/Hardwired into tech’s past

Hardwired into tech’s past

From Apple to Atari, IBM to Ipods; the Port Huron Museum’s exhibit Byte by Byte: The Story of Computer Innovation showcases it all, dating back to the 1950’s.

The exhibit is comprised of local collector Robert Borsuk’s personal collection of computers and machinery, and will be on display through April 28th, 2013 at Port Huron Museum’s Carnegie Center.

Through partnering with Borsuk of Academic Gadgets, the museum has acquired an exhibit full of working machines and devices from the 1950s to now.

SC4 Computer Science Professor, Jim Soto, recently gave a presentation at the Port Huron Museum about the internet search engine “Google.” Soto said about the exhibit, “It’s great, we tend to have very little sort of memory, history or archive of the machine’s computation; because once they’ve lived out their function or usefulness, we tend to just simply get rid of them and move on to the newest. This is something that is very interesting about technology and technological advances.”

Byte by Byte hosts “hands-on” areas where visitors can use machines and video game consoles of the past, along with a mainframe computer that is big enough to walk through and locate where components are used, as well as what they do. The exhibit also offers weekend family programs, along with weekly presentations on the computers and machinery displayed in the exhibit.

An entire wing of the exhibit is dedicated to the origin of modern computers, and a collection of the earliest known desktops created by Wang Laboratories. Dr. An Wang (co-founder of Wang Laboratories) was a major contributor to the development of magnetic core memory; without this, the modern desktop computer would most likely not exist.

The exhibit also explains that most of the United States’ advancements in computer sciences stemmed from military involvement and funding during World War II and the Cold War.

Very few people know the development and the history of computation when it comes to its, sort of, underpinnings and mathematical and philosophical logic; and even myself, I don’t know all of the history of these machines and for my own curiosity, with something that is so ubiquitous and something that we use all the time, it’s incredibly important to know something that is so part of our lives,” said Professor Soto.

The Port Huron Museum at the Carnegie Center is located at 1115 Sixth Street, Port Huron, Michigan and is open Wednesday-Sunday 11 a.m.-4 p.m. With a student I.D., admission is $5 and includes not only the “Byte by Byte” exhibit, but all levels of the Port Huron Museum.

For more information visit http://Phmuseum.org.

Nicholas Wedyke

Managing Editor