Ireland’s only computer museum exhibition opens in NUIG

Dr Chris Coughlan of Hewlett-Packard speaking in the Computer & Communications Museum, NUI Galway, with Pacman playing in the background.

Dr Chris Coughlan of Hewlett-Packard speaking in the Computer & Communications Museum, NUI Galway, with Pacman playing in the background.

An exhibition dedicated to the development of computer technology, video games, and communications opened this week at NUI Galway.

The museum is located at the on-campus Digital Enterprise Research Institute, which is the world’s largest institute researching the next generation of the world wide web.

There are exhibits on IT companies that established significant manufacturing/research operations in Ireland and showed a willingness to work with the Irish third-level educational sector such as Verbatim in Limerick, Apple in Cork, and the Digital Equipment Corporation in Galway, which in 1971 became the first such multinational entity to establish an export manufacturing operation in Ireland.

There are also exhibits on the development of the portable computer, the printer, and the microprocessor. Equipment on display includes DEC Vax, Digital Rainbow, Apple 11, Apple Macintosh, IBM PC, Commodore 64, Vic-20, BBC, and the Sinclair ZX81

There is one section of the museum though that should be very popular, namely the computers that allow users to play the legendary video games from the late 1970s and early 1980s, including Pacman, Space Invaders, and Asteroids.

“This unique science heritage facility, which will be open for one month, tells the fascinating story of key moments in the history of communications,” said Brendan Smith, DERI’s education/community outreach officer. “It has a central tenet of inspiring today’s youth to consider careers as scientists and engineers by highlighting the importance of ‘innovation’ to human progress.”

The exhibition is a collaboration between NUIG and the multi-sectoral eGalway group of the Galway City Development Board.

For further information and for visit bookings, email Brendan Smith at [email protected]

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