Living Computers: Museum + Labs

  (Redirected from Living Computer Museum)

Living Computers: Museum + Labs (LCM+L) is a computer and technology museum located in the SoDo neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. LCM+L showcases vintage computers which provide interactive sessions, either through time-sharing operating systems or single-user interfaces. This gives users a chance to actually use the computers on-line or in person in the museum. An expansion adds direct touch experiences with contemporary technologies such as self-driving cars, the internet of things, big data, and robotics. This puts today's computer technology in the context of how it's being used to tackle real-world issues. LCM+L also hosts a wide range of educational programs and events in their state-of-the art classroom and lab spaces.

Living Computers: Museum + Labs
LCM+L Logo
LCM+L Exterior1.jpg
Exterior of the Museum
Established25 October 2012 (2012-10-25)
Location2245 1st Ave S
Seattle, Washington
Coordinates47°34′57″N 122°20′05″W / 47.582487°N 122.334708°W / 47.582487; -122.334708Coordinates: 47°34′57″N 122°20′05″W / 47.582487°N 122.334708°W / 47.582487; -122.334708
TypeComputer museum
Key holdingsPDP-10, IBM Mainframes, Apple 1, PLATO
FounderPaul Allen
CuratorAaron Alcorn
Public transit access21, 594, 132, 106, 50, 102, 590, and 116 Bus Routes and the Link Light Rail
Nearest car parkOnsite and Street Parking

According to an archived version of LCM's website, their goal is "to breathe life back into our machines so the public can experience what it was like to see them, hear them, and interact with them. We make our systems accessible by allowing people to come and interact with them, and by making them available over the Internet."[1]

The current site similarly shares that "Living Computers: Museum + Labs provides a one-of-a-kind, hands-on experience with computer technology from the 1960s to the present. LCM+L honors the history of computing with the world’s largest collection of fully restored—and usable—supercomputers, mainframes, minicomputers and microcomputers." [2]

As of August 2020 the museum is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[3]


Harry Garland and Paul Allen at an event honoring computer pioneers at the museum in April 2013

LCM+L (originally known as Living Computer Museum, and before that, was founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, on January 9, 2006. Through PDPplanet, users were able to telnet into vintage devices and experience timesharing computing on equipment from Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) and XKL.[4]

Users around the world can request a login through the LCM+L website and telnet into systems from XKL, DEC, IBM, Xerox Sigma, AT&T, and CDC.[5]

Living Computer Museum opened to the public on October 25, 2012 and guests can now visit in person to interact with the collection of mainframes, minicomputers, microcomputers and peripherals the museum has on display.[6] Various and changing exhibits in the museum show how much computers and technology have changed over the last 50 years and are changing still.[7]

In 2013, Seattle Weekly voted the museum the "Best Geeky Museum" because it highlights "an essential part of Seattle binary history- the founding of Microsoft and its role in establishing Seattle as a tech-driven industry".[8]

On November 18, 2016 the institution changed its name to Living Computers: Museum + Labs to reflect its enlarged goals of igniting curiosity through direct touch experiences with contemporary technologies as well as vintage computers.[citation needed]

Collections and exhibitsEdit

The collection consists of publicly donated items and Paul Allen's personal collection. The working computers on display include one supercomputer, seven mainframes, 10 minicomputers, and over three dozen microcomputers.[6]

Various artifacts from the museum have been borrowed and featured in TV shows such as Mad Men[9] and Halt and Catch Fire.[10]

A roughly 180° panorama of the "conditioned" room at the Living Computer Museum containing mainframes and large minicomputers.


Manufacturer Model Type Year Introduced Available for public use Telnet access[11]
Amazon Kindle 1[citation needed] hand-held 2007 Yes No
Amiga 500[citation needed] microcomputer 1987 Yes No
Apple Apple 1[citation needed] microcomputer 1976 Yes No
Apple II[12] microcomputer 1977 Yes No
Apple IIe[12] microcomputer 1983 Yes No
Apple III[citation needed] microcomputer 1980 Yes No
Apple Lisa 2[12] microcomputer 1984 Yes No
Apple iMac G3[citation needed] microcomputer 1998 Yes[citation needed] No
Apple Macintosh SE[12] microcomputer 1987 Yes No
Apple Power Mac G4[citation needed] microcomputer 1999 Yes No
AT&T DMD 5620 / 3B2[citation needed] minicomputer 1983 Yes Yes
Atari 2600[citation needed] video game console 1977 Yes No
Atari 400[12] microcomputer 1979 Yes No
Atari 1040 ST[12] microcomputer 1985 Yes No
Columbia Data Products MPC 1600[citation needed] microcomputer 1982 Yes No
Commodore PET[12] microcomputer 1977 Yes No
Commodore 64[12] microcomputer 1982 Yes No
Compaq DeskPro 386S[12] microcomputer 1989 Yes No
Compaq Portable[12] microcomputer 1983 Yes No
Control Data CDC 6500[12] supercomputer 1967 No Yes
Control Data DD60 monitor operator console 1964 No No
Control Data 405 card reader peripheral 1964 No No
Control Data CDC 679-6 magnetic tape transport peripheral 1964 No No
Cray Cray-1[13] mainframe 1975 No No
Cromemco Z-2D[12] microcomputer 1978 Yes No
Data General Nova[12] minicomputer 1969 Yes No
DEC PDP-7[12] minicomputer 1964 No No
DEC PDP-8/E[12] minicomputer 1970 Yes No
DEC PDP-10 KA10 (DECsystem-10)[12] mainframe 1971 No No
DEC PDP-10 KI10 (DECsystem-10)[12] mainframe 1971 No No[citation needed]
DEC PDP-10 KL10 (DECSYSTEM-2065)[12] mainframe 1974 Yes Yes
DEC PDP-10 KL10 (DECSYSTEM-1095)[12] mainframe 1974 Yes Yes
DEC PDP-10 KS10 (DECSYSTEM-2020)[12] minicomputer 1979 Yes Yes[citation needed]
DEC PDP-11/70[12] minicomputer 1975 Yes Yes
DEC PDP-12[12] minicomputer 1969 No No
DEC VAX-11/780-5[12] minicomputer 1982 Yes Yes
DEC VT131[citation needed] terminal 1981 Yes[citation needed] No
Dell Dimension XPS B733[12] microcomputer 1999 Yes No
E.S.R. Digi-Comp II reproduction[citation needed] toy computer 1965 (original patent); 2012 (reproduction) Yes No
Honeywell 6180 DPS-8/M maintenance panel and Multics emulator[12] peripheral; emulation of mainframe 1973 (mainframe) No No
IBM System/360 Model 30 mainframe mainframe 1964 No No
IBM System/360 Model 91 front panel[citation needed] peripheral 1966 No No
IBM 029 card punch[citation needed] peripheral 1964 Yes[citation needed] No
IBM 4361[12][failed verification] mainframe 1983 Yes Yes
IBM Personal Computer 5150[12] microcomputer 1981 Yes No
IBM PCjr.[12] microcomputer 1984 Yes No
IBM PC/AT[12] microcomputer 1984 Yes No
IMLAC Corporation PDS-1 "sImlac" emulator[12] emulation of minicomputer 1970s (minicomputer); 2017 (emulator) Yes No
IMSAI 8080[12] microcomputer 1975 Yes No
Interdata 7/32[12] minicomputer 1974 Yes Yes[citation needed]
MITS Altair 8800[12] microcomputer 1975 Yes No
Microsoft PixelSense[12] microcomputer 2007 Yes No
NeXT NeXTcube[citation needed] microcomputer 1990 Yes No
Nintendo NES-101[citation needed] video game console 1993 Yes No
Osborne Executive[12] microcomputer 1982 Yes No
PLATO Terminal V[citation needed] microcomputer 1976 Yes No
Processor Technology Sol-20[12] microcomputer 1976 Yes No
Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 4[12] microcomputer 1983 Yes No
Sun Microsystems 3/160[12] microcomputer 1986 Yes No
Tandy 1000[12] microcomputer 1984 Yes No
Tandy Color Computer 3[citation needed] microcomputer 1986 Yes No
Teletype Model 33[citation needed] terminal 1963 No No
Teletype Model 35[citation needed] terminal 1963 No No
Teletype Model 37[citation needed] terminal 1968 No No
Texas Instruments Speak & Spell Compact[citation needed] hand-held 1982 Yes No
Texas Instruments TI-99/4A[citation needed] microcomputer 1981 Yes No
Xerox Sigma 9[12] mainframe 1971 Yes Yes
Xerox Alto[12] minicomputer 1973 Yes No
Xerox Alto "ContrAlto" simulator[12] emulation of minicomputer 1973 (minicomputer); 2016 (emulator) Yes No
XKL TOAD-1[12] mainframe 1995 Yes No
XKL TOAD-2[12] mainframe 2005 Yes Yes


  1. ^ "What is Living Computer Museum?". Archived from the original on 2016-10-24. Retrieved October 24, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "About Living Computers: Museum + Labs". Archived from the original on December 30, 2018. Retrieved July 4, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "LIVING COMPUTERS: MUSEUM + LABS IS CLOSING FOR NOW". Retrieved 10 July 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Paul G. Allen Launches Web Site Dedicated to Early Computers; Site Celebrates Historic Mainframes and Minicomputers | Business Wire". Retrieved 4 July 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Application for a Guest Account on the Living Computers: Museum + Labs". Archived from the original on 30 November 2018. Retrieved 4 July 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ a b "Home - Living Computer Museum". Retrieved 4 July 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Seattle's Living Computer Museum tempts tech tourists". USA Today. Retrieved 17 August 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "Best Geeky Museum: Living Computer Museum". Retrieved 17 August 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "Fashion and Style: Episode 704: Mad Men: The Monolith". AMC.
  10. ^ "Welcome To 1986: Inside "Halt And Catch Fire's" High-Tech Time Machine". 27 August 2016.
  11. ^ "Request a login". Retrieved October 31, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar "Vintage Computers". Retrieved December 26, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ Michael J. Miller (August 17, 2017), "Visiting the Living Computers Museum", PC Magazine

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit