Pat Trongo donates Commodore SX- 64 Luggable computer to Compuseum- July 2017
Pat Trongo, talented database administrator, generously donated his Commodore SX-64 “Executive Computer” to the Compuseum. We are grateful for his donation. This computer, first released in 1984, comes complete with small, built-in CRT screen and pop-out keyboard panel. The SX-64 features a built-in five-inch composite monitor and a built-in 1541 floppy drive. It weighs 23lbs and the machine is carried by its sturdy handle, which doubles as an adjustable stand. It was announced in January 1983 and released a year later, at $995 (approximately 2,400 USD today).
ENIAC Award Given To John Blankenbaker
World’s First Personal Computer
THE COMPUSEUM “ENIAC AWARD” HONORS INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE MADE SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE FIELD OF COMPUTING
John Blankenbaker For Pioneering the First Personal Computer: The Kenbak-1
The Kenbak-1 is considered by the Computer History Museum and the American Computer Museum to be the world’s first “personal computer”. Only 40 machines were ever built and sold. It was designed and invented by John Blankenbaker of Kenbak Corporation in 1970, and was first sold in early 1971. The system first sold for $750. Only 10 machines are now known to exist worldwide, with various collectors. In 1973, production of the Kenbak-1 stopped as Kenbak Corporation folded.
Two Female Programmers Win Presidential Medals of Freedom – Compuseum celebrates their leadership!
President Obama gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, to 21 artists, sports figures, scientists and philanthropists on Tuesday, in a bravura performance that had the East Wing, stuffed to capacity, laughing and whooping with appreciation. Two of the Recipients were female computer industry leaders; our own Grace Hopper and Margaret Hamilton.
In 1949, Grace Hopper became an employee of the Eckert Mauchly Computer Corporation of Philadelphia as a senior mathematician and joined the team developing the UNIVAC I. In the early 1950s, the company was taken over by the Remington Rand corporation, and it was while she was working for them that her original compiler work was done. The compiler was known as the A compiler and its first version was A-0. In 1952 she had an operational compiler. “Nobody believed that,” she said. “I had a running compiler and nobody would touch it. They told me computers could only do arithmetic.” In 1954 Hopper was named the company’s first director of automatic programming, and her department released some of the first compiler-based programming languages, including MATH-MATIC and FLOW-MATIC. COBOL.
Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, known as “Amazing Grace” and the “first lady of software,” was at the forefront of computers and programming development from the 1940s through the 1980s. Hopper’s work helped make coding languages more practical and accessible, and she created the first compiler, which translates source code from one language into another. She taught mathematics as an associate professor at Vassar College before joining the United States Naval Reserve as a lieutenant (junior grade) during World War II, where she became one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer and began her lifelong leadership role in the field of computer science.
Margaret H. Hamilton led the team that created the on-board flight software for NASA’s Apollo command modules and lunar modules. A mathematician and computer scientist who started her own software company, Hamilton contributed to concepts of asynchronous software, priority scheduling and priority displays, and human-in-the-loop decision capability, which set the foundation for modern, ultra-reliable software design and engineering.
The latest addition to the Compuseum collection is a “nearly complete” collection of the printed issues of PC Magazine, dating back to the original Volume 1 in 1982. The collection was donated by Alfred Poor, who wrote for the magazine as a freelancer for more than 22 years. He was a Contributing Editor most of that time, and was the magazine’s first Lead Analyst for Business Displays.
“PC Magazine was the clear leader among personal computing magazines, and it was an exciting time to have a front row seat on the industry,” Alfred Poor recalls. “PC Magazine also paid very well at the time, but they wouldn’t give us comp subscriptions even if we were on the masthead, so I had to maintain my own paid subscription over all those years.”
This collection provides a valuable record of how the personal computer industry grew and developed. Many familiar (and not familiar) brands appeared and disappeared over the years, and this collection documents the many changes that occurred during the market’s first two decades.
The Compuseum is grateful to Alfred for his very generous donation which is sure to be a much sought-after resource on critical milestone computing history.
Recorded 1960, this humorous promotional film for the Remington Rand UNIVAC computer features J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly in leading roles. The film outlines the earlier history of computing leading to the development and application of the UNIVAC computer.
We are proud to announce two recent additions to the Compuseum, brought to us by our “Friend of Compuseum”, Mr. Paul Harkins, software and hardware expert.
Software expert, Paul Harkins, donates IBM 407 Board to Compuseum
Paul Harkins (retired IBM engineer) has donated an IBM 407 Accounting machine wired control panel to Compuseum. Compuseum is grateful to Paul Harkins for his generous donation. The IBM 407 Accounting Machine, introduced in 1949, was one of a long line of IBM tabulating machines dating back to the days of Herman Hollerith. It had a card reader and printer; a summary punch could be attached. Processing was directed by a control panel. See this link for details: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_407
Software expert, Paul Harkins, donates Comptometer to Compuseum.
Compuseum mourns the passing of former Editor-in-chief of PC Magazine Bill Machrone. Michael Miller shares a memorial column about Bill, see an excerpt below.
Bill Machrone, who was Editor-in-Chief of PC Magazine from 1983-1991 and continued to write a column for the magazine until a few years ago, passed away this weekend.
Bill had been working in information systems in New Jersey in the early 1980s, when he started writing freelance articles for Sol Libes’s Microsystems magazine, which later sold to Ziff Davis. After Ziff Davis acquired PC Magazine, most of the staff left, the magazine moved to New York, and the editors who took it over were looking for new writers and editors. Bill came on as a freelancer and was quickly named technical editor in March 1983. By September, he became Editor-in-Chief, and was the first person to hold the job for an extended period of time since founder David Bunnell left.
Jim attended a fantastic event recently at the American Helicopter Museum in honor of their 20th Anniversary. It’s an amazing museum filled with core, foundational helicopters, and the latest vertical-lift technology. And, it now includes an education theater and large spaces for entertainment. See AmericanHelicopter.Museum for details. A nice model for Compuseum to emulate. I encourage you to visit and join as a Member.
Joint Exhibit Discussed
Had preliminary talks about creating a little 5′ x 5′ exhibit on “Computing in Helicopters” utilizing some cross over talent from each organization.
Tour of American Helicopter Museum with Friend of Compuseum, Verne Weidman (Unisys)
Hello and welcome to a new website launch. We are still slowly pulling information together and getting it on here. Technically, this the second design of the site. The first was a good placeholder, something we could point to and look forward to one day starting over with a fresh, new design and now that day is here. We certainly welcome your comments as we continue to improve, add-on and tune the site for the needs of our Friends and the public at large. We are excited to share what we have so far and welcome your comments and suggestions. Please communicate directly with Compuseum, Inc. President and Founder James Scherrer by email, info@TheCompuseum.org.