Computer museum

[This piece was submitted in response to comments in this thread - Ed]

Te Jackle: Okay, I will bite but it is pretty hard to respond to such rhetoric and pre-made up conclusions. At this stage I consider the most realistic option is to find private funding. Computer museums around the world haved struggled to get any public funding as till now I think the need and importance of preserving a country's technological and computing history has not been understood. I also believe we need an alternative to the school curriculum for educating about technology.

Now, I emailed Mr Dotcom with a proposal describing what the museum is about and an offer to collaborate in such a project. Yes, reading between the lines that also means assistance in funding, but I asked him because 1) he's a computer person (in a sense I don't have room to describe here) 2) is of the same age demographic and will remember and may well be quite interested in such an idea, and most importantly 3) one of the main strands and purpose of the museum in educating about the social issues of technology (this didn't appear in the article) aligns with his understanding and crusade. He may well not be interested in the idea, and we fight our battles in different ways, but I can't know unless I ask.

Hobby? Thanks for belittling what I am trying to do. I consider it a responsibility and something that, in an age/society/economy based and dependent upon technology, needs to be done, and supported or carried out from a national level. There is a good community of knowledgeable vintage computer enthusiasts in NZ who are all doing their part in preserving these artifacts and valuable stories that needs to be shared but I believe something of public importance shouldn't be left only to private individuals.

NZ is behind the game now in doing this at a national level compared with other countries, yet which country, or even city, isn't pinning their future economic success on being first and leading in IT? Have you read Dunedin's Digital or Economic Strategy? Why shouldn't we also try understand the cultural history and significance or the 'whys' of using technology as well? I fear for the future generations if we are just content being consumers of technology.

Unusable junk? I'm not sure you could ever understand that they are not junk and they are not unusable but it is this point exactly that the museum will illustrate.

It is unfortunate you focus on the part of the article, which is least important, that mentions my own costs/opportunity costs. This is all by the by as they are insignificant in relation to the costs and scale of a proper museum. Do you have any idea of this? I have a concept that isn't just about displaying a collection of vintage computers. I am offering an opportunity to preserve NZ's unique history, provide a retro experience, educate about issues of technology in society, present classes/workshops for educational learning for children, develop an international tourist attraction, and more, using a vintage computer/technology metaphor.

It is unfortunate an article like this can only say so much and likewise these comments.