Sunday, July 15, 2007

My museum of content related artefacts (1)

I have a museum of content related artefacts or at least a beginning of it. Over the years I have collected devices and media which I have been using in my career; once people know that you collect, they like to dump their old devices with you. Presently it covers one wall of my office.

What can you see?

The wall is covered as you can see from the photograph with memorabilia. There is a big poster from last century, which makes an internet agnostic audience curious. Two show case cabinets are filled with devices, ranging from the latest e-reader iLiad to the first generation of e-books; from PDAs to a mobile with PDA and internet facility; my first external CD-ROM player; a series of portable PCs, including my first one and an executive videotex terminal. But the cabinets hold also software packages for the first PC like the Commodore 64. There is also a series from a laser disc to CD-ROMs and mini discs. I have also a display of the first Dutch pilot CD-ROMs dating back to 1984. There is collage in memory of the launch of the first daily electronic newsletter in Europe for VNU. On my computer files I have stored some characteristic drawings of ideas. The central idea is these are all devices and ideas which have been used in connection with content production and distribution.

Over what period

I have been in the content business since 1970. But my first items for the collection are from 1977. Since 1980 I was involved in new media, especially ASCII databases and videotext. From 1984 CD-ROM came up, while the laser disc was fading out and the CD-I was coming up. With internet the world changed drastically. I will start with the most recent artefacts and work my way back to 1977.

I collect items in order to illustrate the history of new media (nice contradiction in terminis). There are a lot of misconceptions about new media. The major one is that new media start with internet in the early nineties. Whenever I tell people that I send my first e-mail on a public system in 1980, people ask how we did that and to whom we sent the messages. But also national libraries which have a task to safeguard cultural heritage, implicitly also digital heritage, are often late in picking up trends. So the first CD-ROMs have usually not been collected. My collection is only a snapshot from a Dutch perspective.

Table of content:
2005: iLiad
1999: Nokia Communicator
1999: Sony Vaio PC
1997: Rocketbook
1996: PDAs
1995: Euronet poster
1995: SMS watch
1994: Olivetti Quaderno
1994: Net novel
1993: Sony EB
1992: CD-i reader
1992: CD-i titles
1989: Videotex floppy
1987: External CD-ROM reader
1986: first Dutch CD-ROMs
1984: IDB
1984: Commodore 60 plus software
1983: ZX Spectrum 1982: Zenith 100 with modem
1981: Database publishing
1980: Apple IIe
1980: Executive videotext terminal
1978: Laser disc
1976: Chip encyclopedia

Blog Posting Number: 813

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