Today I went to the University Library and also to the Medical School to pick up artefacts which (tragically) were otherwise destined for the WEEE Collection.
A true pioneer
First, our valued colleague in NUIT, Paul Kobasa, had lined up three “Visualisers” for us to pick up from the Library. For the first time in my career as a Museum Volunteer, I had to refuse an item! We really are running out of space, and so we put the two best examples in my car, and shamefacedly turned away from the third. They are not computers, BUT: they are valuable examples of old educational technology, which will never be seen again.These were used in the Library to assist visually disabled readers, and date from the mid-80s.
The other item that Paul had for us is an OSBORNE 1 PORTABLE COMPUTER! This was the very first (1981) “portable” (c.11Kg) computer. It’s a really valuable (to us) artefact, and what’s more it has come with a large number of disks, manuals, and even the order papers and invoice!
Tiger, tiger …
Secondly today, I went to see another valued NUIT colleague, Steve Bradwel, in Digital Media Services. He had said he had a superannuated Apple Mac G5 that we could have if we wanted it. “Oh yes”, had been my reply at the time of the call .. not knowing what it actually is (even though I’m an inveterate Apple user).
I didn’t reallise what was waiting for me. Such is its sleek, flawless beauty, combined with evident immense power … it was like taking a walk to the compost heap at the bottom of the garden and finding a Bengal tiger lying there, calmly regarding you. Or something. You have to see this thing in its solid, aluminium flesh, to feel its beauty. [Of course, these days it’s just a weak, old pussycat, even though it’s kept its looks.]