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The Living Computers Museum, created by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, is offically closed

living computer museum

In October 2012, the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who passed away in 2018, helped to launch the Living Computers Museum + Labs in Seattle, Washington. It was made to collect and exhibit computers, from the PC to the huge supercomputers, that have been made over the decades. Today, it was announced that the museum is officially closing its doors for good.

The museum had actually shut down more than four years ago in 2020 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. However, GeekWire reports today that it has confirmed with Allen's estate that it will not reopen.

While the museum's website is now shut down, a check on its URL via the Wayback Machine site offers info on Paul Allen's goals for his non-profit organization:

Vintage technology exhibits honor the history of computing with the world’s largest collection of fully restored—and usable—supercomputers, mainframes, minicomputers and microcomputers.

Modern technology exhibits offer direct experiences with robotics, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, big data, the Internet of Things, video-game making, and digital art.

The Labs provide learners with hands-on workshops that develop computer science skills, and are aligned with state and national standards.

Our archives and computer restoration efforts insure that important developments in the history of computing are preserved, and usable, for future generations.

GeekWire reports that even after the museum closed in 2020, two full-time employees kept many computers in its exhibits running.

With today's announcement, Paul Allen's estate has also announced plans to auction off a number of the rare computers that were exhibited in the museum and owned by Allen. The famed Christie's auction house will be in charge of those auctions.

“Firsts: The History of Computing" will feature, among other devices, the 1971 DEC PDP-10: KI-10 computer. It's the first computer that Allen and Microsoft's other co-founder Bill Gates used long before they first founded the company. Other computing devices from Allen's collection that will be included in the auction will be revealed in the coming months.

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