Making Computers Boring: Some Thoughts on Historical Exhibition of Computing Technology from the Mass-Market Era

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Computer history displays in museum galleries and exhibitions traditionally focus on iconic machines and progressive lineages of hardware production. This approach has been widely criticized as unrepresentative of computing’s wider context but is, in any case, becoming increasingly awkward as historical attention turns to the era of small, cheap, undistinguished personal computers and standardized networking. This article presents a range of more user-focused display approaches for consideration. In particular, I address the value and practicalities of period “set dressing” for hardware and hands-on interaction with software and call for greater hybridization between approaches devised for static galleries and for mobile displays.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-53
Number of pages24
JournalInformation & Culture
Volume51
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 24 Jan 2016