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2015/08/17 Seattle Museum of Communication and Living Computer Museum
π 2015-08-17 00:00 in Public, Trips
As soon as we landed in Seattle, we went directly to the Museum of Communication, which is only open a mere 5 hours per week (10:00 to 15:00 on sundays). Yes, it's not easy to get to, but it's well worth it: it's an old telco facility that was turned into a nonprofit museum where volunteers who used to work there, give you tours and explain the old technology that used to run our phone systems.

The mechanical switches and relays that route a phone call digit by digit were quite impressive to see, including manual switchboards where an operator would patch in your call with a physical banana plug. Here's a quick video summary:

Our great personal tour guide:





they used microwave links for point to point connections to other COs
they used microwave links for point to point connections to other COs





an old AT&T video phone that worked over phone lines (with a slow bad picture due to line limitations)
an old AT&T video phone that worked over phone lines (with a slow bad picture due to line limitations)








check out the thousand+ amp switch with heavy copper
check out the thousand+ amp switch with heavy copper


later semi electronic phone switches used boards like these, but they are impossible to fix or replace
later semi electronic phone switches used boards like these, but they are impossible to fix or replace

it's fun to hand connect a thousand+ phone lines by hand in a conduit
it's fun to hand connect a thousand+ phone lines by hand in a conduit

before
before


after
after

Next, we went to the living computer museum, which also was quite good and gets credit for having many computers online you can interact with:





a 68k based Sun3, sweet (although it was slow)
a 68k based Sun3, sweet (although it was slow)







the CDC 6600 was the first supercomputer before the Cray1
the CDC 6600 was the first supercomputer before the Cray1




we had a Amstrad PC1512 at home
we had a Amstrad PC1512 at home

and an Amstrad CPC-464 too
and an Amstrad CPC-464 too

we also had an Atari STF and later STE
we also had an Atari STF and later STE

Dongeon Master, I remember spending so many hours with this game
Dongeon Master, I remember spending so many hours with this game

Both museums were quite interesting and worth the visit.


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