Sunday, March 8, 2015

Tri-City News: Port Moody Library shows off old tech

Port Moody Library shows off old tech

Maryn Ashdown of the Port Moody Public Library shows off some of the items that will be part of the Retro Tech Fair Petting Zoo on Feb. 7. - SARAH PAYNE/THE TRI-CITY NEWS
Maryn Ashdown of the Port Moody Public Library shows off some of the items that will be part of the Retro Tech Fair Petting Zoo on Feb. 7.
Remember the good old days, when we talked on telephones attached to the wall, rented VCRs from the video store and marveled at the first Commodore 64 on the block?
Travel back in tech time at the Port Moody Public Library's Retro Tech Petting Zoo on Feb. 7, a technology fair where families can check out cool old gadgets — the parents will get to reminisce about simpler times while kids puzzle over just how that rotary phone was supposed to work — from an antique vacuum tube radio to the iconic yellow Sony Sport Walkman.
"It's a first-time event so we're excited to see how it goes," said Maryn Ashdown, program and services co-ordinator at the PMPL.
Inspiration for the event came from the library's interest and history in information technology and the way it has shaped our own personal histories.
"Our mandate is to facilitate the exchange and exploration of ideas and information within the community," Ashdown said, "and information technology does define how we connect."
The library chronicles the history and progress of information technology while simultaneously being shaped itself by technological progress. Anyone who used to research a paper by thumbing through the vast card catalogue, and now borrows an e-book to read on their iPad from the comfort of their sofa, can attest to the way technology has changed the way the library does business.
The goal, Ashdown said, is to facilitate the discovery of information by whatever medium clients prefer — book collections, discussion groups, streaming media, DVDs and CDs and by providing free computer access to the entire community.
The technology fair will be a chance for families to explore all manner of devices and experiment with the latest in techno wizardry. Items have been donated or loaned and some of the owners will be on hand at the fair to give demonstrations (kids accustomed to the slick graphics in today's video games might be keen to try their hand at a Super Mario Bros. game console).
From the Atari Disk Drive 1050 personal computer to a chance to see a 3D printer in action, as well as demos by the Amateur Radio Club — showing off both old-school gear and modern communication devices — the Retro Tech Petting Zoo will offer a fascinating glimpse into the past in all its cumbersome, clunky glory.
• The Retro Tech Petting Zoo is on Saturday, Feb. 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


  1. Wow, thanks for picking this up! I'm happy to answer any questions, if anyone is wondering about event details. We had a ton of fun.

  2. Thanks for the feedback, glad it went well!