NOTE: The NEW Computer Museum is now the New Media Museum — check it out!
This page is here for archival purposes.
Why did you make a virtual computer museum?
Over the years from when the newest iteration of the New Computer Museum began, it became increasingly clear that Mary Hopper’s vision of what it might become was something different than existed elsewhere. Numerous people suggested that she put her skills in building 3D/virtual environments to work illustrating her vision. She finally decided to do this while also creating an application that would be useful for teaching about computer history, too.
Is it finished?
No. The version that is currently posted is less than half finished. There is another version that is almost complete, and it will be published sometime before the end of 2015. The pages in the guide currently reflect some of the more complete version, but they are also not complete at the present time. An announcement will be posted on this site and broadcast through the Meetup when the guide is complete and the new version has been posted.
What platforms does the app work on?
The file you can download is a 50 MB zip file of a standard Unity 3D stand alone .exe for PC. There may be a WebGL or Apple compatible version someday, but not any time very soon.
Some of the interactive web sites you link to don’t work. Are they broken?
They are probably not broken, but there may be issues with browser compatibility. Firefox was the primary browser used to develop and test the pages. No specific problems were encountered during testing, but a few activities explicitly state they were made for Chrome. If you experience problems getting activities to work, try switching browsers.
Can I give a copy of the 3D file to a friend or redistribute it through other sites.
No. Please do not do that. There are a number of reasons. First, the 3D version is copyrighted. The cost is free, but it is not licensed as “free” software. Second, and more importantly, it is quite probable that there are errors that will need to be fixed from time to time, and the only way to be sure you have the best, most up to date and error free version is to be sure to get it by using the link from this site.
Are you accepting donations of computers?
No, we are not expanding the collection right now. If you have an old computer or interesting piece of computing history, check out the page about donations before contacting us.
Where can I find out more?
You can find out a lot more about the project by reviewing the History page. If you still have questions, feel free to post a comment or contact Mary Hopper directly through the Meetup.