A couple of weeks ago the Museum received a request from Peter Miller for access to a collection object. Now this type of access is not always granted as it is resource intensive – an object needs to be moved to a suitable location for viewing and a curator or conservator may need to be on hand to move the object – remember this material is kept by the Museum for the people of NSW in perpetuity and so we want it to last.
However if a genuine benefit to the Museum in the form of new research and information about the object is an outcome then we see this type of request as beneficial. Now this chap wanted to inspect a Canon Canola 1614P, a desk top programmable calculator and not only that he wanted to turn it on. Why? Because Peter was writing (for computer) an emulator and turning it on would help Peter “establish how certain operations worked, when they are not completely described in the operator’s manual.”
I thought this was a great endevour as an emulator of the Canon Canola would let everyone see how it worked without having the real thing and in some form preserve its character for others to enjoy. We checked with conservation of course and bought it up to speed with electronics providing the variac which would introduce current slowly. You can see the result of our efforts below and enjoy Peters vivid description of its operation and peculiarities.