Software Gurus Want to Mark Region’s Role in Starting Digital World with a Computer Museum

Kimberly McGuane
Commodore of West Chester rivaled Apple as a pioneering manufacturer of cheap personal computers.

Several software gurus have proposed establishing a computer museum in Philadelphia to mark the role of the region, including Chester County, in starting the digital world, writes Joseph DiStefano for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“Computers didn’t start in Silicon Valley,” said Jim Scherrer, a sales-software mogul. “They started here.”

Scherrer, a Penn graduate and avid fan of vintage computing equipment, is hoping that a computer museum, or a Compuseum, would provoke the next wave of innovation in the area.

In the early days of modern computers, Philadelphia radio factories supplied computer pioneers with vacuum tubes. But that was far from the area’s only field of dominance in the early digital world.

Wayne-based Sungard dominated business backup computing for decades. However, its private-equity owners did not finance its jump to the cloud, stunting its growth.

Meanwhile, Commodore of West Chester is still one of the best-known names from early computing. Back then the company rivaled Apple as a pioneering manufacturer of cheap personal computers. In the end, however, it failed to deliver enduring products.

Scherrer is now actively working on making the museum a reality and is already receiving donations.

Read more about the proposed computer museum in the Philadelphia Inquirer here.

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