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Deutsches Technikmuseum - April

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The Websites of the donation Stiftung Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin at a glance:

Stiftung

The donation contains six locations:

Exhibit of the Month April 2018

Photo: On display is the LC-80’s artificial leather folder opened up for perusal. On the right half is the computer´s printed circuit board; on the left half is the accompa-nying handbook.

The LC-80 educational computer and the accompanying handbook in a stylish leather folder. ©SDTB / Photo: C. Kirchner

Educational computer LC-80 (1984/85) and Arduino Uno (2013)

"Hallo User of LC-80" is the greeting that was displayed on the LC-80 educational computer developed by the state owned VEB Kombinat Mikroelektronik Erfurt (GDR). At first, this single printed circuit board computer was primarily employed in schools but after 1985 it could be purchased by private persons in the GDR as well.

To gain a fundamental understanding of microprocessor technology

The LC-80 was designed to enable the hands-on use of microprocessor technology in order to gain a fundamental understanding of the field. Conceived as an educational computer, it was geared towards secondary and vocational school students as well as anyone studying electronics. The version that came in a stylish leather folder, however, also attracted the interest of hobby users and motivated them to learn about the individual components and the programming process.

Photo: A drawing of the LC-80’s individual components and connection points is on display. The different parts are labelled, some of them through the use of arrows in addition to the text.

The LC-80’s assembly diagram shows the individual components of the educational computer and all the available connection points. © SDTB / Photo: C. Kirchner

Programming input required a machine language which first had to be learned by the user. In addition, a multiplicity of inputs and outputs for additional peripherals enabled technical devices to be regulated and controlled. Thus the LC-80 could be used as a timer, a temperature display or as a tool for simple logical games.

The modern equivalent: the Arduino

The idea of using simple and robust computers as a way to awaken an interest in programming and foster an enthusiasm for informatics is as relevant today as ever. The modern equivalent of the LC-80 is the Arduino. Its inexpensive microcontroller board provides numerous ways to experiment with hardware and to test self-written programs. This versatility was the main reason that the Arduino gained such popularity in the so-called maker scene.