A Journey through the Evolution of Technology at the Living Computers Museum + Labs

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.

The Living Computers Museum + Labs

The Living Computers Museum + Labs

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; withSeattle 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. 

Museum Overview

The Living Computers Museum + Labs in Seattle is made up of 2.5 floors of interactive displays.

First Floor

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.
Virtual Reality

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.

Robots

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.

Strati by Local Motors

They also have some “dinosaurs” to check out! The KAYPRO II, made in 1982!

KAYPRO-II

KAYPRO II manual was even more fascinating than the computer. I thought this excerpt from the manual was interesting;

KAYPRO II

And an excellent introduction to the hardware and a recommendation on best “equipment”;

KAYPRO-Hardware

There are so many fascinating things on the first floor that it took me two hours to see everything!

The Mezzanine

There is also a mezzanine (floor 1.5) where you can create your own video games and learn about the IoT (Internet of Things).

Video Games

Second Floor

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.

Atari

Atari 400 – 1979, TI-99/4A – 1981, and Commodore 64 – 1982

Apple IIe

The Apple IIe (enhanced) – 1983

Computers

Xero Alto – 1973

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.

Cold 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.

mainframe

IBM 360 Model 91 – 1966

Task Manager

This information now appears in Windows Task Manager

Glass-Blowing Workshops at Seattle Glassblowing Studio & Gallery (Up to 48% Off). Four Options Available.

Smartphones

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.

4 Comments

  1. Melissa Schwartz January 27, 2018
    • VoyageFusion February 1, 2018
  2. Maggie January 28, 2018
    • VoyageFusion February 1, 2018

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