Secondary Navigation

Retrocomputer Lab Exhibits at UI Tech Forum

Retrocomputing Lab display table and PDP-8 at UI Tech Forum 2019

The Retrocomputer Lab aims to educate, therefore when the organizers of the University of Iowa Tech Forum asked if we had anything worth exhibiting, we volunteered material from the lab. Later, as it turned out, we were asked to vacate the lab location in the old Communications Center (the former home of the School of Journalism), so we ended up coordinating the move out of the old space into new Jessup Hall location with the Tech Forum.

The exhibit took place in the IMU main lounge. It included the PDP-8 originally delivered to the University of Iowa Psychology Department in late 1965, along with one of the Teletype terminals the Psychology department used with that computer. The computer and its terminal were turned on during the meeting, except when the noise would be disruptive. The computer is not fully operational, so it was on just to light up the console lights, but we had the Teletype in local mode so people could punch ASCII codes into paper tape.

The display also included a Singer/Friden Flexowriter, an ADM-5A "dumb terminal", an Apple Mac SE, punched cards, disk packs, 9-track tapes and 8-inch floppy disks.

The exhibit attracted a significant audience, and a number of people left with chunks of punched paper tape as souvenirs. After the event, the equipment was moved to the new Retrocomputer Lab location in the basement of Jessup Hall.

[Text courtesy of Prof. Doug Jones]