Welcome to JHU ACM Computer History Museum

Dedicated to futures past and futures that never were, especially that of Nathan Krasnopoler, a dear, departed friend, the JHU ACM Computer History Museum primarily exhibits in a large display case near the ACM office at Malone Hall G67.

While the exhibits are intended to be striking for their design and informative in their own right as merely visual objects, it is the intention of the curators that this be an interactive museum. By and large, these machines are functional and can even participate in the modern computing infrastructure, a testament to the staying power of the early designs and to the impact of “backwards compatibility”. Please come visit the ACM during office hours and we will be happy to open the case for you, or show you around the additional material in the museum archives. We are always looking for volunteers or more things to display.

Write to us at museum@acm.jhu.edu.

General Notes

The JHU ACM hardware is not property of any individual, but rather of the collective chaos that is the organization. Ultimately, it falls under the control of the executive board, most directly under the control of the lab administrator, but, historically, there has been an unoffical, unelected role of “official curator(s)” of sorts, usually the people most enthusiastic about old hardware.

Because we intend the hardware to be used, and sometimes use means getting hands dirty in the works, none of the machines in the museum should be considered to be “high uptime” (or particularly secure, for a variety of reasons!) machines; they may go down with relatively short notice. However, we understand the occasional desire to not have that happen, so:

  • We will endeavor, but cannot promise, to confirm downtime on any machine with active users.
  • Machines may be reserved by any member of the ACM by posting an issue in the Museum queue on the ACM bug-tracker: https://ebola.acm.jhu.edu/rt/Ticket/Create.html?Queue=18 In the Subject, please indicate which machine, when, and for how long you would like not to be interrupted. In the comments, explain to us your cool project!

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