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Impressions from the birthday of the world’s largest computer museum

For the 25th anniversary, the Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum opened the exhibition “Best of HNF” in the foyer, which leads through more than two decades of the museum in the style of a classic fair and will be open until August 7, 2022. For the first time children started a “search for clues” with a booklet to solve puzzles. In addition to the exhibition “Paper planes and rubber twists”, gingerbread hearts from nearby Lemgo and vegan gummy bears put people in a good mood. Entry was free for everyone on that day.

Barker Robot

Two robots greeted the visitors. Pepper, who was always standing in the foyer, recited poems, while a stylishly disguised robot drove through the stands as a carnival screecher and motivated people to come closer. The various stations gave the visitor an overview of the history of the museum.

Classic fairground attractions such as a barrel organ and “Hau den Lukas” provided the visitors with information. When visitors crank a barrel organ, they can move images of exhibits such as the Chess Turks and see the detailed replicas of the HNF. In a virtual horse race you can answer questions about the development of computer technology to this day and also compete against others.

In the cabinet of rarities, among other things, exhibits such as the smallest steam engine in the world, curious calculating apples, a special dog’s skull and a rare Casartelli disk could be viewed. At a shooting gallery, targets could be aimed at with an infrared rifle and then videos of various exhibitions could be activated by shooting. Various films were shown in a small cinema, for example about robots playing soccer, federal presidents and juggling artists.

The tour through the exhibition ends with a quiz in which a tablet can be won. In addition, spectators were able to demonstrate and explain the new replicas of the Theseus mouse and the ES 24 electronic balancer.

“With this exhibition we want to take all visitors on a journey back into the history of the HNF,” emphasizes managing director Dr. Jochen Viehoff. “Unfortunately, the Corona situation does not allow you to have a big party. That is why we decided on this exhibition at an early stage. Here you can stroll relaxed through 25 years, let yourself be surprised again and again and enjoy the fair atmosphere. “

In addition to the search for clues quiz, children also got to know information technology through various stations of “paper planes and rubber twists”. Small and large guests had a lot of fun with a game inspired by Fruit Ninja, in which visitors could smash fruit by moving. Going beyond sporting activities such as the virtual rubber twists, an ice cream parlor gave the audience access to the logical operators “and”, “or”, “not”.

Entrance area of ​​the children’s exhibition

Self-painted fish swam on a large screen in a 3D aquarium and a secret message could be sent through the exhibition via pneumatic mail and even encrypted.

Tinkered paper planes that could be flown over a ramp with air pressure were also popular.

The new museum café F7, which offers dishes and snacks as well as cakes and hot and cold drinks, invited to take a break.

Last Saturday the award ceremony of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the world’s largest technical professional association, took place. On its 25th anniversary, the HNF was awarded a “Special Citation in History”, an award for museums, libraries and archives for special achievements in the preservation of technical history. In addition to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California and the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade, the HNF is the third museum worldwide to receive this award.

“The HNF is recognized because, in lectures, workshops, seminars and exhibitions, it gives a broad audience the insights and perspectives they need to find their way in a world that is increasingly shaped by digital technology,” explained Dr. Johannes Blobel from IEEE Germany.

One of the highlights of the anniversary event announced by the museum is to be the family day on Sunday, November 21st. It ties in with the special exhibition “Paper Airplane and Rubber Twist”. As on the anniversary day, small museum visitors have the opportunity to look for clues and solve tasks in the permanent and special exhibition. As a reward, there should be a little surprise. A special highlight will be a bouncy castle. Admission to the entire HNF is also free on this day.


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