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A Curator is a member of the ComputerShelter, an organization
who's mission is to preserve the world's computing history and
Many fascinating and/or revolutionizing computing icons have come
and gone in decades past.
It is our creed to collect examples of these machines, accessories,
and technology for the purpose of restoration, experimentation, development,
preservation, and education. Members of the ComputerShelter believe
that this electronic art should not fade into obscurity, nor be needlessly
destroyed simply because the world marches on unceasingly.
Many computer users out there have personal stories behind their favorite
machines and equipment. These stories are not only entertaining and
interesting, but provide valuable resources for other collectors, beginning
computer users, and future computer designers and manufacturers. The
ComputerShelter seeks to not only capture the machines of the world, but
to preserve those personal interactions with the hardware and software of
these machines. Have you ever kicked your computer and it started working?
That is technology at work!
With a distributed effort to keep these machines alive, the ComputerShelter
doesn't need warehouse space to house the specimens.
Each Curator can provide their
own little bit to the ComputerShelter content, from entering machines to
be added to our online museum, to cataloging information and resources about
their own collection to provide a database for users around the world.
How do we do it?
When a new curator signs up, they list their town, state, and country of
origin. When an organization, institute, or company attempts to get
rid of their old or 'outdated' computer equipment,
they can look up the ComputerShelter page and find the
nearest Curator to them who will take their unwanted 'junk' without hassle.
The Curator can then enter his/her new equipment into the ComputerShelter's
database, where it can be showed off to other Curators or casual passerbys.
Curators can search the machine database to find details on machines,
stories of experiences, and other details on the machines.
As pieces are added to each Curator's stash, they are sent to the
Maintainers. The Maintainers (the operators of this website) will review
all entries to see if they are qualified to enter our Museum. The Museum
contains one of each kind of machine or variation, so if duplicate machines
are submitted, the best will be added to the Museum. We hope that the
Museum will grow to be a veritable resource to the computer community.
- All machines have worth, whatever their real-life market value may
or may not be. Worth does not diminish with age or ability. (except for
being broken or destroyed, of course)
- Older or unneeded machines should be traded or sold to other people and
collectors. Needless destruction only reduces the resources and information
available to us all.
- When a company requests a Curator to pick up equipment, they should
go and pick it up. The fact that it may not be what they want can be
rectified, as undoubtably there are other people on the ComputerShelter
list who will be glad to take the equipment. If Curators only pick
and choose what they want, donators will be
less likely to contact us for pickups - and that is
precisely how pieces are lost forever.
- While ComputerShelter operates with many ideals, we also realize that
not everyone has a corporate warehouse in which to house large amounts
of equipment. Therefore, if a Curator receives a pickup request and
cannot handle it, they should try with all effort to locate a Curator
who can take the equipment. Simply letting a pickup go can be negative to
the entire organization.
- When a piece is picked up, it should be registered with ComputerShelter,
if nothing else to indicate to other people the number of saved machines.
But the Curator should attempt to increase the data about the machine, as
the more information archived the more helpful the site will be.
- Working machines are never to be thrown away. There will always be
someone willing to hoard it in their stash. If you must get rid of a piece,
offer it for free with the taker paying the shipping and handling.
- Machines or parts which are determined to be broken or destroyed beyond
reasonable repair should be disposed of safely and responsibly.
ComputerShelter urges the protection of our natural resources and encourages
the Curators to dispose of equipment in earth-friendly manners.
Of course, these are only ideals. Real-life circumstances will sometimes
require that these rules be bent or even broken. However, we at
ComputerShelter believe that these principles help to promote and
preserve our hobby of collecting the past.