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History is written by the winners

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Today I visited the Living Computer Museum, a fun little place in downtown Seattle, with a bunch of old hardware that kids can put their grubby fingers on. It's a really cool place, I even got to see a Data General Nova with a working teletype attached to it, a really fantastic piece of hardware which served as the technical inspiration for a lot of later developments, including the Xerox Alto and Apple I. It's really neat hardware.

There were a tonne of really beautiful DEC machines, the simple design and color schemes of the PDPs are really wonderful, and I didn't take nearly enough photos of them.

The museum was funded by Paul Allen, and that much is clear – a huge section on Altair, on the PC revolution, etc, very little about computing in Academia, AI research, once things got past the minicomputer era. I would have loved to get my hands on a Lisp Machine, or something out of MIT running ITS, but there was nary a mention of the symbolic-computing branch of computing history and AI research, which I felt was a little bit revisionist, given that AI needs drove the development of computing just as much as business needs.

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Ryan Rix is a computer infrastructure fanboy who dabbles in decentralized systems. Reach him on twitter as @rrrrrrrix, via email to ryan@whatthefuck.computer or on Facebook or on Matrix as @rrix:kickass.systems.