MEGA Museum computers now on display at NCSU

2009 April 16
by Steven R Jones

I thought I’d take a slight detour here and share something very cool that I did today.  This is certainly computer-related but not exactly in line with the current string of posts. (I did pause briefly before I typed the word “cool” above but I think you’ll agree that this qualifies).

Anyone who has spent time with me has eventually heard me speak about my slightly geeky collection of old gadgets and computers. My “museum” was featured on both radio and TV stations and in the Tribune newspaper when I lived in Chicago. It was even filmed by the History Channel which continues to air the Modern Marvels episode every so often. I call my growing collection the MEGA (Mr. Early Gadget Adoper) Museum and it is simultaneously a source of personal pride and ongoing spousal conflict.

Well, after returning to North Carolina and reconnecting with my alma mater, I found a way to share my collection (or at least part of it) with a larger audience. This afternoon, I donated the first set of collectible computers to NC State in Raleigh. They will soon be on display in the beautiful Computer Science building on NCSU’s Centennial Campus.

I chose to part with these four computers first (the photos here are not mine, I snagged them from the web). It is likely that many of you have fond memories associated with the Apple IIe or the Commodore 64 but I suspect few have hands-on experiences with the NeXTstation or the much-hyped OLPC. Still, these all have some unique significance in the computer historical timeline.

I look forward to seeing these computers in their display cases in the weeks ahead and encourage all of you who have old computers collecting dust in your attics and basements to find good homes for them. The nostalgia associated with some of these old dinosaurs is strong and your spouses may even help you carry them to the car!

10/2 – Update: new pics of computer display cases from the halls of Engineering Building II.

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