Towards a Museum of Zeroes and Ones


We could make a case for computers being a special class of object in museological, or in any terms, based on the fact that computers are universal machines, unlike any other, therefore they can function in a huge number of ways and did so from their inception. A history of their use is not the same as a history of the computer itself. The history of the concept of the universal machine/computer from Boole to Babbage to Leibnitz to Russell to Turing and Von Neuman, is not the same as the history of the electronics behind the computer, from Tommy Flowers, to Freddie Williams, to Tom Kilburn, to Mauchly and Eckert, to Wilkes, to Zuse. The interaction of these pioneers with institutions both academic and corporate enfolds a whole other story, from The University of Manchester, to NPL, to Cambridge, to the Moore School Philadelphia, to IBM, to Ferranti to ICL. You get the idea. It is all really rather complicated but plainly cuts to the basis of our contemporary culture.


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