Vintage Computing

Earliest Computers Exhibit
Earliest Computers Exhibit, New Media Museum made with Unity 3D

The New Media Museum maintains an extensive collection of fully functional microcomputer hardware and software. The first goal of this activity is to simply help educate the public about the history and importance of the microcomputer revolution. The second and far more important goal is to make the nearly exhaustive collection available to the general public for use in teaching about computer history as well as for retrieving digital history for both individuals and organizations.

Microprocessor Evolution
Microprocessor Evolution Poster for display in New Media Museum


Of course, the New Media Museum collection includes all generations of desktop and laptop PCs from a variety of companies along with the original software that came with them (IBM, Compaq, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Sony etc.).

One of the first things a visitor encounters in this exhibit is a PC running the CD that came with the How Computers Work: Millennium Edition. Both editions of the book are also at the exhibit for browsing.
Book-How-Mil  Book-How-10th


The New Media Museum’s collection includes numerous Apple II computers along with the original system software (Apple II, II Plus, IIe, IIc, IIGS). There is also a robust collection of Macs with original software (SE, LC, LC III, PowerBook 180, PowerBook 3400C, and iBook G4). There’s also iPod and iPad.

Rocky’s Boots

Rocky’s Boots is an educational logic puzzle game by Warren Robinett and Leslie Grimm, published by The Learning Company in 1982. It was released for the Apple II, the CoCo, the Commodore 64 the IBM PC and the IBM PCjr. It was followed by a more difficult sequel, Robot Odyssey. It won Software of the Year awards from Learning Magazine (1983), Parent’s Choice magazine (1983), and Infoworld magazine (1982, runner-up), and received the Gold Award (for selling 100,000 copies) from the Software Publishers Association. It was one of the first educational software products for personal computers to successfully use an interactive graphical simulation as a learning environment. — Wikipedia

This exhibit includes an Apple IIe running Rocky’s Boots.


VisiCalc (for “visible calculator”) was the first spreadsheet for personal computers, originally released for the Apple II by VisiCorp. It is often considered the application that turned the microcomputer from a hobby for computer enthusiasts into a serious business tool, prompting IBM to introduce the IBM PC two years later. VisiCalc is considered the Apple II’s killer app. It sold over 700,000 copies in six years, and as many as 1 million copies over its history. — Wikipedia

The exhibit includes a VisiCalc poster and an Apple II running VisiCalc.

VisiCalc poster for display in New Media Museum
VisiCalc poster for display in New Media Museum

The collection also includes this suite of software from VisiCorp.
Related sites
VisiCalc (1979) (Software Arts)
VisiCalc Executable for IBM PC. Daniel Bricklin’s Web Site)

Apple II Emulator
Here is a wonderful Apple II emulator.
Apple II js – An Apple 2 Emulator in JavaScript

TI Apple Sprite Logo
In addition to the family of Apple computers, the New Media Museum has a number of rare TI-99 Sprite boards and the software need to run TI-99 Apple Sprite Logo.
Apple with TI-99 Sprite Board
Here is a video of a child using one of the New Computer Museum’s Apple IIe with the Apple Sprite Logo System installed.


The Texas Instruments TI-99/4A was a neat little computer that was never really given a chance. It came out somewhere around the same time as the Commodore VIC-20. It originally cost quite a bit, but the price soon fell to the level of competing 8-bits. Most of its software ran from cartridges, called Command Modules. It was the first small personal computer to have a 16-bit processor. It also had a radical silver and black case. And, for awhile, also included a Speech Synth module that sounded remarkably good. — T. Carlson, Obsolete Computer Museum

Robert Lawler has loaned a number of key Logo related systems to the New Media Museum, and a functioning TI-99/4A with expansion module is among them. In this picture he is proudly showing off the system running TI Logo.


There is also other TI-99 software in the collection.

Related sites
TI-99 (Obsolete Computer Museum)
The TI-99/4A Home Computer Page

Other Systems

The Vintage Computing collection also includes a standard set of other systems (Radio Shack TRS-80, Tandy, Commodore/Amiga, Toshiba etc.).


The New Media Museum has a very extensive collection of standard software.


The New Media Museum has an extensive library of books related to the personal computers.