One of the highlights of the MVP Summit is the party organised by Desiree and her team. I've been lucky enough to go on a few of these over the years, and there was much excitement tonight as we boarded the bus to "Who knows where" for the event this year.
The coach driver was sworn to secrecy but after a short journey from Bellevue to the Seattle outskirts we arrived at the party venue The Living Computer Museum.
The key word in the name of the museum is "living". These machines are all in working order and you are allowed, even encouraged to play with them. I was able to relive some of the coding of my younger days and I went round putting my "bubbles" program on as many machines as I could find (and there were a lot of them):
10 PRINT SPC(RND(1)*40);"o":GOTO 10
This displays a rather nice rising bubble display. See if you can work out how it works.
Once I'd had a play with all the microcomputers (and there were a lot of them) I spotted something that really made my heart jump. They had a card punch machine just like the one that I used when I was learning how to program. At the university we had a bunch of these and you would type your program onto punched cards that were fed into the machine two or three times a day, They even let me sit down and punch a card for old time's sake.
It's a very weird feeling to see something that you used to use (and which was at the cutting edge in it's day) turning up in a museum like this. When you think that the iPads and flat screen TVs that we think are state of the art now will be in a similar situation in forty years or so it gives you pause to think about technology and how fast it changes things.
A truly awesome place. Not for all perhaps, but for Microsoft MVPs I can't really think of a better place to have a do. I'd be happy to have the party there every year. I'm certainly going back there under my own steam at some point in the future.