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Thread: Living Computers in Seattle is closing, for now?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Northfield, MN USA
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    Damn - the only two days I've ever been in Seattle were two days the museum was closed.

    Somewhere back in their "archives" is the SGI Origin 2000 I donated about 10 years ago. They rented a truck to haul it from Minneapolis to Seattle. All I had to do was get it on our shipping dock.

  2. #12

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    I'm glad my partner and I got to go in The Before Times. We had just renewed our memberships when the plague struck.

    Quote Originally Posted by NeXT View Post
    That article still does not say in stone that the doors are closed for good.
    It's written in a tough, stone-like substance. The article says that the umbrella organization, Vulcan Arts + Entertainment will cease operation before the end of the year.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    With Paul Allen gone, I suspect that the LCM's days may be numbered.
    There is a quote at the end referencing tough decisions being part of "the ongoing transition after Paul G. Allen’s passing in 2018". So, yeah, I think you're right and this may have been in the cards for a while.

    Unlike the other two museums the article mentions (MoPOP and Flying Heritage), the Living Computer Museum is not an independent entity. Instead the LCM is “overseen by a private operating foundation run by Vulcan staff”... who may have just lost their jobs. ☹

    I'm hoping the LCM can weather this storm and transition to become like MoPOP or the Flying Heritage Museum: an independent nonprofit or charity. But, even if they survive, I suspect the LCM will be radically changed by the process.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    Once we get to the other side of this pandemic and have a chance to look around, I fear that a lot of things that we've considered as part of our environment will be missing.
    True in so many ways. I heard on the radio that COVID-19 has decimated the elder generation of legendary jazz musicians. I wonder if there has been a similar impact on historic computer scientists, designers, and programmers.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    This little tidbit was posted on RottedBits yesterday night from a former employee.....

    As you might have heard, Living Computers: Museum+Labs has shut down; its doors will remain closed for at least the next twelve to eighteen months, and the staff is off to find new adventures.

    I have had the honor of being an engineer at LCM+L for the last five years and I am still struggling to come to terms with this -- I've had time to let the shock settle in since I heard the news a month ago and I am still unable to really grasp the finality of the situation. I don't know how to say goodbye.

    These past few weeks I have been working on-site at the museum, helping to shut things down in an orderly fashion. It feels like I'm preparing to bury a close friend, building an ornate wooden box, polishing it, lining it and driving the nails in. Digging a hole. Preparing some final words.

    And it really is a living, breathing entity that we're saying goodbye to; this museum is an undertaking that spans decades and has involved the blood, sweat, and tears of every person that has worked here. It encompasses the souls and dreams and ideas of dozens of dedicated individuals -- educators, engineers, guest services, archivists, curators and benefactors. This museum that we built together has touched many thousands of lives across the world and each of them in turn has added something of their own. It is meaningful, and it is important.

    It hurts to let go, to bury all of this.

    I helped shut the big systems down on Monday with the rest of the engineering staff. I have never heard the computer room this quiet before. I'd be lying if I didn't shed a tear when turning Rosencrantz (the VAX, running perpetually for a decade) off, wondering when it would run again.

    Every artifact I look at as I wander through the rows of computers in the museum's basement brings back memories, or a longing for potential now out of reach. I remember some of the first things I did after joining the team -- restoring the Interdata 7/32 and getting Wollongong V6 UNIX running for the first time and being able to share that with the world was really something else. Working on the Alto emulator, I found myself chatting with legends from Xerox PARC, an experience that will be tough to top. In the months before we closed, we all worked together to get V0 UNIX running on our restored PDP-7 and in so doing brought some truly important history back to life.

    I almost got over my fear of public speaking doing our engineering gallery talks and I came to realize that I actually enjoyed it. I loved chatting with visitors, and the enthusiasm they all had for the place was amazing.

    We all did some amazing things here. We all have so many stories and memories. We all have so much to be proud of.

    I want to thank all the wonderful folks I worked with at LCM. This has been the greatest job I've ever had and that's due in no small part to the people I shared it with. I will miss you all. I also want to thank everyone who came to visit the museum over these many years -- thank you for letting us share it with you. I have met so many new people, shared so many stories and have learned so many extremely cool things and I will never, ever forget it.

    Today was my last day. At 5:45pm I walked out of the doors of the museum for the last time. The hurt is still here in my heart as I write this but I know things will get better and that I will be able to move on.

    And someday, I hope, the museum will live again.

    .KJOB
    .

    Josh Dersch at 7:37 PM
    https://rottedbits.blogspot.com/2020...uters.html?m=1
    [Need something to waste time on? Click here to visit my YouTube channel CelGenStudios]
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    [No time for videos? Click here to visit my Twitter feed @CelGenStudios]

    = Excellent space heater

  4. #14
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    Someone from the Connections Museum mentioned to me last week that LCM was closing . Very sad.

  5. #15
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    Hmm, a VAX named Rosencrantz was the first VMS system I had an account on, way back in 1985, at Brevard College in Brevard, NC. It was one of two 11/750's at BC; the other one, used by College administration, was predictably named Guildenstern..... This makes this already substantial loss just a little more personal for me.
    --
    Thus spake Tandy Xenix System III version 3.2: "Bughlt: Sckmud Shut her down Scotty, she's sucking mud again!"

  6. #16
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    Sep 2006
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    The institutional knowledge that LCM just lost is a disaster.

  7. #17

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    It would be good if they can find a benefactor that can afford to pay the rent and have some security. This would be to hold it in stasis until things get better. Someone like Paul Allen or Bill Gates.
    When this hole thing was coming down, I realized that it was going to be an issue for the long haul. Lets stop lying to ourselves.
    3 Weeks ago, Santa Clara was averaging a little less then 20 new cases a day. Yesterday, we were at 185 and to day it is down to 109. It seems people don't get it. It isn't just us older people that a dying. about 4-5% of the deaths are in their 40s. Those that live through a medium case have damage to their lungs and often damage to their hearts, kidneys or livers.
    Even if you catch it and you live through it, you could be starting a chain that kills several people.
    There is also a high instance of people in their 20s that have no reason for having blood clot type strokes, other then just getting over covid-19.
    No, we are not going to get over this by the end of April, especially with so many people thinking is isn't a big deal. It is estimated that for this one, we need about 60% having the virus before we have enough herd immunity, assuming having it once will protect us some. Studies in Span show that there were not that many hidden cases as they thought. Doing random sampling of people, even in areas where they had significant cases. They showed that the hidden unknown cases were in the 5 to 10% of the known cases.
    Let me see, 328 million people in the USA, using 60% and allow for hidden cases, we have 177 cases. At the current death rate in the US, that is 6.2 million deaths.
    It would be nice to hold off until a vaccine is ready but lets realize that that is still in the works. It is a good thing that there are places like Brazil and Africa that are desperate enough to allow vaccine studies, that one could never do here in the USA.
    Dwight

  8. #18
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    I'm not surprised it physically closed due to covid. That makes eminent sense. What isn't making sense to me is why a venture that was originally underwritten by Paul Allen would be into such severe financial distress after only a few months.

    I've read a lot of 'conspiracy' talk online - that Allen's sister isn't a fan or sees it as a drain on resources, or Vulcan hasn't been run well. Not sure what to make of any of that. But I feel like Paul would have set things up in such a way to tide it over in hard times, and something is amiss here beyond just covid interruption? I'm sure his estate isn't dried up already.

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