Date: Sun, 30 Oct 2022 21:50:42 -0700
From: Sellam Abraham via cctalk <cctalk(a)classiccmp.org>
I'm hoping Rich Alderson will pipe in and give us
the actual story as to
what's going on with the LCM and its collection, but there's a possibility
that he may be legally constricted from giving comment at this time.
Date: Mon, 31 Oct 2022 15:31:43 +0800
From: Tom Hunter via cctalk <cctalk(a)classiccmp.org>
The Internet is wonderful for misinformation and a
Here even Paul Allen's sister Jody can morph into Paul's wife. :-)
Yeah, I was going to correct that ;-)
Rich Alderson please provide the LCM facts if you can
to stop the silly
First, let me thank Sellam and Tom for inviting me to comment on this topic.
LCM+L closed its doors to the public in March 2020, at the height of the
initial pandemic (in the sense that it had become clear that the Covid-19 virus
was not a passing thing), because our entire mission was to make possible
actual physical contact between visitors to the museum and vintage computing
engines of various stripe. There was no way to allow visitors to continue to
touch all the hardware which would protect both visitors and the equipment.
Tour guides and front desk personnel were immediately let go, because it was
clear that it would be several months, up to a year, before we could open
again. Professional museum staff (curator, educational coordinator, etc.) were
retained for a short while, to wind things down. The engineers were put to
work winding things down: Creating power-down-bring-up documentation, backing
up software on those systems for which that was necessary, and generally making
it possible to close up shop with an eye to opening again in a year (the target
This project was the response to the original order simply to turn everything
off. We pointed out vociferously how much damage that would do to the
dinosaurs, reminding the nontechnical powers-that-be of just how long it had
taken to make most of the vintage hardware work again, and that they could plan
on a month of restoration per month of down time, before the museum could be
reopened after the decision was made to do so.
All of the engineers, which the exception of the manager of the department,
were laid off as of 1 July 2020. None of us was allowed to return to the
museum at any future time, and no one associated with the mothballed museum was
allowed to talk to any of us.
All of that is by way of saying that I have no information on the internal
state of the collection, or of the museum which we built on it.
As for the status of the collection: While we built the museum, there was a
private foundation set up which acquired items for the collection, generally by
purchase. After 5 years of successful operations, with year over year
increases in visitor counts, ongoing relationships with several school
districts for instructional field trips, and worldwide acclaim, the decision
was to taken to move to a 501(c)(3) public charity. This transition was under
way when Paul died suddenly; that placed things into limbo because the
transition was incomplete, and the estate could not do things that he could
have done in person.
That's as much as I know.