Datamuseet – Computer History Museum in Sweden

While I was in Sweden last week, I visited the Datamuseet in Linköping, Sweden. Their permanent exhibition, ‘Digitala drömmar’ (Digital Dreams) forms part of a larger regional museum, the Östergötlands Museum. While it may not be huge, they have some impressive machinery to show.

The well informed Director of the Museum, Thomas Clifford, gave me a personal tour around the products on display, and was a mine of information about Swedish Computer History.

The Facit EDB console - a transistorised computer based on an earlier valve driven machine. The inside is mostly empty space!

Of particular interest were a number of computers of Swedish manufacture they had on display which predated well known US ‘firsts’:

An early Swedish Personal Computer by Transintro Transdata from 1972 - a full three years before the MITS Altair!

It was while I was at the Museum that I first heard of Steve Jobs’ death the previous night. Staff had typed in the text ‘Steve Jobs 1955-2011 : (‘ which stayed on screen followed by a forlorn blinking cursor. A fitting tribute to the man who helped change the way computers looked forever.

A Luxor computer from 1980, with text displayed on the monitor - 'Steve Jobs 1955-2011 : ('

So, if you are ever in Sweden and have an urge to see some really interesting old computers, then I can thoroughly recommend a visit to this excellent place. There are more details and directions on their website, although only in Swedish (I am told this will be remedied soon!)


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