WorkShops at ACMS

I just wanted to start a thread of the Wednesday Workshops and somewhere I can document our ongoing restoration works on Wednesday WorkShops at west Street!
Next events are 4PM - 7PM;
July 27th,
August 10th
August 24th
Free for all ACMS members.

From the 18th of May, fortnightly, on Wednesday evenings from 4pm to 7pm, the workshop has been open at West Street for members to access our JBC soldering iron to get some quality soldering done. Scanning equipment, Hot Air re-work, ultrasonic cleaning and BGA re-work stations will be available on pre-arrangement.

The workshops are starting to take off with at least 7 people turning up to our last two evenings.


Just to advise the ACMS is now open for workshops every SATURDAY from the 11th of March 2023.

Here is an update from our Newsletter;

Workshop - Super Saturday 11th- The reconfig and restore workshop

We are going to make a change to the setup to ensure the “Theatre” can be used for workshops on weekends as well to allow for more interaction with guests and proper leader lead educational workshops can take place sooner rather than later!

Currently the multi-purpose theatre space is often used by the cataloguing team - which causes issues for theatre/education use and the reconfigurations required each time we run an event. By making a small adjustment to the space both short and mid term, we will be able to give the cataloguing team a dedicated workspace with terminals and privacy, which will double to effectively close off the storage areas of the ACMS to the general public and non-volunteers. This will effectively make the space safer and prevent overlap between the restoration volunteers and the cataloguing volunteers getting in each others ways, particular to allow cataloguing to occur 24/7 without impact to the museums operations.

This will require a bit of muscle, so if you have some time this Saturday, drop down as we will be in from 9am before the standard general 11am open time for interested public members to come down.

We have also identified a number of items and racks we wish to remove from the collection and others to consolidate - We have ended up with items in the museum that are not in line with the heritage aspect, or important to the story of Australian IT which need to make way for more care of the important items we house.

Our list of tasks for the 11th will be;

  1. Restore our Macintosh SE HD, Osbourne 1, diagnosis of a failed TV power supply, Apricot and DEC Writer
  2. Fire up a MicroVax/PDP11 located in very good condition and see what OS is at play
  3. Prep and digest collection items to ready disposal of some heavily damaged and necessary items in advance of the cataloguing teams restart.
  4. Build a new display unit to house more items for active display.
  5. Reconfigure the Theatre and workshops.

Workshop - Super Saturday 18th

Seb and his team will be back and ready to teach any of those on how to catalog items into our system.

Cataloguing is one of the most important tasks of the ACMS to understand and appreciate the collection and give access to our collection globally for comment and interaction. This is a great way to volunteer as once the collection is mechanically put into the catalogue, people from anywhere in Australia or across the globe can help qualify and add data to the items prior to being published.

The basic process is

  1. Items are wiped down and photogrpahed
  2. The are uploaded into the backend catalogue
  3. The items are tagged and wrapped
  4. The items are put into a storage location which is linked on the cat
  5. Volunteers remotely can review the images and update tags, details and other particulars of each item
  6. Those reviewed items are checked for quality and then published to the public catalogue

Please reach out if you can help locally or remotely!

Prior Workshops

Greg and Adrian have been spending a lot of time identifying DEC and PDP units in the collection. Adrian has been working with Michael Thompson of the Rhode Island Computer Museum to assess our PDP-10 (KS-10) DECDATASYSTEM 2020 from the USA! (Read here PDP-10 System Number - #34 by m_thompson)

We have repatriated and sorted goods from John Geremin which are now finding homes in the storage space and museum.

The “Triangle” room - the museums new entry, gift shop and members reading nook is complete! Thank you Adrian M, Adrian F, Richard K, Kier, Murray and Greg for all making this happen in record time! Extra Special thanks to Richard K who made us our bespoke book and sales shelf and helped me plug a few little holes on the flat roof. We really appreciate it!

The Micro PDP 11/83 is running and we are looking for a way to clone the data on the drive as it is having some minor read/write errors - we have found some MFM drives and continue to look for other parts in the collection to terminate and test other PDP’s

We did fire up the DEC Writer III on the 4th to find the Power supply is a tad dodgy and cutting out, so this will be added to the every growing restoration list, however its great to see it is functional and the bands and carriage is otherwise in great working order!

Vince donated a Macintosh Performa with a number of awesome games installed such as Prince of Persia 1 and 2! This has temporarily replaced the SE Mac that has failed on display to give more interactivity to members and guests.

I hope you can come down and join! Give us a bell on 02 8317 3011 if you can!

We recommend some old clothes and solid shoes.