Aussie computer museum side-steps closer to dump

The Australian Computer Museum Society is still without a permanent home for its collection.

The Australian Computer Museum Society is still without a permanent home for its collection.

The collection in storage at its old warehouse

(Credit: The Australian Computer Museum Society)

The Society has been collecting the IT industry's dinosaurs since the 1960s, with items falling into its hands including punch card machines, mechanical computers from the 1920s and personal computers that date from before the birth of the IBM PC.

However, the Society's collection has been having trouble finding a home for some months.

The collection was originally stored in Homebush until the site housing it was set aside for development. It then moved to south-west Sydney's Minto, but could only stay until a commercial customer arrived. After the customer moved in, the Society began a mad scramble to find somewhere else to stay.

As a temporary measure, the Society members have financed a smaller store from their own pockets. "We managed to move the material in six days and we were out of the old store just before midnight on the last day," Deane said.

"It's not sustainable financially and it's insane if we ever want to do anything with the collection — it's all packed too close."

A ray of hope appeared when the Society was asked to put in a proposal to the Sydney Olympic Park Authority to use old explosive stores which are being developed for community use such as hosting parts of the HSC Art Express exhibition.

"It had felt like such a good fit," Deane said.

However, the Authority turned down the society's proposal at the end of last week because it lacked a way to finance itself. "When it came down to the crunch, they didn't feel that there was a viable business plan," he said. "We're a bit low on ideas at the moment," he added, but said the campaign to find a new home will continue, at a more sedate pace now the Society's collection has temporary lodgings.

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