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 Timex/Sinclair 1000 was the U.S. version of the Sinclair ZX-81, which was made by Sinclair Research, Ltd. One of the earliest versions of the home computer, the TS-1000 hit stores in 1981. At $99 it was certainly one of the most affordable early machines, and Timex sold over 600,000. Its introduction caused other companies to lower their prices and include more features in their computers in order to compete.
- The size of a book and weighing 20 ounces, the Timex/Sinclair used a television set as a monitor. Data was stored on cassette tape. The processor was a Z80A microchip running at 3.5 MHz, and the ROM was 8 KB (the earliest version had only 1 KB). The computer keyboard was flat and the keys used black characters on a white background. The Timex could be used around the home for such tasks as budget management, checkbook balancing, and entertainment, but the limitations of the machine made tasks rudimentary. Users could also write programs in BASIC. Accessories included a small "adding machine" type printer and a 16 KB RAM drive. Purchasers of it could also buy pre-programmed cassettes, among them BASIC versions of games such as space invaders.
- This particular computer was given to the Smithsonian by Daniel Ross, Vice-President of Computer Products of the Timex Computer Corporation. It was one of a series of TS-1000s donated to science museums across the United States.
- Despite brisk sales, Timex dropped out of the computer market in the spring of 1984.
- Currently not on view
- Date made
- Timex Computer Corporation
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History