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Issue 046: Computer Museums

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Issue 046: Computer Museums

Welcome to the forty-sixth issue of De Programmatica Ipsum, dedicated to the subject of Computer Museums. In this edition, Adrian visits four computer museums in Switzerland, Graham reflects about the importance of memory and the role of museums, and in the Library section, Adrian reviews William Aspray's biography of John von Neumann.

(Computer) Museums In Switzerland

For such a small country, Switzerland has an extreme love for museums about the most incredible subjects, including some excellent museums dedicated to computer history. These museums feature fantastic collections, gathered and painstakingly maintained by state and private entities and, sometimes, even passionate individuals who devote their lives and budgets to a particular subject.

The Digital Dark Ages

There are three interesting things to do with a computing museum. Museum directors and curators should be aware of all three and design galleries, present information, and make archives available to address them all.

William Aspray

There was a moment in which Kurt Gödel, Albert Einstein, and John von Neumann were all roaming the halls of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton at the same time. Let that information sink in. Humanity experiences such gatherings of brilliant minds in a remote location of the space-time continuum only every so often; maybe the ancient Greeks and the men of the Renaissance witnessed such periods in time, as did the IAS staff at the end of World War II. How much will we have to wait for the next such event?

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