When I started collecting PCs, people thought I was crazy,” says Yves Bolognini – the engineer who gave his name to the Bolo Museum, established in 2002 in the computer science building at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).
Since the early 1990s, the young man has piled boxes full of computer equipment in his parents’ apartment and then his student bedroom. At the start of the new millennium, he realized that these computers would become parts of a technological heritage to be rediscovered.
On brown and orange carpeting, snaking between the windows, ridiculously small screens and outdated keyboards line the path taken by this high technology, recalling the time when these machines had not yet infiltrated every corner of our lives…
From electronics to computing
In addition to the Hall of Fame, featuring the robust IBM PC, the first real personal computer for the general public (1981), the first Mac (1984) and the game-related Commodore PET, more than 500 different machines, not to mention the games consoles, calculators, peripherals, etc., allow students – many of whom are younger than these machines! – to get an idea of how technology and industrial design have developed over the years.
The exhibition even pays tribute to the creations of the institution that houses it. It shows how we have gone from electronics to computing, perhaps without even realizing it.
In other displays, the incessant miniaturization process is shown through different PC memory and motherboards, placed side by side. Visitors can also have fun with the hefty weight of the first “portable” computers.