Computer History Museum To Hold DEC PDP-1 Celebratory Event With Restoration Lecture and Demonstration

Mountain View, California—May 10, 2006— The Computer History Museum, home to the world's largest collection of computing-related artifacts and stories, will hold a unique evening event for the press and general public on May 15th 2006. The Mouse That Roared: PDP-1 Celebration Event and lecture with restoration demo will take place at 5:30 p.m. with a member reception lasting until 7:00 p.m.. This will be followed by the evening lecture featuring industry PDP-1 pioneers, luminaries and early users Harlan Anderson, Gordon Bell, Alan Kotok, Steve Russell, Peter Samson and Dr. Ed Fredkin, moderator, lasting from 7:00 p.m. until the event's conclusion.

ABSTRACT OF TALK AND BACKGROUND
Introduced in 1959, the DEC PDP-1 computer is 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!

Our panel comprises key figures in the development and use of the PDP-1. Moderated by computer science legend Dr. Ed Fredkin, panelists will explore the creation and impact of this unique machine and how most of its features, functionality and DEC's philosophy of interactive computing were eventually adopted by other companies years later.

Also, please join us for a unique bonus event: One of the Museum's PDP-1 computers has just been painstakingly restored over the last two years by a dedicated team and will be demonstrated during the evening festivities. A special commemorative gift--created by the PDP-1--will also be given to all attendees.

The museum will be happy to arrange for private press tours, demonstrations and interviews with the PDP-1 restoration team members. Please contact Bob Stetson, director of marketing and communications, at: 650-810-1036 (email: stetson@computerhistory.org) if you are interested.

The Computer History Museum Presents Speaker Series is an exclusive platform for open, passionate discussions for presenting the computing revolution and its impact on the human experience. These landmark presentations and panel discussions present inside stories and personal insights of top information age leaders from industry, government and academia, and assist the Museum in bringing computing history to life.

A thorough insider's view and overall accounting of the museum's PDP-1 restoration project itself by Mike Cheponis can be found in an online article soon to be debuted in Core magazine ( published twice a year by the museum.) Cheponis first worked on the PDP-1 at MIT in 1972 when he was an undergrad. His love of all machines DEC continued and he was selected to be a co-op student at DEC Marlborough, employee ID 26571, working on DECsystem-10 OS software. Cheponis owns and operates California Wireless, Inc., a Silicon Valley consulting firm specializing in hardware and software for communications systems. He also has a working DEC PDP-11/45 in his living room, and still remains married! The Cheponis article is currently available on the museum's website for viewing by the press at: www.computerhistory.org/core/

 

ABOUT THE COMPUTER HISTORY MUSEUM
The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, a public benefit organization, preserves and presents for posterity the artifacts and stories of the information age. Dedicated to exploring the social impact of computing, the museum is home to the world's largest collection of computing-related items, spanning from pre-computing objects, to the Internet, and beyond. Its growing collection also includes photos, films, videos, manuals, documents, publications, and marketing materials.

Currently in its first phase, the museum brings computing history to life through its popular speaker series, seminars, oral histories, workshops and Web-based educational resources for students, scholars and the general public. The museum also offers self-guided and docent-led tours of "Visible Storage," where nearly 600 objects from the collection are on display, including such rare objects as the Cray-1 supercomputer, the Apple I, the WWII ENIGMA, the PalmPilot prototype, and the 1969 Honeywell "Kitchen Computer." A new exhibit, "Mastering The Game: A History of Computer Chess," opened in September 2005, providing an exciting, interactive look at 50 years of innovation and work in computing and computer chess software. Please check the Web site for open hours.

Future phases will feature full museum exhibits including a timeline of computing history, theme galleries, extensive Web-based exhibits and collection-related information, expanded education programs, a research center, and much more. For more information, please visit www.computerhistory.org or call 650.810.1010.

 


 

Press Contacts:
Bob Stetson
Ph: 1-650-810-1036
Cell: 1-650-815-5410
Email: stetson@computerhistory.org