were Microsoft’s “Pocket” versions of Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Internet Explorer. Other applications included calculator, voice memo recording, world clock, bFAX Pro, PC Link, Remote Networking, and Solitaire.
- The overall case is dark gray. Printed in the lower right corner of the cover is the name “Philips”. The left side of the cover is a silver- colored insert with “VELO1 4MB” printed on it. (The 4MB refers to the amount of RAM.) The front edge of the device has three indicator lights (recharging, serial connection, alarm). The top edge has the spring-loaded open button on the right and the omnidirectional microphone on the left. Inside is a standard 61-key QWERTY keyboard (the ten numeric keys are preprogrammed to access the primary applications when used with the alt key). To the upper left of the keyboard is the power button, and to the upper right is the slot for storing the stylus. The LCD screen displays 480x240 pixels in grayscale. To the left of the screen is a flip door for the RJ-11 phone jack, to the upper right, the backlight button. The serial connector for the docking station, DC power adapter jack, and infared port are located on the left edge of the keyboard. The contrast dial is located on the right edge of the screen. The back houses the main battery compartment (secured with a spring-loaded slide button), backup battery compartment (secured with a miniature Phillips screw), RAM card slot (secured with a miniature Phillips screw), a flip-door covering the Type II PC Card V connector, and the Flash/ROM slot (secured with a spring-loaded slide button). The power sources for this device are a NiMH battery pack (rated to last 8-10 hours), or two AA batteries (rated to last 8-12 hours), or AC power.
- The objects in accession 2016.0361 and non-accession 2016.3194 are related.
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- National Museum of American History