Chronology of the Computer Museum

Computer Museum at the Department of Computer Science

Development of the Computer Museum in the last 25 years

Many devices were given to the Computer Museum in its more than 25 years of existence. Important is also the surch for operating and construction manuals.

The most important accesses and events can be found in the short chronicle of the museum.


New addition: Minicomputer PDP-12 from the Observatory of the University of Vienna

Virtual museum tour with Klemens Krause: "Welcome to the computer museum"

Visit with interview: Jörg Menno Harms (Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Hewlett Packard GmbH)

Livestream on the International Museum Day and the Digital Day 20201

New additions: the team at the computer museum is happy about the Z11 front panel and the Nicolet spectrum analyzer from 1976


Beginning of the virtual event series "Evenings in the Computer Museum" and video production.

Guided tour for the Stuttgart youth center: Code_IT Camp!

Virtual lecture by Klemens Krause at the Vintage Computing Festival 2020 on the topic of "Analysis and repair of a Z80 system from the junk box".

On the occasion of Konrad Zuse's 110th birthday on 22.06.2020, the Computermuseum produced the video "The Root of the Computer" in cooperation with the lecture series "Mathematics and Physics between School and University" (Faculty 8 of the University of Stuttgart).

At the International Museum Day and the Digital Day 2020, the Computermusem offered a virtual museum tour of several hours in the form of a livestream.


Klemens Krause presented a 2-bit arithmetic unit after Konrad Zuse at the Vintage Computing Festival Berlin (VCFB) in October 2019, giving a lecture on "The arithmetic unit and arithmetic of Z1".

As in many years, the Computermuseum was represented at the Science Day - the open day of the University of Stuttgart.

Since autumn 2019 the Computermuseum is a member of the "Arbeitsgemeinschaft Hochschulsammlungen Baden Württemberg".


In spring there was a pleasing addition. We received a HP 2116B, which was originally used in physics at the university, and which later, after it was taken out of service, lay dormant for many years at home with its supervisor in the garage.


The computer museum celebrated its 20 anniversary in February with guest lectures (among others with Mrs. Hannelore Zuse, the daughter of Konrad Zuse), and demonstrations.

Many thanks also goes to the German Museum of Music Automatons in Bruchsal, which kindly lent us a punch-card controlled organ for the musical accompaniment. Also thanks to "infos" a new edition of the museum catalogue (infos brochure no. 16) was published.

In March we were able to complete our "stamp collection" thanks to the great support and commitment of L. Felten. With the PDP-8/I the series of PDP-8s is now complete: Classic-8, 8/S, 8/I, 8/L, 8/E, 8/F, 8/M, 8/A, VT78, SBC6120

In summer we received the Nagard DT103, an old, archaic looking dual beam oscilloscope.


Thanks to our generous supporter L. Felten we received a 6502 system MCS "Alpha 1" as well as "Beta 8".

In October Prof. K. Rothermel (Dean), Prof. E. Plödereder (Board infos), Dr. S. Rehm (Vice Rector) and Prof. W. Ressel (Rector of the University) visited the museum.


In the framework of the Maker Space - part of the Hobby&Elektronik at the New Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre - the museum participated with a small exhibition and demonstration.

A very friendly donor sent us manuals and brochures on Dietz computers, including the MINCAL 523 manual, and the reverse engineering we performed was so perfect that gaps and errors were found in the manual. On the other hand it provided a lot of valuable information.


The MINCAL system produced the complete circuit diagrams and documented the instruction set and microcode. The computer was repaired and is ready for operation now.


The computer museum celebrated its 15th anniversary. In December, we received a MINCAL 523 computer from the company Dietz, which is a very exotic computer (e.g. due to its 19-bit architecture). The system was originally located at the Federal Institute of Hydrology in Koblenz. Unfortunately, there are no documents for the system, a complete reverse engineering is necessary.


 In cooperation with "infos" and the IBM Museum in Sindelfingen, the IBM 4331 system was delivered. In this context "infos" and the IBM-Museum signed a cooperation agreement.


In agreement with Al Kossow and Jay West computer science becomes an official Mirror von Bitsavers.


The museum acquired a  Cogar C4  (identical in construction to the ICL or Friden-Singer 1501); the special thing, however, was not so much the computer, but the complete documents with circuit diagrams and the like. The previous owner, Mr. Goldfuß, was formerly project manager and US representative of Cogar. Therefore there is a lot of developer information in the documents


On June 23, 2007, the Science Day took place, where we were again present with the demonstration of some of the instruments. The computer museum celebrated its 10th anniversary. In cooperation with "infos" the second catalogue of the museum is published, which has become much more comprehensive. Prof. Frider Nake also gave a lecture on the occasion of the festivities.


Poster - 10 Years - Anniversary of the Computer Museum


In January the second LGP-30 (serial number 40) was picked up from Ostfildern. It was disassembled as far as possible for transport. In the museum it was restored in the following weeks. Due to the experiences with the first LGP-30 this was done relatively quickly, especially since the condition was quite good.

The Computer Museum participated in this year's Long Night of Science on July 7, 2008. The focus of the interactive demonstrations this year were computer games of the first generations. Among them were the moon landing on the LGP-30, pong and other TV games, and games on some home computers.

The museum received a PDP11/10 with vector graphics processor and screen from the University of Karlsruhe. On this system the well-known moon landing game can be demonstrated with control via a light pen.

The Computer History Museum (CHM) in Mountain View, California, took over large parts of the former Aachen computer museum with the help of SAP. The Computermuseum in Stuttgart took over some of the parts that the CHM had to leave behind.


The computer center of the University of Karlsruhe leased us 16 boxes of punched cards. In October the next big action took place: The Physics Institute bequeathed us their complete HP1000 system. The scope was a dozen computers, several tape drives, punched tape readers/punchers, terminals, documentation, magnetic tapes etc. The quantity was too large to keep everything, so some parts were passed on. In the same month we were offered another LGP-30. We hardly thought it possible. But we knew instinctively that it must be the computer of the Otto-Hahn- Gymnasium.


The next big entry, after the LGP-30, was a complete IBM 1130  system for punch cards and magnetic disk operation. The IBM 1130 was brought from Reutlingen University of Applied Sciences to Stuttgart in a major operation. The remarkable thing about this system is the very good condition and the completeness. Besides the equipment, all documents, programs and media are available

In October, a symposium with the topic "Stuttgart 1960: Computers in Theory and Art" took place at the Akademie Schloß Solitude. Among others, the computer graphics pioneers Frieder Nake and Georg Nees were guests, as well as the founding fathers of computer science Prof. Walter Knödel and Prof. Rul Gunzenhäuser. In the course of this symposium, the LAB8/e in the field of computer graphics and the Friden Flexowriter in the field of "computer generated texts" (Theo Lutz et al.) were also presented.



In March 2003, the Computer Museum moved into the new building on campus, as did the entire computer science department. Due to the larger room of about 97m² the collection can be presented much better and also larger groups up to about 20 persons can participate in the demonstrations.


The museum celebrated its fifth anniversary.

The Computer Museum in 2002


On the occasion of the 5th anniversary of "infos" the first catalogue of the Computermuseum is published as infos-brochure.


A colloquium was held on July 11,  2000 on the occasion of the successful repair and commissioning of the LGP-30.


After finding an IBM 5110 at the flea market and several visits, Christian Corti, then a student at the Faculty of Computer Science, came to the museum.

Through various discussions and the promise to repair and demonstrate the computer, the LGP-30 from Esslingen came to the museum in autumn. It was a certain sensation, because until then there was only one computer in Germany, the IBM 650 in Sindelfingen, which was ready for operation and demonstration and was equipped with tubes and a magnetic drum.


The museum celebrated its first birthday. In the same year the first web pages of the museum were created.


The opening of the computer museum took place in February 1997. The room on the ground floor of the building in the Breitwiesenstraße had a surface of approx. 30m².


The suggestion of Klemens Krause to found a small computer museum met with the approval of the professors of the then Faculty of Computer Science. In the further course of events the faculty council therefore decided to found a computer museum.

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