Sunday, March 10, 2013

Maryland museum shows how IT used to be a few decades ago


The Frostburg Museum, near the state university in Frostburg, Maryland (on the Allegheny “altiplano”), has some wonderful knickknacks, including a huge collection of items that show information technology as it was in past years.  The museum is open only Thurs-Sat from 12-4 when volunteers work there, and takes donations at the door. 

The exhibits include older PC’s, various typewriters, cash registers, card readers and sorters and EAM equipment, printing typeset and presses, as well as microfilm readers and various telephones.

Back in the early 1970s, when I worked at NBC in NYC, it had run much of its general ledger operation on EAM equipment.  RCA Spectra COBOL was an advance.
  
There are plenty of exhibits showing “real jobs”, even like underground coal mining. Do the rest of us owe karma to those who do dirty jobs for us?  Chairman Mao thought so.
  
There were even some bizarre board games, including fantasy “carom” baseball.  I don’t see how it works. 

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