[SIGCIS-Members] Networking artifacts

Ceruzzi, Paul CeruzziP at si.edu
Wed Aug 12 17:06:28 PDT 2015

Here was my take on it a while ago.

Paul Ceruzzi

From: Members [members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org] on behalf of Michael McGovern [mcgovern.mikey at gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 12, 2015 7:21 PM
To: members at sigcis.org
Subject: [SIGCIS-Members] Networking artifacts

Hello all,

I'm working on a computer history micro-exhibit, and we are having some trouble picking good artifacts. Maybe some museum-minded people on this list or collectors might be able to advise.

At this point, my team has divided our artifacts into a few sections: memory, storage, processors, and networks. The first three are pretty much finished or already exist but need slight tweaking. For networks, however, I'm on our 5th or 6th big re-concepting and keep running into the same problem: a lack of good objects to tell a story.

The idea is to explain the basic structure of the internet and how computers sending information differs from a phone connection. However, while most of the other sections show change over time through objects (ex. the processors section shows an IBM 704 tube rack, IBM Standard Modular System chips, a TI integrated circuit, and an Intel 486 processor), networking artifacts don't furnish much physical proof for a basic concept in the same way.

We currently have some old modems and have decided that those are pretty uninteresting. The artifact we are happy about is an IBM network controller. We have thrown around ideas like showing different kinds of cables but it felt too much like a hardware store display.

If anyone has worked on something similar, or has seen something inspirational (the Science Museum's awesome Information Age exhibit comes to mind), I would appreciate some guidance!

Mikey McGovern<https://cambridge.academia.edu/MikeyMcGovern>

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