In Seattle? Love Computers? Visit the Living Computer Museum!
Do you like technology? Are you in Seattle or are you planning a trip to Seattle? Do yourself a favor and add The Living Computer Museum to your itinerary. The Museum which is located on 2245 1st Ave S just opened to the public in October of 2012 and it already has a lot to offer everyone from the hardcore tech fans to the more casual computer enthusiast.
I arrived a little before 11 am, paid my super reasonable 5 dollar admittance fee, and headed to the second floor where the collection is housed. As soon as I stepped off the elevator, a tour was starting and I hopped aboard. The tour schedule starts every 15 minutes and they are very casual about hopping on and off the tour. This museum is about experiencing the technology and they fully encourage you to do so. I wanted to jump from computer to computer, but I thought it would be a good idea to listen to the tour. I am glad I did.
The tour guide was informative but kept things moving along. He also set the tone for the museum, inviting us to touch and look around as he moved from station to station. One of the highlights was the loud and air-conditioned mainframe room. I loved the sound, the temperature, and even the smell. It reminds me of when I was a kid and my father took me on a tour of the buildings at Bell Telephones and he showed me computers that wowed me just as much as the ones here did. Although here they let me touch stuff, the stuff at Bell was strictly hands-off.
Moving out back to the main room, I briefly fell away from the group when we got to the personal computers of my youth, all of which were loaded with games! Kings Quest, Donkey Kong, Load Runner…all my good friends playable on all the wonderfully well-maintained machines. I calmed myself down enough to rejoin the group. Especially, since I knew that I had as much time as I needed. That is exactly what I did, after playing around on the Apple Lisa, futzing around with Microsoft Bob, and marveling at the Xerox Alto.
The tour was only about a half-hour and I spent another hour and a half on the other machines before I had to leave, but I could have easily stayed the rest of the day and I will go back, hopefully soon. On the way out I made myself a little souvenir (which you can see below) and picked up an awesome-looking t-shirt for just 6 dollars in the small gift shop. It was an amazing place to visit and one I think both locals and anyone coming to Seattle needs to experience.
As I mentioned above, the Museum is located at 2245 1st Ave S, which is not too far from the stadium and ballpark in the SoDo area of Seattle. Parking there is both ample and free (I saw some good-looking places to eat nearby that I will need to check out during the next visit). The LCM is open from 10 am – 5 pm on Thursdays – Sundays. For more information visit their website. There you can find directions, information about their mission and much more.