Edo Dooijes (1936 - 2017)
Edo Dooijes founded the Computer Museum in 1991. After his retirement he continued to care for the
collection which gradually expanded over the years. In 2010 moved to a new location at Science Park
904 in Amsterdam. By then, the collection had become part of the
Special Collections of the University of Amsterdam. The museum was provided with space to stock
computers that were not on display.
Edo had the special gift to combine detailed knowledge of historic electronics and mechanics with
insights about the history of computers and their operating systems. He would repair old systems
that ran into troubles with their mechanic parts, such as decaying rubber bands or rusty wheels,
but he would just as easily fix outdated monitors or electronic tube-based systems.
Edo had detailed knowledge on PDP-11 operating systems and wrote applications in his favorite language
. Programming an early graphical 'teapot' application, he showed how early graphics
operated on storage monitors like the Tektronix 611.
In the years after his retirement the museum gained a new function as a data atelier: a unique place
where people could come by with their defunct floppy disks, punch cards, papertape and other old
media, to have them read. Customers were happy to read again data from antiquated Apple II floppies,
or early PC's incompatible with systems of today.
Article (Dutch) in De Volkskrant
Edo always worried what would happen with his collection should something happen to him.
On the harddisk of his home computer we found detailed notitions what to do in such a situation. The
University of Amsterdam will continue to curate the collection. Plans are being developed to
relocate the collection to another location. The historic computer collection of the University of
Amsterdam has become the best of its kind in the Netherlands and it attracks visitors from all over the world.
(August 26, 2017,
with permission of Editor).