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Pixel-Plane Computer at Sitterson Hall

Both the technophile and the technophobe may appreciate a trip to Sitterson Hall, on the UNC-CH campus. Home to the department of computer science, this building houses a small museum tracing the development of computer technology through the ages. Begin 5,000 years ago, with the invention of the Abacus, a simple device for quickly adding large sums using beads as counters, and follow the time line through to the technological explosion of the 1980's and 1990's. You can see pieces of the ATLAS computer, built in the 1960's, and the gigantic Pixel-Plane computers that were designed and built right here in UNC's Computer Science Department. Perhaps the sight of an old Apple II or IBM will take the younger visitor back to his or her first encounter with a computer. While there, be sure to check out the display on "virtual environments," which includes a neat hologram and a stereoscopic image of the office of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States.



The Graduate School at UNC-Chapel Hill

All Text and Photos © 2004.