A visit to the Living Computers Museum + Labs is a must! A highly interactive, and informative museum make this an excellent place to explore. Check out my tip below to see how you can visit for free.
Location: 2245 First Ave S, Seattle WA
Hours: Closed Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday-Sunday 10 AM-5 PM. Always check the LCM+L website before visiting for the most updated information.
Parking: LCM+L has a small parking lot with free parking.
Admission Fee: General Admission for adults is $16. LCM+L also offers discounts for students, seniors, AAA members, and more!
TIP: There are TWO ways you can visit for FREE; with a Seattle Public Library Card, cardholders can reserve free tickets for admission through the library website and admission is free on the first Thursday of every month from 5 PM-8 PM.
The Living Computers Museum + Labs in Seattle is made up of 2.5 floors of interactive displays.
The first floor contains robotics displays, a virtual reality demonstration, a self-driving car demo, and much more.
My favorite thing on the first floor was the virtual reality demonstration. It was my first experience with virtual reality. It was amazing! You do have to be at least 13 to try it out.
The robots were also impressive. There were several different types. Some you could play around with, while others were there for your viewing and learning pleasure only, like Baxter, a reliable $25,000+ production line employee.
I had a chance to try out Strati, the world’s first 3-D printed electric car. The car’s body can be printed within 44 hours, and then the drivetrain and suspension are installed. Strati can get up to 40MPH. The price for one of these ranges between $18,000-$30,000.
They also have some “dinosaurs” to check out! The KAYPRO II, made in 1982!
KAYPRO II manual was even more fascinating than the computer. I thought this excerpt from the manual was interesting;
And an excellent introduction to the hardware and a recommendation on best “equipment”;
There are so many fascinating things on the first floor that it took me two hours to see everything!
There is also a mezzanine (floor 1.5) where you can create your own video games and learn about the IoT (Internet of Things).
The second floor shows the fantastic evolution of computers. It’s truly astounding how technology has progressed.
Remember playing Atari? This was my first computer/video game system.
All of these computers are fully operational, so you can sit and play, which I did, for another two hours.
One of the things I found most amazing was the cold room/mainframe display room.
In the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s computers had to be kept in rooms with air conditioning to keep them from overheating! They were also massive in size.
It’s not hard to pass the time at this museum whether you are a techie or someone who knows very little about technology (like me). There is indeed something here for everyone.