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Living Computers: Museum + Labs permanently closing, auctioning off part of its collection

Living Computers: Museum + Labs, which housed a vast collection of vintage computers and internet tech, is permanently closing its doors in the SoDo neighborhood. Some of its items will head to auction soon.

A big hunk of blue and black metal with buttons and dials and lights and diddly doo dads. Honestly how is this even a computer and how did people actually learn how to use it? It looks like the controls for a space ship or something.

The KI-10 were one of four mainframe models produced by the Digital Equipment Corporation from 1966 to 1983.

Living Computers: Museum + Labs, which temporarily closed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, recently announced that it’s logging off for good.

Home to Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen’s impressive collection of vintage computers and internet technology, the museum was known for its hands-on exhibits and education labs.

Following the closure, several items are heading to auction, including a 1971 DEC PDP-10: KI-10 computer — the first Allen and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates used to hone their programming skills.

Three auctions for items from Allen’s estate are coming up soon:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 10 — live auction “Pushing Boundaries: Ingenuity”
  • Closes on Thursday, Sept. 12 — online sale “Firsts: The History of Computing”
  • Closes on Thursday, Sept. 12 — online sale “Over the Horizon: Art of the Future”

Living Computers’ remote system that can emulate vintage computer operating systems and run past programs is now owned by SDF.org.

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