Visitors can walk inside a Ford Taurus that was the subject of a 40% offset front crash text, performed at 35 miles per hour at Ford Motor Company Barrier Crash Test Facility in Dearborn, Mich., Feb. 29, 2008. Visitors can compare the physical crash footage to the simulation.  (Amar D. Gupta/Siliconeer)

The Computer History Museum opened its newest exhibition “Make Software: Change the World!” Jan. 28. The $7 million, 6,000 square foot exhibition explores how the lives of people everywhere have been transformed by software. Siliconeer presents a preview. – @Siliconeer #Siliconeer #Technology #SiliconValley #MountainView #ComputerHistoryMuseum #CHM @CHM #WorldofWarcraft #Warcraft #Adobe #Photoshop @GioHunt @BlizzardEntertainment @ThomasKnoll #Wikipedia #SteveJobs #Apple #Google #Ford #AutonomousVehicle #SelfdrivingCar #MedicalLifeSciences #Coding #KidsLearning #Software #MP3

Structured around three areas of transformation—Life and Death, Perception and Reality, Knowledge and Belonging—the exhibition is designed for middle-schoolers, families, and adults and features multimedia and touchscreen interactives, including a Software Lab at where visitors can explore coding hands-on.

The exhibition is part of the museum’s new “Transformation Age” strategy, which goes beyond history to explore the sweeping transformation brought about by computing and implications for the future.  In a 2016 study by the Pew Research Center, Americans ranked the tech revolution as the third most significant event of their lifetimes – higher than the JFK assassination, Vietnam War and the moon landing.  The velocity and scope of this transformation mean government, business, and society will need to be re-thought. In an increasingly digital society, we all need to understand our rapidly transforming environment. The authoritative and objective perspective of the museum can guide that understanding.

“From our vantage point in the heart of Silicon Valley, the Computer History Museum is the major institution in the world attempting to work out the meaning of this ongoing era of transformation—to identify, preserve and present it even as the forces of change shape events in real time,“ said John C. Hollar, the Museum’s president and chief executive officer. “We collect, exhibit, educate, publish and story-tell for a singular purpose:  We seek to enhance understanding of this modern-day transformation.”

Why is the Museum opening this exhibit?

Software is essential to our daily lives, and is also largely invisible.  As part of our educational mission, CHM is expanding its work to document and explain software and its ongoing impact in the world.  This is part of a major expansion of CHM to include software history, entrepreneurship, and new STEM education programs in addition to our other historic work.  All of these elements help to educate museum-goers on the rapid transformation that computing is bringing to our world.

How did you pick the stories (Photoshop, texting, MP3, etc.)?

Our goal is to highlight the impact of software in the world and the interplay between “makers” and “users.”  We began with a list of 100 important software applications that an average user might know about today.  Using a process of elimination, through broad outside consultation with experts from both the “maker” and the “user” communities, CHM’s curatorial staff boiled the list down to the seven stories that appear in the exhibition.  We feel these seven stories illustrate important lessons in three areas where software affects humanity:  Life and Death (MRI and Car Crash Simulation), Knowledge and Belonging (Wikipedia and Texting), and Perception and Reality (MP3, Photoshop, and World of Warcraft).

The museum’s Transformation Age strategy is funded by a $30 million, multi-year campaign. The museum has raised $18.5 million toward that goal. The strategy has three initiatives –  Transformation Explained, Transformation Explored and Transformation Preserved – all of which are designed to connect the dots between the past and the future.

Exponential Center, opened in 2016, is designed for entrepreneurs and those who support them. Entrepreneurs and computing go hand in hand. Across the world, people want to understand why that is, how it happens, what is special about the way it works in Silicon Valley, and how past innovation connects to the future. The Exponential Center, supported by an advisory board with some of the leading innovators and investors in Silicon Valley, will capture and preserve that history and make those forward-looking connections.

Center for Software History, designed primarily for historians, academics and researchers. This $20 million center leverages the museum’s extensive collections to understand and tell the story of software, preserving this history for posterity. This center will house the Museum’s growing collection of source code.

Education Center, scheduled to open mid-2017, is designed for families, educators and students of all ages. This IDEO-designed center extends the museum’s award-winning education programs that explore not only the “what” but also the “why” and the “how” of computing and encourage visitors to think critically about how technology is changing our lives.

In addition to the new “Make Software: Change the World!” exhibit, the museum presents a range of exhibits that explore the Transformation Age.

“Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing” a 25,000-square-foot exhibition, featuring 19 galleries, 1,100 objects, and an array of original multimedia experiences that chronicle the history of computing on a global scale.

“Where To? A History of Autonomous Vehicles” explores the decades-long challenge of bringing self-driving cars to the public.

“Thinking Big: Ada, Countess of Lovelace” presents the remarkable life of English mathematician and visionary Ada Lovelace.

“Fairchild, Fairchildren, and the Family Tree of Silicon Valley” celebrates the legacy of Fairchild Semiconductor, the company that spawned hundreds of ventures that established Silicon Valley as a world center of entrepreneurial activity and technological leadership.

CHM Live, a speaker series designed for a broad audience curious about the evolution of computing and its role in our lives. Past speakers have included Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Paul Allen, and Eric Schmidt. Future areas of exploration are cyberwarfare, artificial intelligence, medicine, digital currency and entertainment & gaming.

Shustek Center, designed for scholars and historians, is a $4 million, 50,000-square-foot research center, named for museum Board Chairman Len Shustek. The Shustek Center, including a new Software preservation lab, will anchor the museum’s expanding research agenda and house our large and rapidly expanding collection of digital assets.

Cisco Archive Project, a groundbreaking collaboration with Cisco Systems taps into the Museum’s extensive experience in computing history and archive management to preserve and reveal Cisco’s significant role in shaping the Internet.

The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., is a nonprofit organization with a four-decade history as the world’s leading institution exploring the history of computing and its ongoing impact on society. The Museum is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of computer history and is home to the largest international collection of computing artifacts in the world, encompassing computer hardware, software, documentation, ephemera, photographs, and moving images.

The Museum brings computer history to life through large-scale exhibits, an acclaimed speaker series, a dynamic website, docent-led tours, and an award-winning education program. The Museum’s signature exhibition is “Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing,” described by USA Today as “the Valley’s answer to the Smithsonian.” Other current exhibits include the “IBM 1401 Demo Lab,” “PDP-1 Demo Lab,” and “Where To? A History of Autonomous Vehicles.”

Schools and teachers can visit as part of a self-guided visit to the Museum, or before or after a docent-led tour of the Revolution exhibition. The Museum also offer workshops for K-12 groups that relate to the content of the exhibition. Visits and workshops can be booked on their website: