Re: Lisa tech preservation, Alice

From: Marcin Wichary <mwichary_at_email.domain.hidden>
Date: Sat, 27 Aug 2005 13:59:24 +0200

I think Toby has a great point there. Some of the museums are much less responsible for their collections than most of private aficionados -- I mean, even for a museum curator, how could a 25-year- old computer compare to other artifacts that survived centuries?

It's not only museums. Back when I lived in Poland, I talked to my local university library and begged to give me a call, or send me an email if they ever going to throw away any of the old computer magazines they had. I would take care of them all, gladly arrange a pickup, hell, I would have even *paid* them for the trouble. I emphasized this many times back when I was visiting them regularly, but guess what... Last year I learned that they just send most of them to be destroyed. And these are the people who should in theory know the value of these things. :/

As an alternative to official museums, one can also consider donating their computers or artifacts to "homebrew" museums. I have a great history of collaborating with Bruce Damer of California's DigiBarn ( -- he is very enthusiastic about computers and shares a lot of his materials online. Recently he acquired a Lisa 1 and the same day the photos were on the site!

A German Home Computer Museum ( also looks great, although I don't know the person running it. And I don't think it's open for visitors.

As a side note, since I'm talking about museums, the Arts et Métiers museum in Paris has a Lisa 2 on their display. There's not that much information about it, but I wonder if any other museums have Lisa in their collections?

And if you want to read a great story of computing history and museums which still care, pick up Doron Swade's "The Difference Engine," a book about the first computer and efforts to recreate it in London's Science Museum.

Marcin Wichary >> mwichary_at_email.domain.hidden
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Received on 2005-08-27 05:11:48

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