|An obituary for Jean Mootz can be found here.|
|10 Nov 13||
Very sad news: Our founding member Jean Mootz (affectionately
nicknamed "Goofy") passed away after suffering a long period of
illness. He was 82 years old, and surely one of the most fascinating
professors of the LCD. Besides helping to put the Computarium on its rails,
he also was one of the greatest contributors. We will miss this
electronics and computing guru who made an imprint not only on his friends
and colleagues, but also on many students that he taught biology, chemistry
or practical electronics.
Former student and renowned scientific TV presenter Ranga Yogeshwar said in a interview aired on RTL Radio (12 Nov 2013 08:49) some very nice words on Jean Mootz. Click here to listen to the interview (subject was an upcoming TV emission on roboters). Spoken language is Luxembourgish. Audio file is copyright RTL
|04 Aug 13||Update of the virtual museum section 3 (mini- and microcomputers). Many items now have a link to an album with comments.|
|14 Jul 13||A group of LCD students made a very funny and hilarious movie "Skandal am LCD" for the festivities of handing out the official final exam diplomas. Look here, and watch a few seconds of the Computarium at 07:17 minutes.|
|04 Jul 13||
There is a new photo-book "Luxembourg Collecting" by Hans
Fellner (text) and Andrés Lejona (photos) edited by
Maison Moderne. 50 collectioners
from Luxembourg are shown, and one of them is the Computarium, represented
by Francis Massen.
Click here for a view on the title and page 40 of the book.
The book is available at the e-shop of editor Maison Moderne.
|27 Jun 13||I started a series on "Handling Vintage Media". The first chapter is on imaging and handling Atari ST diskettes on a PC. Look at the "Literature" section under "Vintage Media" or directly here.|
|20 Jun 13||Colette Heirendt and Francis Massen visited Bletchley Park (the home of WWII codebreakers) and the TNMOC (The National Museum of Computing). More here.|
|17 May 13||The Computarium participated with two workshops to the LCD Science Deeg 2013, a big organisation gathering 200+ K11 children. See exhibitions section or go directly to the album.|
|02 May 13||Colette Heirendt and Francis Massen visited the POLYtechnologie exhibition at the University of Mons (Belgium). The Computarium contributed to this exhibition by lending out several vintage calculators. Prof. Yves Quinif and his collaborators made a special guided tour for us to see this very interesting exhibition on the past achievements of scientists and engineers. See album.|
|27 Apr 13||M. Gérard Laures donated his very large collection of personal computers (56 items!) to the Computarium. Many of these items are rare gems missing in our collection, like the Acorn Electron or Thomson TO8. Look here for the full list. Many thanks for this very generous donation! An album of the Acorn Electron and an album of the Tandy TRS80-MC10 small home computers from 1983, both in excellent shape!|
|8 Mar 13||
The Polytechnical Faculty ( = faculty teaching the "ingénieur
civil" curricula) of the Belgian University of Mons organizes an exhibition
called POLYTECHnologie to remember it's 175 years of existence. The
Computarium has lent out several objects to be included in that important
exhibition which runs from the 8th March to 30th June 2013. Click on the
picture for the full flyer and
here to watch
an emission on the Mons TV covering the exhibition.
A picture (taken by Prof. Gaëtan Libert) of our TIM Mod. II calculator is here.
|Mar 13||Our member Marc Lavina organized a small workshop on slide-rules for a group of students of the mathematical section. They seemed to enjoy using the (not so old!) calculators so familiar to all scientists and engineers, but totally unknown to the younger generations. More pictures: photo1, photo2 (photograph: Marc Lavina)|
|18 Feb 13||The generosity of our AALCD association of former LCD students allowed us to acquire a very rare Sinclair ZX80 microcomputer, the first model built by Sinclair Research. It is in good working order, and comes from Spain, albeit with an US power supply (which was not difficult to replace). Our collection of Sinclair microcomputers is now complete.Click on the pictures for larger views. And here is an album!|
|01 Feb 13||The LTECG (Lycée Technique Ecole de Commerce et de Gestion) donated a vintage (and working!) EPSON PX-8 laptop from 1984. This is an interesting machine, using CP/M (the precursor of MSDOS) as operating system. All the usual software was in interchangeable ROMS: BASIC, DBASE II (Ashton-Tate), WORDSTAR and CALC (Micropro). Many thanks to M. Filipe Costa Pinto from the administrative staff. See very short album.|
|25 Jan 13||
Some very good news:
1. We are happy to have Claude Wangen joining the Computarium crew. Claude is a young mathematics and physics teacher and very knowledgeable in computing and electronics.
2. We received a vintage TI 99/A microcomputer and and very old Original Odhner M602 pinwheel calculator from Claude.
3. We also received on loan a truly extraordinary old Morse telegraph from M. Rosch. It needed some restauration work and some searching in old papers to understand the wiring, but now works fine. Look at the album.
Many thanks to all these contributors!
|13 Jan 13||I finally finished the update of the virtual museum, it took quite some time. Nearly all pictures have been reworked, and many replaced by newer ones made during the last months at the Computarium. The new iSpring converter works fine, and the resulting HTML5 pages load reasonably fast, especially in Chrome. Firefox (version 18.0) has some problems with the internal links (= links to another slide), taking either a long time to accomplish the jump, or remaining stuck with a running counter. I posted an inquiry at ISpring Solutions on this problem. The web pages now display correctly on all browsers and on tablets, which was not the case with the previous version.|
|03 Jan 13||The web pages of our virtual museum are being updated. The backbones are still PPT files which are converted into HTML. The old software Click2Convert always was shaky, and finally did not run anymore on a Win7/64bit system. So we switched to what I think is a much better converter from iSpring Solutions, and with the help of members Florence Massen and Colette Heirendt, some parts have now been updated. The quality of the photos is still not what I expect, but this problem has to wait some time for a solution. The new conversion software produces pages that look good on all browsers and also on the tablets, a feature that the old program was unable to deliver.|
|25 Oct 12||Jean-Claude Have, the director (and former adjunct-director of the LCD) of the "Nordstaat Lycée (NOSL)" of Diekirch visited with his 20up administrative crew the Computarium. C. Heirendt made an ABACUS/sliding rod calculators workshop, and F. Massen guided the tour (the group was split in two). Both were invited afterwards to a very good dinner in a nearby restaurant. Many thanks!|
Jean-Claude Krack and myself made a trip with the LCD
minibus to Eitorf, Germany (in the Bonn region) to pick up a vintage
Mercedes Addelektra booking machine from approx. 1930 auctioned at eBay. The
acquisition will be paid by the AALCD (the association of former LCD
students), a generosity that is highly appreciated.
The picture shows the machine as it appeared at eBay. It surely gathered some dust and minor ailing since that time, so cleaning and tentative repair will be quite a job. Nevertheless it is a rare piece of historic machinery!
Go to the WORKS page to read more on the repair of that machine..
|11 Oct 12||The Commission for the Programs of Informatics in the technical lycées visited the Computarium after its meeting at the LCD. The large group ( ~25 people) was handled by fractioning: we installed two workshops, one on Abacus calculations (Claude du Fays) and one on sliding rod calculators and slide-rules (Colette Heirendt). I guided the third subset through our facilities, and groups were switched over for the second round. Many thanks to Colette and Claude for helping out!|
|Our member Claude Baumann contributed an interesting Kingson sliding rod calculator with a slide-rule at the back (1960), and a TI-30 LCD pocket calculator (1982). Claude Wangen brought back from Scotland a Sinclair Spectrum in mint condition (1982), and former colleague Frank Wilhelm donated a Macintosh SE (1988) and a Performa 6200, both in excellent condition. Many thx to all!|
|13 Sep 12||Informatics professor Gaëton Libert of the "Faculté Polytechnique de l'University de Mons" (Polytech. Faculty of Mons University, Belgium) visited the Computarium in preparation of an planned exhibition next year. Polytec Mons is celebrating it's 175 years of existence with an exhibition of the technical achievements brought by engineering. A part of this exhibition will show the evolution of calculating machines, and the Computarium will lend out several older machines.|
Computarium crew member Jean Mootz had his 81th birthday
the 9th September. He is certainly the greatest contributor to the
Computarium, and at the very beginning was also a great helper. Due to his
bad health, he never had been able to see the finished Thesaurus Computarii
in the attic. Today a very small group of his friends managed to bring him
in his wheelchair to Diekirch for a small "Happy Birthday". We are
very happy that he managed the travel, and we hope that this visit will
helping to some good vibrations and cheerful memories.
The picture shows Jean Mootz holding one of his faithful Snoopies. More pictures here.and here (J-C. Krack was the photograph)
|17 Jul 12||The Computarium was visited by two important people: Jean Leyder, the director of the Administration of Public Buildings and Guy Dockendorf, former director at the Ministry of Cultural Affairs. Click here for a peek into the guestbook.|
|11 Jul 12||
Two good news:
1. RTL-TV yesterday brought the report with the interviews made the 2nd July. The link to the video is here (jump to time stamp 22:15).
2. Following the airing of this reportage, Mr. Miller from Steinsel donated a really nice mechanical stepped-drum machine from 1907, made by Ludwig Spitz in Germany. The model is TIME mod. II. Many thanks!
|02 Jul 12||The writer Hans Fellner is making a book on collectors in Luxembourg. Photographer Andres Lejona and a crew from RTL (reporter was Philippe Dondelinger) came with him to the Computarium to make a short TV report with several interviews: The photographer took a lot of pictures, but I guess only one or two will find their way into the book...|
|22 Jun 12||Will collecting computers make you rich? Read this BBC article on "Putting a price on computer nostalgia" (h/t Guy Dockendorf)|
|The LTPEM donated two very nice calculators: a Canola MP-1214 from 1972 (a printing-only machine) and a Toshiba BC-1217A desktop calculator with green VFD. Both are in mint condition. On top they donated a HP41C with a statistics module and a lot of literature. Many thanks!|
|30 May 12||
A very sad news: our member Claude Lanners passed
away today at 19:30 after a long and very courageous battle against ALS (Amyotrophic
lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease). See
Claude was an exceptional person with very broad interests and an accomplished craftsman. The picture shows Claude helping out at our 2007 participation at the Science Fair (cirque des sciences). We will badly miss his good counseling and mourn the loss of a very dear friend.
The Computarium received several new items:
Jean GEORGES donated a complete TRS80 system with computer, expansion-box, two 5.25" disk stations and a TRS80 monitor (first picture)
Our member Jean MOOTZ donated a CompuRobot II (from the mid eighties, see YouTube video here) and a Heathkit ET3400 microprocessor (6800) trainer in mint condition (second picture). I was able to run a small sample program after a couple of minutes only.
Many thanks to all!
|05 May 12||
Two good news during the last days:
1. Pol Eyschen, son of our member G. Harles and a very
frequent helper during Computarium workshops managed to receive a Silver
Medal at the Science Olympics (10th
European Science Olympiad) held in Vilnius. Pol together with his 2 team
members Philippe Cathrein and Claude Kremer are to be congratulated for this extraordinary achievement.
2. Our generous sponsor AALCD (the Amicale des Anciens du LCD = former LCD students) agreed to sponsor a bid on eBay for a truly exceptional machine: a SCRIBOLA chain-adder with printing mechanism. The auction was a bit rough, and for a day or so I thought that the bid was one EURO too low, but finally we got the machine. A real gem, only about 5000 were built in Germany (Stuttgart) from 1922 to 1930. Many thanks to the AALCD
Here is a first little album!
Some minor repair was needed, as well as re-inking a 10mm large printing ribbon (you won't find these anymore, standard is 13mm) and cutting standard paper rolls to the smaller width.
|The 2012 edition of the LCD Science Deeg is over; it was a big success with over 200 children from primary schools (K11) participating. See exhibitions page for more.|
|23 Apr 12||
We are busy preparing the 2012 version of the LCD Science
Days. We will hold 2 workshops for K10-K11 children form the last 2 years of
primary school: one using the emulation of vintage computers running
classical games, the other using real historic video games, like
Superelectron PONG, Atari2600 and Philips G7000
I added a section with our DVD collection the the Library page.
|The Computarium received the visit of 28 students (plus several accompanying staff members) of the French military lyceum Prytanée. Among those 28 were also several students from the German Hallertau Gymnasium of Wolnzach. We divided the group in two, and every sub-group made a guided visit of the Computarium and could try its skill on vintage computer games and mechanical calculators. The following Computarium members and students of the LCD helped organizing this: Eyschen Pol, Harles Geneviève, Hertz Liz, Kramer Marcel, Massen Francis.|
|12 Mar 12||Our trusty contributors J.P. Unsen and G. Franzen donated a treasure of material: ZX81 with printer, Atari 1040ST, a big chunk of literature and ancillary material. Many thanks!|
|04 Mar 12||Here is the PISA emission from RTL-TV mentioned the 14th. Feb which contains an interview and some views of the Computarium (subset on microprocessors with here)|
|15 Feb 12||Yves Asselborn, son of our late member J.-Cl. Asselborn donated a BBC mod. B, a Valiant Turlle (rare!) and a lot of BBC related books and software (the BBC computer needs some repair...) J. Mootz donated a TRS80 4 pen plotter and misc. vintage modems. Many thanks!|
|14 Feb 12||A TV crew from RTL (reporter was Tom Zeimet) made an interview with me on microprocessors and related stuff, and took quite a lot of shots in the Thesaurus Computarii. This will be aired during a PISA broadcast focusing on computers (Sunday 4th March 2012, 18:30) . PISA is a scientific series in Luxembourg language sponsored by the FNR|
|12 Feb 12||Jacques et Annie Ramel-Huppert donated two vintage Atari 2600 video games together with some cassettes (among them the ubiquitous Space Invaders and Mario Bros). These Atari's are French models and have a RF modulator that differs from the "usual" ones. I was able to get an acceptable BW picture on a very old Sony TV, which still has the 625/819 and CCIR/French-Belgium switches. 625 lines and F-B mode showed the nice alien invaders. Many thanks!|
|11 Feb 12||There are so many news that it is nearly impossible to keep up. M. Serge Neumann donated a Philips G7000 which works 100% ok, and does not have the problems of the first one. J. Mootz donated several electronic instruments to be used in the workshop. Many thanks to all! Repairs are going on, with an ASR33 now working correctly, an Apple2 disk drive repaired, many new racks installed (together with C. Baumann) etc... Temperatures in the poorly heated main room go down to a chilling 5°C, but the bureau/workroom is correctly heated.|
|22 Jan 12||There have been a lot of new donations during the last week: from J. Mootz an ASR33 teletype, an Atari Portfolio and a C64 system, from E. Schiltz a Philips G7000 Videopac game system. Many thanks! The ASR needs some serious and tricky repair, the G7000 works well with several Videopac's and not at all with others, probably due to a partially faulty i8245 video processor.|
|28 Dec 11||M. François Köller donated a rare Comptometer (a J "Supertotalizer" model from 1931).The machine shows its age, but the mechanism is working (besides a stuck key). Most blemishes are reparable, and restoration is on it's way. Many thanks!|
|17 Dec 11||Mr. Jean-Noël Vincent from the Charente region in France donated an ORIC Atmos microcomputer (1984) in good condition. The Computarium has now two of these relatively rare machines, which were not well known in Luxembourg. Many thanks!|
|14 Dec 11||The LTPEM donated an Amstrad 6128plus computer and some other material; M. Jim Unsen two vintage children's laptops, the LCD two MacIntosh laptops. Many thanks!|
|13 Dec 11||Mr. Eugène Schiltz donated 2 Commodore C64 (one in original packaging, working), several cassette tape drives for the C64 and a very nice vintage (1977) Pong game (Superelectron TVC-3000) in mint condition. Many thanks!|
|25 Nov 11||Students and teachers from the Japanese Kijimadaira Junior High School visited the Computarium and were given a workshop on Retrocomputing. Geneviève Harles, Pol Eyschen and Liz Hertz managed the event. See the exhibitions page.|
|09 to 13 Nov 11||The Computarium is at the Science Festival 2011: 09 Nov: Mounting exhibition; 10 & 11 Nov: workshop for school kids (primary and secondary levels), 12 & 13: Full access for the public. Our "Retrocomputing" workshops and exhibitions were a big success: approx. 500 visitors and 120 school kids. More at the exhibitions page.|
|12 Nov 11||We have now finished the 3rd day of the Science Festival; this day was open for the general public, and we counted more than 100 visitors in our booth, most spending time to try out some vintage games on the emulators or the real machines. We were also happy that our member jean Mootz was able to make a short visit. He certainly is one of the major contributors to the Computarium, and the most senior in pushing actively forward our project. The following members were present this day: Heinz Ronny., Hertz Liz., Heirendt Colette., Kahn Nic., Massen Florence., Massen Francis., Nghuyen Kim, Ohles Luc.|
|10 Nov 11||
Yesterday we transported our material for the Science
Festival to Luxembourg: the LCD bus was full to the top, and Claude du Fays
Pajero came handy to carry the rest. Jean-Claude Krack, Claude du Fays,
Colette Heirendt an myself mounted the exhibition. As usual there were some
stressy moments, caused mainly because the rooms we were allocated were
quite different from what we expected (and planned): they were much more
spacious, which was a good thing. But we had to change on the fly what we
had prepared to do.
Today we held 4 "official" workshops, but had also quite a lot of visitors in-between. The workshops ran smoothly, but we had some minor teething problems with the Apple2 (bad card-edge contacts) and the Atari 2600 (noisy screen due to interference by the Apple2.). Members present: Baumann Claude, du Fays Claude, Eyschen Pol, Harles Geneviève, Heirendt Colette, Hertz Liz, Kramer Marcel, Massen Florence, Massen Francis, Nhguyen Kim.
|08 Nov 11||
Yves Asselborn, the youngest son of our late member
Jean-Claude Asselborn, kindly sent me the first 3 parts of the conferences
on the Art of Secrecy (L'Art du secret) that Jean-Claude was preparing
before felling ill. As always these presentations are a model of clarity and
studying them will be time well spent.
I re-arranged the "Literature" section of the web-site slightly to regroup all conferences, exposés, articles of Computarium members. You will find the first 3 parts of "L'art du secret" and also the conference held by Jean-Claude in Diekirch on Zuse (Zuse et l'invention de l'ordinateur). There is also an article by Claude Baumann on the Kalmann filter that was published in the Luxemburger Wort, Luxembourg's most important news paper.
|04 Nov 11||Preparation work for our workshop "RetroComputing" at the Science Festival 2011 (10 to 13 Nov.) is practically finished. This was a hard job, much more time-intensive than I planned. We are sufficient numerous to animate the workshop and the booth, and I thank everyone who donates his time to participate. As usual, we have much material to move: about 15 metal boxes with the laptops which run the emulators, the historic computers which will be exhibited and a lot of ancillary equipment. The AALCD (Amicale des Anciens du LCD = association of former LCD students) donated a Philips flat screen TV (107cm diameter) which comes very handy for the presentation; many thanks to this organization which always can be relied on when things get difficult!|
|13 Oct 11||Daniel Jordao, an ex-president from the MCCL computer club donated a lot of material today. Especially interesting is his collection of microprocesseurs, with some good old 8080 ones. He also brought an ORIC Atmos microcomputer (a British system built in 1984, and known practically only in the UK and France), donated by R. Fisch. Computarium member Claude Baumann donated a rare Canon Palmtronic LE-10 calculator (built 1972), and finally I brought Master 128 system with an Acorn Winchester disk from Jean Mootz's attic. Many thanks to all!|
|09 Oct 11||
We received quite a lot of vintage equipment from various
contributors: the LTPEM donated a C64, an Amiga660 (all in working order), a
PS2, a B/W portable television ideally suited as a monitor for the ZX81,
several 8080 experimenter kits and more. M. Winter donated a BBC MASTER
Compact computer, a quite rare object, and an Apple Performa 475. J. Mootz donated
an 1978 OSI Superboard II, that I managed to bring back to life.
We are busy preparing our participation "Retrocomputing" to the Science Festival; this is really heavy work, which is not yet finished at all!.
|12 Sep 11||The Computarium mourns our member Prof. Jean-Claude Asselborn who passed away the 10th Sep. 2011 aged 66. He was one of the very first pioneers of computing in Luxembourg, and also one of the main instigators pushing our Computarium project. Jean-Claude lost a battle fought with admirable courage and optimism against an unforgiving enemy. Our deepest condolences go to his family for the loss of an exceptional husband, father and grand-father. Read an obituary here.|
|Mr. J-.P. Unsen, a retired teacher (electronics, mechanics, math. ...) of the LTPEM (Lycée Technique Privé Emile Metz) brought us a whole bunch of vintage material, like C64, Schneider -Amstrad, Amiga, Roland Plotter etc. Many of these items need a repair, but some worked at least partially "out of the box", after more than 20 years rest in the attic. So we won't run out of work! Many thanks!|
|17 Jul 11||We participated to the 13th Branebuurger Maart. See here!|
|15 Jul 11||The Computarium (finally!) has received rare French vintage material. A Thomson TO7-70 microcomputer (1984) and an Olivetti PC128 (actually a clone of the Thomson MO6, 1986) were auctioned at eBAY. J. Morabito, the former head of the Lycée et Collège Charlemagne de Thionville donated a rare GOUPIL Golf SX, a 80386 semi-portable with a B/W LCD screen (1989). Many thanks!|
|27 May 11||M. J. Morabito, head of the Lycée Charlemagne de Thionville (France) donated a FACIT CI-13 mechanical calculator to the Computarium. The machine is in good working condition. Many thanks for this generous contribution! An album will follow asap.|
RTL TV brought during the evening news a reportage for
the 70th anniversary of the ZUSE Z3 computer (based on electromechanical
relays). The 11th May, a journalist and camera man from RTL TV visited
the Computarium to take some video shots and make a short interview with F.
You can find the sequence here (Luxembourg language spoken!) (Thx to R. Heinz for the link; source RTL.lu)
|04 May 11||The Computarium participated with 3 workshops to the LCD Science Deeg. More here.|
|15 Apr 11||This is sad news: Jean Kerger, our colleague who helped to coin the name "Computarium" passed away on Monday the 10th April 2011. We present to his family our deepest sympathy. Let the name "Computarium" be a lasting memory to this outstanding colleague.|
|Made a vintage OSI500 working again with an antique ASR-33 TTY. Look in the works section. Video here.|
|08 Mar 11||
1. Several items have been added to our collection: A
working Tandy TRS80 system (1977) with expansion interface and 5.25" drives
(1983), a SWTPc 6809 computer (1980) and a politically incorrect JPS (John
Player Special) solar calculator.
Many thanks to Jean Mootz (first 2 items) and Claude Baumann. Roland Gaul
from the military museum (MNHM) donated several military slide rules, used
Our library too has several new items; they will be added to the list asap! We bought 4 Chinese abaci and a supplementary Brunsviga 13RK to be used at the workshops of the LCDScienceDays (4th May 2011)
2. Our member Jean-Claude Asselborn will present a series of 5 conferences at the University of Luxembourg on the "Art of the secret". See flyer here and here.
|Our member M. Kramer's little daughter Amalia exercising on a Brunsviga 13RK: click here for a short video!|
|08 Feb 11||I (privately) bought a Millionaire calculator (#4201, model with numerical keys) made by Hans Egli, Zürich, approx. 1915-1918. This beautiful machine which operates with a multiplication block (invented by Léon Bollé, here patented by Otto Steiger) will be on display in the Computarium. (click on picture for larger photo)|
|You might be interested in a real exciting project by John Graham-Cunning: building a working Babbage Analytical Engine. Read here on plan28 and here a BBC News article. A Babbage Difference Engine has been reconstructed by Andrew Carol from 35000 pieces of Lego! A full working metallic reconstruction of the Difference Engine is on display at the Science Museum in London.|
|We received today a donation by M. Alain SEVE: two Atari 1040STFM with monitors, one Atari 800XL with tape and floppy drive. A quick test showed all material is working. Many thanks!|
|Our member Jean Mootz donated an antique ASR33 mechanical teletype; this was the model we started with in 1974 when running the HP2100A mini-computer. He also donated a single board OSI computer from 1978. Many thanks!|
|The cultural commission of the town of Diekirch voted a subsidy of 750 Euro for the Computarium. Many thanks for this, which will be a big help in financing the still ongoing transformation works in the attic.|