IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 17 Number 2 -- Happenings
Original Publication Date: 1995-Jun-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-07
Software Patent Institute
GEOFFREY BOWKER: AUTHOR [+2]
The Happenings department reports on past, present, and future events of interest to the history of computing. These events include conferences, appropriate sessions from meetings, exhibits, projects, awards, publications, collections, genera/ memorabilia, and important dates in the history of computing. Contributions to the department are encouraged and should consist of a description or report of the event, highlighting its specific relevance.
THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.
Copyright ©; 1995 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
GEOFFREY BOWKER, EDITOR
The Happenings department reports on past, present, and future events of interest to the history of computing. These events include conferences, appropriate sessions from meetings, exhibits, projects, awards, publications, collections, genera/ memorabilia, and important dates in the history of computing.
Contributions to the department are encouraged and should consist of a description or report of the event, highlighting its specific relevance.
Historical Electronics Museum
The Historical Electronics Museum, near the Baltimore-Washington International Airport, introduces visitors to the impact of computers on the sensor and navigation systems important to the modern world, especially during and after World War II.
Today, the Historical Electronics Museum is the only museum dedicated solely to preserving electronics history, displaying not only giant radar systems and satellites but also extremely tiny integrated circuits and chips, the heart of modern computers. This evolution from vacuum tubes to chips has taken place over a remarkably short span of time. The University of Pennsylvania in 1996 is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the vacuum-tube-operated ENIAC. Modern chips take the place of millions of vacuum tubes and are much more reliable, leading to miniaturization of computers and other electronic devices.
Although the museum displays a large variety of systems such as fire control radars and navigation systems that include computers, we try to address the need among our younger visitors to know how computers work. The focus of a new exhibit in development at the Historical Electronics Museum is to provide the basics of how computers work to elementary school students, who are beginning to work with computer programs more and more. This exhibit will explain, in simple terms, the operation and history of such familiar devices as the television, fax machine, and radio -- as well as the computer. This will lead to a greater understanding and interest in such technologies.
Among the collection of electronic artifacts are the SCR-270 antenna and associated hardware, including the 'scope, the type of radar that, in Oahu, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941, detected the Japanese planes approaching Pearl Harbor. This event impressed on the US government the importance of radar in defending the country. Our SCR-270 antenna is the only one known to exist and was transported from the University of Saskatchewan and restored by museum volunteers in time for operation on December 7,1991, the 50th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.
In addition, the museum also displays one of the two remaining lunar television cameras like the one that took the first pictures of man's walk on the moon. At the time, the smallest cameras available...