The Computer History Museum today announced that effective June 11th, 2006, the museum will now be open for visitors on Sunday afternoons from 1-4 p.m. in addition to their regular weekly hours of operation. The museum is currently open from 1-4 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays and Saturdays from 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.. The museum, where computing history lives, also announced today that its fully restored PDP-1 computer system from Digital Equipment Corporation will now be available for public demonstrations on the first and third Saturdays of each month moving forward. Regularly scheduled demonstrations will occur at 2:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on those select days by members of the museum's restoration team.
Introduced in 1959, the DEC PDP-1 computer was truly "the mouse that roared," a powerful, easy-to-operate computer with a host of new abilities that allowed its users to interact with a computer all to themselves. This was a novelty in the early 1960s when mainframe-based batch processing was the norm and the idea of a computer dedicated to a single-user was heretical, akin to having a personal aircraft carrier.
Currently in its first phase, the museum brings computing history to life through its popular speaker series, seminars, oral histories and workshops. The museum also offers self-guided and docent-led tours of "Visible Storage," where nearly 600 objects from the collection are on display. A new exhibit, "Mastering the Game: A History of Computer Chess," opened in September 2005, joining the museum's oldest exhibit, "Innovation in the Valley." Please check the Web site for open hours. Future phases will feature full museum exhibits and educational programs, including a timeline of computing history, theme galleries, a research center, and much more slated for debut in the fall of 2009. For more information, please visit www.computerhistory.org or call 650.810.1010.