|NEWS 2015-2011 2010-2007|
The Computarium acquired at eBAY a rare SONY MZ-1 MD
Walkman; this is the first minidisc player on the market.
It was un-operational, but I was lucky to cure the mechanical problems, and it works now like a charm. Click here for a short album.
The MD is tightly interwoven with Luxembourg, as the government pushed TDK into building one of the only 3 MD making factories in the world. Alas, it was not a commercial success!
M. Louis REINARD donated an original package of the
BeOS, an OS developed by Jean-Louis Gassée and which lost against Steve
Job's NEXTSTEP in 1996 as the future MacOS. This is the professional version
R5.01 from 2000; in 2001
Be.Inc, the company
behind BeOS, shut down. Today there is a revival with the open-source
HAIKU OS, which is partially
compatible with BeOS, and written as the former in C++. I installed BeOS on
a vintage MAXDATA laptop, and it runs like a charm (in black and white, as
BeOS does not recognize the graphics card of the laptop).
Well, contributing to the charm is a supplementary CD with application software, some of which seems very buggy (eg. the BeMath package).
If you look carefully at the screen with the clock, you may see that the date of the year is 2010. This is the highest number that BeOS accepts, increasing it brings you back to 1965. How remarkable that a Silicon-Valley company had such a short outlook into the future!
|Patrick WAGNER donated two HTC Qtek9090 Pocket PC's from 2004; one is a French model with Azerty keyboard, the other an English Querty model. Both are in mint condition, except for the internal battery. The French model is complete with charger, USB cable, manual, etc... These machines have Windows Mobile 2003 as OS; a system that is defunct and mostly forgotten, and an example that big companies are not always successful with a new product. Many thanks!|
Today we made what is surely the most difficult material
transport in the Computarium's history. Mr. Patrick and Robert Muller
donated a vintage IBM System/32 computer system which was used at the
AP Kieffer Company in the 70's and 80's for
calculating the salaries and misc. office work (look
here for a
picture of a System/32 of the same color).
The beast weights probably more than
200kg and it stood at the 2nd floor of a house. This floor is only
accessible by a winding staircase. We had to painfully remove most of the items (power
supply, "giant" hard disk, 8" floppy, printer, enclosures etc.), just to be
able to move the super-heavy cabinet. Florence and Ronny Heinz-Massen helped, and
at 5 people working together we were able to put the nearly bare cabinet in
a Renault Scenic car and the pieces in another car.
The last picture shows the beautiful technicians panel, used to check everything, find problems and aid making repairs. Reassembling will probably be a nerve-cracking job, and I want not to rush into it too fast. We plan to expose the computer near our main magenta show cases at the LCD.
Many thanks to Mr. Patrick and Robert Muller for this exceptional donation, and for their invaluable help in dismounting the system..
|Today was a second trip to M. J.Wagner's (former director of LUXCAD) collection, and we needed two cars to bring everything to the Computarium: many Compaq comuters (that were not yet in our collection), software (most in original package) and a hell of a lot of miscellaneous ware, like plotter pens and paper, electronic stuff etc... A last trip will be made asap to finish this donation, about which we are very thankful.|
|12 Feb 20||Here is a short album of the PDP-8/A on its rolling table, with the VT100 on top. Everything now works fine!|
|09 Feb 20||
Many years ago we received a DEC PDP8/a
minicomputer ( introduced in 1965) which was used at the pumping station of
Koerich ("Syndicat des Eaux"), and at EOL put down in the basement, which
was dark and very humid. The machine was in a horrible state, and I had
resigned considering it non-repairable. Two years ago M. Marco Rauhut
visited with is wife the Computarium, and saw the cadaver lying in the
attic. Mr. Rauhut is one of the very few people in Europe which are able to
repair DEC machines, what he has done several times in the past. He took our
PDP8/a home, and yesterday came back with a running machine (16K*12bit core
memory). Bringing this very rare beast again to life is quite an
achievement, and the Computarium is extremely grateful for his work. We are
able to run FOCAL (an interpreted language, with some similarities to the
later coming BASIC), and use as terminal a vintage DEC VT100 from the same
period (right on the picture, with the Focal Programming Guide).
The machine must be booted by a series of manual switches, and then a longer boot loader is loaded through a serial communication (using a separate laptop).
1. The section 4 (laptops, PDA....) of the virtual museum
has been updated (4 items added)
2. The Computarium has now its nano-GIFTSHOP: 4 products are available to buy for visitors (sorry, no sending, no on-line order).
|I found today on a flea-market a vintage Sharp PC-E220 pocket computer, which is in mint condition and works fine. It is programmable in BASIC and Z80 Assembler, has a library of mathematical and statistical functions, and can communicate through a serial line (but I do not have the proprietary cable CT-801). It is quite a beast!|
|M. Jean Wagner, the former director of the LUXCAD company, donated several material to the Computarium (this is an ongoing action!). The largest and heaviest item is the FSC 6050 Magnum colour scanner ( A0+ format, year 2001) from the Danish company CONTEX (which in past times also built (electro-)mechanical calculators (some of these are in our collection). Many thanks!|
|M. Felix Hansen donated two (identical) circular slide-rules that were used at the Ewald Giebel factory in Dudelnage (Luxembourg) to calculate weight and other factors of steel coils. E. Giebel was a factory spezialising in cold zinc plating of large steel coils (more on E. Giebel here). Many thanks!|
|M. Patrick Wagner (a retired teacher of the Lycée Technique Hôtelier Alexis Heck in Diekirch) donated a PSION Series_3 organizer with the spreadsheet module. The organizer is in mint condition, only needs a new CR1620 backup cell. Many thanks!|
|On this last day of the year I made a quick and short video of the Telic Minitel (shown below) playing some Videotex pages. Look at YouTube here.|
|Annette RAMEL et Odile BEAU donated two Minitel's to the Computarium (Annie et Jacques Ramel made the logistics); both are in working condition and are models not yet in our collection. The first picture shows a Minitel1 (Telic-Alcatel) with a hinged keyboard, the second a Minitel1 M|A (Matra Communications) with a fixed keyboard and the "loupe" key to double the size of the displayed characters. Both are from 1986 and have the 5pin DIN connector which allows us to connect to a Videotex player. Many thanks!|
|Our member Claude Baumann donated a rare test model of the RXC 1.0 LEGO microcontroller, introduced for LEGO Mindstorms in 1998. This "unofficial" test-model has a (serial?) DB9 connector, the standard RCX communicates by IR (infra-red). The controller is based on the Hitach H8 8bit microcontroller. Claude is quite a specialist of the RCX, having written a compiler, the first virus-demo and in 2013 a book "Eureka! Problem Solving with LEGO Robotics" (ISBN: 978-1-934891-13-1, link). Many thanks!|
1. Claude Hansen, an LCD teacher in natural sciences and
computing, has joined the Computarium crew. A hearty welcome!
2. Young students (ages about 13-14) from a class of 6ième (the second class in our gymnasium) visited the Computarium in two groups (5th and 12th December); guides were Francis Massen and Claude Hansen. Each visit took about 2 hours, and the students liked the many hands-on experiences.
|30 Nov 19||A Minitel 1 from 1985 has been transformed by adding inside its case everything what's needed to make a stand-alone Videotex player: powering the Minitel up starts a slideshow of new and vintage Minitel pages. See album.|
|25 Nov 19||Joel Francois (the head of our computing department) donated a TRS-80 Model 1 computer from 1977 (the original 16 KB model, was his father's 1st computer), together with the original video monitor. Many thanks! (the monitor is in mint condition, the computer needed a repair: a 2102 (1Kbit) video Ram chip was defunct).|
|22 Nov 19||A group of 4 members of the crew organizing ESCH_2022 visited the Computarium. Guiding was by Jean-Claude Krack and Francis MASSEN.|
|The Computarium acquired a digital planimeter (a TAMAYA Planix 7) to complement the collection of vintage integrators. This digital device (probably from 2008) is not yet historic, but it is a fine item to show the progression from mechanical to electronic planimeters. The device works and looks like new.|
1. Work on the virtual museum during the last days. I
migrated the "communications" section from chapter 3e ("calculettes...") to
chapter 3c ("mini- et micro-ordinateurs..."). Started with adding modems,
minitels and several new or older computers of the collection that had not
yet found their way into the virtual museum. Chapter 3c now holds 211
2. Work on the roof continues, but the slates are not yet laid down. During the last thunderstorm some drops of rain found their way into the Computarium's office. Most material is wrapped in plastic to avoid damage during the work.
3.M. Marco Rauhut (a German specialist in the restoration of vintage DEC computers) has restored our DEC PDP8a which was in what I thought a hopeless state, with nearly everything damaged by humidity and its storage in a humid basement. During the next fall we will meet and see how to integrate the machine into our exhibition.
|M. Felix Hansen, a retired engineer, donated PLC material from AEG-Modicon: a big A350 mounted in a rack (seen on the picture below the laptop ), 2 micro Modicon A120, one seen above the laptop (all from the early 1990's ), a Compaq Presario running AKSoft and a huge package of documentation. I added one of the two A120's to the rack, together with a support for a laptop and power connections. The rack has 4 rolls and is easy to move. A first test shows the equipment to work, but some time will be spend learning the programming (which is similar to the Simatic 5). Many thanks!|
|12 Jun 19||
1. Work on the roof of the attic holding the Computarium
collection has begun. It is a major work, adding thermal insulation and new
2. We acquired an Olivetti L1 M20 (1982) microcomputer in mint condition. The OS is an italian speciality called PCOS, not compatible with the usual MSDOS or IBMDOS. The microprocessor is a rather uncommon Z8001.
|16 May 19||
We acquired a rare Sharp MZ-40K microcomputer from 1978.
This "didactic" computer was sold as a kit to learn
machine code programming. The uP is a rare MB-884, a 4bit model from
Fujitsu. The board is in working order except key 0 which does not respond
(even if it makes correct contact). Power supply is about 11 VAC; I salvaged
a 8.8 VAC power supply which also works fine (tests were also made with a 11
|Today we had the LCD Sciences Déeg with more than 200 children from the neighboring primary schools spending time (from 09:00 to 15:30) at the LCD at several of the 15 workshops held by our more senior students. The Computarium participated with 2 workshops, one on using sliding cross calculators (all Maximators), and the other on calculating with Brunsviga 13RZK pinwheel machines. Claude du Fays and Francis Massen made the training of our 8 students from the section II B (=second-last year of the lyceum, mathematical section), who excelled as animators guiding the children into the world of mechanical calculation (see album).|
|04 May 19||
M. Vic KOLB donated quite a lot of material, that
Florence and I were fetching at Dudelange today. All these calculators were
in use at the ARBED Dudelange steelwork (later Arcelor-Mittal).
Among the mechanical calculators the most remarkable are a Comptometer 3D11 that I am repairing (mostly cleaning and making recalcitrant keys working) and a electromechanical MADAS from Egli, Zürich.
Look at the bay of my Jeep and at the Comptometer in the works.
Many thanks for this generous contribution!
|30 Apr 19||
We received two nice machines:
1. B&C. TEHEUX donated a 6 language Tandy EC-500 translator in mint condition; device is probably from 1995.
2. Our member Claude du FAYS donated a Oregon Scientific Accelerator Power Desktop (what a name!) which is not a real laptop, but a childrens game station and educational tool, with 11 chapters of different activities. This vintage approx. 2003 "computer" also runs like a charm.
Quite a lot of news:
1. the roof above the Computarium will be rebuilt with a better insulation, so we had to wrap everything delicate into a Christo-like wrapping, waiting for the works to start and end!
2. Robert Maquil donated quite a lot of material, among them 2 HP calculators (HP21 and HP32E) that I modified to run on normal AA cells (the rechargeable batteries were beyond any hope of salvation).
3. Pierre Kuborn donated a rare Burroughs C3300 desktop calculator from 1969, not quite in working order but not dead either (the calculator was used by the company Couleurs Gérard (Gérard Frères), founded in 1843 (!) and famous in Luxembourg for its good colors for painting . This machine (actually a Sharp CS-32 made by Hayakawa in Japan) is quite a beast: core memory, discrete transistor-diode logic (317 transistors and 1200 diodes!) to make the NOR gates used for binary operations, and 16 Nixie tubes (one is dead). A tentative restoration will be attempted asap. More here.
Many thanks to all these contributors, which keep the Computarium expanding!
|17 Dec 18||Our member Colette HEIRENDT, the spouse of Francis Massen, passed away today. Read obituary here.|
|26 Nov 18||The microcomputer and pocket calculator sections of the virtual museum have been updated.|
|The old crumbling Velux windows in our attic will be replaced in November, so much of the material has to be displaced temporarily away. A group of three (Claude du Fays, Men Krack and Francis Massen) did heavy work this morning in moving material and putting up dust-protection plastic sheets. Picture shows Claude and Men.|
|01 Oct 18||
M. Paul Kunsch, owner of the "de
Schweespunkt"company, donated a very rare vintage NORTHSTAR Horizon
system to the Computarium. This is a~1979 business system (using the S-100
bus) with a Z80 based cabinet holding two 5.25" floppy disks (using
hard-sectored diskettes) and running CP/M 2.2. The system which was put
aside more than 20 years ago seems to be in good condition, but must be
|01 Sep 18||
Our vintage Lego robot GASTON (which was built by
Claude Baumann and a group of students of the Convict many years ago and
uses two RCX controllers) was invited to the
of Lego Mindstorms. This is a special exhibition held at the
LEGO HOUSE in Billund,
GASTON, we are very proud of you!
Look here for many timeline photos.
|24 Aug 18||M. Will FEIDER donated a vintage Toshiba 420CDT laptop (1996, Satellite Pro line)) which is mounted in a carrying case also containing a Canon BJ-30 inkjet printer and all connections.. The system was used by agents of the large Luxembourg insurance company Le Foyer when visiting clients or working from home. The operating system is OS/2 3.0 Warp, and this is the only laptop in our collection running OS/2. The whole system is in mint condition. Many thanks!|
|07 Aug 18||
1. Our member Claude Baumann donated two vintage
calculators from the 70's: a TEL Elektron Mark1 (1973) and a UniMark 805T
(1975). Both machines are in working order and have beautiful VFD displays.
2. Most sections of the virtual museum have been updated, Remember, this is an never-ending process!
|Update of the first section of the virtual museum. Added two mechanical calculators and 3 mathematical instruments (integrators).|
We got quite a lot of new material during the last weeks:
1. I auctioned a very nice Rheinmetall KEW IIc electromechanical calculator from 1953, which is in mint condition. Division is semi-automatic by the "Stop-Division" method where continues subtraction stops automatically when result goes into negative.
2. A second auction yielded a Lagomarsino Numeria 7101 mechanical calculator from 1956, also in excellent condition.
3. Our artists from the "4-Stack" donated several nice Sony Trinitron monitors (see 3rd photo) as well as several of their vintage Mac's (G3 and G5), all in excellent condition.
5. M. Bruno Prémont donated three pocket calculators from the 70's.
Many thanks to all our contributors, which help the Computarium ticking!
|15 Jun 18||A group of 17 "students" who passed their final examen of secondary education at the LGL (Lycée de Garçon de Luxembourg) in 1968 visited the Computarium. Guy Greisen, a former mathematics teacher and a colleague from the caving group (Groupe Spéléologique Luxembougeois) had organized this visit to give their 50 years anniversary a certain touch. Claude du Fays, Claude Boes and Francis Massen were the guides for a 2 hour tour, with some practical exercices to freshen up the minds. Feelings were very good!|
|01 May 18||Colette Heirendt and myself finalized and installed the "Braille Printing Station" in the Computarium. A vintage Maxdata laptop running XPPro allows to show how blind people work with Windows using speaker software (here NDVA); text may be printed as Braille by the WinBraille software. The heavy and noisy printer in the soundproof cabinet is the Index Everest V2 model from ~2000.|
|24 Apr 18||
1. We received today a very exciting Linear Planimeter ("Rollen-Planimeter")
built by the famous mathematical instrument maker A.OTT in Kempten, Allgäu.
The heavy instrument (probably from the early 70s) is in mint condition: it
allows to calculate the definitive integral (=surface) of any closed curve.
Compared to the Polar-Planimeter, this instrument allows to contour much
2. Gilbert Maurer donated a OLYMPIA AE8 printing electro-mechanical calculator, probably from 1966. Some cleaning and filing (!) brought back the machine into new life. Many thx!
|20 Apr 18||
album on our visit of the TOP SECRET exhibition at the Mundaneum,
2. The Computarium acquired a nice TANDY TRS80-II computer from 1982. This is a professional computer running TRS-DOS on a 8" floppy drive. It is in good condition, but I still have to read the manual...
We received two special computer related items for blind
people from M. Claude Streitz, one of the visitors in October 2017 of the
group of blind people: a Index Braille Everest embosser (upper picture) and
a Tieman Voyager Braille keyboard (lower picture). Both are in mint
condition and are in test.
|27 Mar 18||We had the training session with the students from the IIIB class for the upcoming LCD Science Déeg in May. Claude du Fays, Marc Lavina and Francis Massen showed how to calculatate with an chinese abacus or how to play the different levels of the original SOKOBAN game.|
|20 Feb 18||I auctioned a Teleprint TTY (actually a ASR33 by TTY, UK model), and Colette Heirendt and myself drove to Nordheim (near Heilbronn, Germany) to pick it up. The TTY is in good condition (counter shows only 85 working hours) but as had to be expected, does not function completely without problems. So there will be some restoration work in the pipeline...|
|10 Feb 18||
Forum d'Art Contemporain of Luxembourg organized a visit to the
Computarium, as they have an exhibition titled "2045-1542: A History of
Computation". Colette Heirendt, Claude du Fays and Francis Massen guided the
(very small) group, showed many functioning machines and made the first step
with the visitors in using an abacus and a sliding rod calculator (and
refreshing their forgotten capabilities in playing PONG!).
Look at the web page of the Casino on this event here (PDF file, you might zoom to 250%). Another link is here.
|08 Feb 18||
1. We acquired a rare French SMT GOUPIL G4 computer from
1985 (one HD, 2 floppy drives, i80186 uP). It is in very good condition, and
has been installed for demos in the Computarium, showing TETRIS on a vintage
BULL Micral amber monitor.
We are always looking for vintage CGA/EGA monitors; if you find such a beast in your attic, please send an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
2. An update to the "pocket calculators" section of the virtual museum has been made, including the last calculators donated by P. Klein and F. Steffen.
|19 Jan 18||Colette Heirendt and Francis Massen visited the Bonami Computermuseum in Zwolle (Netherlands) the 19th Jan. 2018. This is a rather new museum, still in development, which extends over a huge 3000m2 in a former warehouse. It has many personal computers, an enormous collection of games and quite a lot of mini-computers (even 4 analog ones). The only structuring feature is a time-line, so that many places in the exhibits are still empty, waiting for an occupation. A small crew of 5 people manages the museum, which is quite an achievement. I will present several albums, starting here with the first one covering the PONGs, MISCELLANEOUS, Personal Computers, GAMES.|
|11 Jan 18||The Computarium bought a nice Z88 notebook. This was the last computer designed by Clive Sinclair. Having sold Sinclair Research to Amstrad, this computer was marketed by Sinclair's new company Cambridge Computers, and manufactured in Scotland by SCI UK Ltd. Based on a Z80, it's OS is called OZ. Software included is Pipedream (wordprocessor & database &spreadsheet, comparable to Lotus Symphony) and the full BBC BASIC (from the BBC line of microcomputers). All software in ROM (and/or EPROM, 3 slots available). Communication with other computers by serial cable. The computer works fine.|
|13 Dec 17||I was able to auction a former DDR (= GDR = German Democratic Republic) KC 85/3 computer, which is in mint condition. KC means "KleinComputer", it is a Z80 clone 8 bit machine. The DDR computers were expensive, and virtually unaffordable to the normal citizen. This item has an inventory label "Bez. Akademie Ges. Wes. Potsdam" (admire the German abbreviations!) which means "Bezirksakademie des Gesundheitswesens Potsdam", a former technical school for medical personal (as nurses, midwifes, technical assistants...). See album.|
|30 Nov 17||
Quite a lot of new material:
1. a NIXDORF PC02 luggable computer from 1985, weight 17 kg, nice amber screen. (see picture), auctioned at eBAY. Inbuilt working thermal printer. One RAM and HDC error on booting, will be checked asap.
2. two Macintosh LC and one Macintosh IIsx (all have bad switching power supplies, which will be replaced), and one Macintosh monochrome display, donated by Robert Massen. Many thanks!
|18 Nov 17||A group of 20 former students of the LCD (the "promotion 1991", mathematical section B) visited the LCD and the Computarium. Jean-Claude Krack and Francis Massen were the guides (photo Francis Kaell).|
Our contributor Théo Jacoby from the "Croisé et Fils" insurance
company in Diekirch donated a rare RUF electronic booking machine, probably what
was called the "RUF Visible Record Computer" (see
here). The machine was built by the HOHNER
company in Trossingen (famous manufacturer of musical instruments, mostly
harmonicas) in 1970/1971. Input/output is by a modified IBM "golf ball"
typewriter. The picture shows the real heavy main desk; the computer and
power supply are in a separate cabinet not shown. This machine seems to be
very similar to models sold under the Nixdorf and Sumlock brand names. RUF
Buchhaltung was based in Zürich, Switzerland, and had a division in
I am not sure if the equipment can be brought back to life, but it is a real decorative piece of collection. Many thanks!
|05 Nov 17||The Computarium acquired a very rare Husky Hunter 16 hand-help computer, probably from 1991. This UK-built ruggedized computer was used by the military and outdoor people. It runs on 4 AA cells and has DOS 3.30 in ROM. See album.|
|28 Oct 2017||
Quite a lot of news:
1. Carlo Schoup (+2011) donated
through his sister a Mercedes-Euklid M22 electromechanical calculator. The
machine is blocked, and is currently in repair.
3. A group of blind people, several working as computer programmers, visited the Computarium. Claude Bauman, Claude Boes, Jean-Claude Krack and Francis Massen made this not so common guiding, where we tried to present as much as possible machines to touch and hear. We all were surprised how fast the blind people became familiar with the unknown keyboards of mechanical calculators. At the end of the visit two of the members showed us how they operate for their work a normal laptop (Mac and Windows), without any Braille keyboard, relying only on the built-in spoken reader as a guide (the picture shows using a Mac). Absolutely baffling! See album.
|20 Oct 17||
I auctioned two real gems: a rare Bondwell B12 luggable
form 1984, running CP/M 2.2, and a still rarer ( and still heavier: total
about 50 kg!) Siemens 6.610 "Mittlere Daten Technik (MDT)" computer with
three SSSD 8" floppies (2 of them in the expansion box below the beautiful
keyboard), a very obscure BS1 operating system (variant of CP/M), Cobol and
professional not-quite-standard Basic.
Both systems are in mint conditions, the Siemens needs some brain work to understand it's OS and other software, as there are no manuals to be found. If you know more about this Siemens machine, please feel free to contact me.
Photos are provisional, made in the workshop.
|24 Sep 17||New album with 125 slides from the visit by Francis + Colette Massen-Heirendt of the famous Computer History Museum in Mountainview, California|
|19 Jun 17||
We received two new items for our collection:
1. Mrs. Pia Roth donated a Commodore PET 2001_8C which is in exceptional good condition, looking and running as new. This is the full keyboard/large numerical keyboard model with 8KB Ram, probably from 1979 (this model was known as the "professional PET 2001-N8).
2. Fernand Steffen donated an Apple Macintosh Powerbook 165c laptop from 1991: this was the first laptop with a color display (passive DSTN display, remarkably good); this laptop also is in working condition (except a defunct battery).
Many thanks to these contributors!
|10 Jun 17||Update of section 3a (mechanical machines) of the virtual museum with new objects and several corrections. This section now holds 240 items.|
|10 May 17||The Computarium participated again to the annual LCD Science Déég where our older students manage during a full day workshops for children of the last year of primary school (K-12). Students from the IIB2 (the "special math section") were introduced by C. du Fays and F. Massen from the Computarium into the art of Abacus calculus and Logo programming. We used for the first time our notyetquite-vintage HP Thinclients running WIN7e and the excellent FMS Logo. See album.|
|29 Apr 17||Link to the presentation given by Francis Massen at the conference on Analog Computers mentioned below. (PDF file)|
|25 Apr 17||
Francis Massen will give a conference the Friday 28th
April at 20:00 on analog computers.
Start is 20:00 in the Robert Bohnert room of the Lycée classique de Diekirch. Entrance is free. Click on picture for a full view of the flyer.
|09 Apr 17||
I was able to buy two items at the "old stuff market" in
Diekirch: a rather strange abacus, sort of a hybrid between japanese and
chinese model (the chinese abacus has two heaven and five earth beads, the
japanese 1 heaven and 4 earth beads).This model has one heaven and five
earth beads! Actually it seems to be a
(copy of a)
Mutsudama type Soroban which
was introduced in the early Meiji
The second item is the old XY plotter sold as a children's game. This model was sold by the French company Joustra and made in China (manufacturer unknown). To erase the drawing, one has to flip the device face down and shake it thoroughly. Just to make things more interesting: the right knob moves the pen in the Y direction, and the left in the X direction.
|28 Feb 17||New video by Francis Massen on the Duffing chaotic oscillator, a very simple electronic circuit which goes into chaotic behavior when a relevant parameter (here the amplitude of a forcing oscillator) changes by a very small amount. Simulation done with Multisim (Electronic Workbench).|
|02 Feb 17||Colette Heirendt and Francis Massen visited the new NAM-IP computer museum in Namur. Outstanding! See album!|
|30 Jan 17||
Gérard Franzen, an ingenieur teaching at the
Technique Privé Emile Metz) and a former donator of the Computarium, donated
a very nice Olivetti Logos 444 desktop printing calculator, in mint
condition. He also assured that we received from the LTPEM a vintage
Siemens SPS S5 system (introduced in 1979) with a very nice PG675
programming portable computer running CP/M86-2.2. Some quick first tests
showed that this computer (probably from 1983) works fine, even if I have not yet read the manual
and am unable to access the command line prompt.
04 Feb: With a new built cable, the communication between PG675 and the S5_100U unit (see lower picture, empty battery has meanwhile been replaced) is working now. We also have now several working CP/M diskettes for the PG675.
|21 Jan 17||A group of 8 people celebrating their xxth anniversary of quitting primary school visited the Computarium. C.Heirendt and F.Massen gave explanations and made some practical hands on work with them, with an introduction in operating abacus and Brunsviga machines.|
|09 Dec 16||
Théo Duhautpas, a former director of
Restena and a retired professor at the
University of Luxembourg, donated a very rare CODEX 9600 multiplex modem.
This was the first
modulated 9600 bit/s modem of the world, manufactured in the USA from 1971
to about 1975. This specimen was used by REUTERS to establish communication
between computers/terminals in Luxembourg and Frankfurt/Main, via a leased 4
wire line. It can drive either a single 9600 communication, or by
multiplexing 4 communications at 2400 bit/s.
The oscilloscope shows the 16 different bit pattern of QAM-16; it was routinely used to check the quality of the line. Many thanks!
|22 Oct 16||
1. The Computarium acquired a beautiful TODD
Protectograph, a device to write tamper-proof checks. See
2. Our member Ronny Heinz donated a very nice book "Commodore 64: a visual Compendium" which is another project of the kick-starter company Bitmap Books. This large compendium (474 pages!) has beautiful and stunning screen-shots of many famous C64 games.
|C. Heirendt donated for our "Euro-converter" exhibit an exceptional nice and stylish converter sold as a promotional gadget by Perrier. See album.||
|16 Oct 16||
1. Many updates to the virtual museum, more links to
2. Repaired (with C. Heirendt) a miniature Multifix E1R calculator that I drove by careless handling into a completely blocked state. See album of this very nice machine.
|21 Sep 16||
Pol Hoelzmer contributed again a lot of material; the
most interesting object is a rare IBM PC convertible (IBM 5140) from 1986,
without power supply but in mint condition. Some soldering to adapt a
standard powerbrick, some Internet research to find a PCDOS 3.30, and
presto, this laptop is back to life. The IBM 5140 was IBM's first laptop
(following the 5155 portable) and sold poorly, due to its difficult to read
passive LCD screen and lack of HD (it has only two 720kB 3.5" disk drives).
It was designed by the German designer Richard Sapper (see
and received many prizes, as the iF Industrie Forum Design Award
(Hannover 1988). More pictures in
Pol has finished successfully his secondary school studies, and we wish him good luck in his new endeavor!
|18 Sep 16||I added a short video on how to do multiplication on our Everest Multarapid printing calculator, which has a strange dial wheel. We graciously received a manual of the follow-up model from IFHB, which explained how to do the automatic multiplication and cleared up some of our preconceived foggy ideas..|
|17 Sep 16||
Our CH private collection increased by two rather rare
sliding rod calculators "made in France": a REBO from 1928 (manufactured in
Marseille), and a RAYMOND from 1948 (manufactured in Pernes-les-Fontaines).
Click on the pictures for full size views.
|13 Sep 16||We received today from the CTIE (Centre des Technologies de l'Information de l'Etat) a very old IBM 3420/6 tape unit from ~1977, which is exposed at our main gallery. The sliding glass panel covering the tape reels was broken during the transportation, and I will try to find a replacement asap. Many thanks for this very nice object! The capacity of this "storage monster" was a max. of 45MB per tape reel. The unit was part of a large IBM 370 system.|
|12 Sep 16||We bought a vintage OSBORNE 1a portable computer (1982), which is in a very good condition. The CP/M II system disk is easy to duplicate with CopyIIPC.. As there is no application software joined, I will make 5.25" disks from disk image files asap (video). The model is a variant of the first mod.1, distinguishable by the coiled keyboard cable (mod.1. had a flat ribbon cable and can only handle single density (SD) diskettes). The processor is a Z80 at 4 MHz, memory is 64 kB.|
|01 Sep 16||
I am nearly done with the update of the section 3 of our
virtual museum (mini/microcomputers). Many new machines were added, and
nearly all photos are now originals made at the Computarium. I switched to
iSpring Converter version 8.3, which seems to create much faster Html5 code.
This update is heavy work, as the machines have to be cleaned, tested, opened (to make pictures form the inside, many more pictures are made of each machine than displayed on the web-site) and eventually repaired. There surely remain some errors; please send me an email if you detect one!
|29 Aug 16||M. Serge Pletgen, who visited our workshops in Brandenburg, donated two Schubert DRV pinwheel calculators from the end of 1950's. Both needed some work (see here) to come back to working state. Many thanks!|
1. Busy time making pictures of machines, updating the
virtual museum and doing repairs.
2. I added to the LIBRARY (PDF section) two files from the Microsoft public archive of the The Computer Museum. These are poor gold: a treasure of original articles and photos of vintage material and computer pioneers. Look here and here (large files!).
|17 Jul 16||We participated to the "Branebuurger Maart". More on "Exhibitions" page.|
|20 May 16||Pol Hoelzmer, one of our most prolific contributors, donated quite a lot of interesting stuff: a HP Jornada720 (working), a few computers and many calculators (also all working) with an HP21 among them. As the rechargeable NiCad battery was dead, I carefully slit open the case and replaced the 2 NiCd AA batteries by alcalines: yes this works and does not harm the calculator.! Many thanks!|
|28 May 16||André Schwarz is a most prolific writer on computers and the biographies of computer pioneers. He gave the Computarium the full text of all his contributions in the cultural section "Die Warte" of Luxemburg's main news paper "Luxemburger Wort" (which gave us the permission to publish these articles). You will find all the articles in the "Library of the Computarium", PDF section (click here). Many thanks to André and the Luxembourger Wort.|
|22 May 16||
On this second day Claude Boes, Claude du Fays, Colette
Heirendt, Francis Massen and Anouk Neven were present. The attendance was
about the double as yesterday, and all visitors showed great interest.
Nevertheless we all find that well-needed publicity was nearly absent, as
well as the distribution of brochures which went well in Luxembourg-City,
but seemed to have forgotten Diekirch; also the City of Diekirch which
proudly sells itself as the "Ville des Musées" did not make any visible
publicity on the electronic public boards or on its Web site.
|21 May 16||
The first day of the nation-wide "Invitation aux Musées"
day is finished; the number of visitors was clearly enumerable ("dénombrable"
in French). We installed everything on Friday afternoon, and Saturday
Colette Heirendt, Florence Massen, Ronny Heinz and Francis Massen staffed
Workshops covered Napier bones, Genaille-Lucas rulers, abacus, Logo on vintage BBC Masters. For fun there were some vintage games running on emulators and several original Pong's.
M. Pierre David, a former programmer at EAI (Brussels headquarter) donated a nice EAI slide-rule, some memorabilia and several flow-chart rulers from well-known companies (Bull, Burroughs...). Many thanks!
|11 May 16||The LCD Science Déeg had an attendance of about 200 pupils from neighboring primary schools. See album.|
|04 May 16||Training session with 10 students of the II B mathematical session for the upcoming LCD Sciences Déeg. Colette Heirendt showed how to use Napier Bones and Genaille-Lucas rulers, Francis Massen how to program in LOGO (Turtlegraphics) on vintage BBC Master computers.|
|22 Apr 16||Students from an Erasmus+ project follow two workshops on Napier/Genaille-Lucas rulers and Brunsviga calculators in the Computarium. See album.|
|20 Apr 16||
I found by chance this digital "sliderule" from Lucas-Nülle,
a German company which makes educational material, mostly for scientific and
technical education. The disc fell out of a journal, probably donated by
The back side shows the digital states of various flip-flop types.
I did not find a date of manufacture for this nice disc. Any help will be appreciated!
|Our regular contributor Pol Hoelzmer donated quite a lot of interesting material, among them a Compaq Armada running WIN96 ! (did you know that this version exists?). See the contributors page for more details. Many thanks!|
|30 Jan 16||Yet another restoration: this time a very simple line-tracking robot has been restored. See the WORKS section for more.|
Our member Ronny Heinz participated to the Kickstart
project of Bitmap Books to publish a book on the games of the Sinclair ZX
Spectrum . This very colorful book is a great pleasure to look at. Ronny
donated the book to our library: many thanks!
This is the book #3 of Bitmap Books. Look here for all the books from this company.