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Last Updated: Monday, 17 October 2005, 16:21 GMT 17:21 UK
Gates cheers on computer museum
Computer History Museum
The museum has been in Silicon Valley since 1996
One of the biggest names in computing, Bill Gates, is giving millions to preserve a history of the digital age.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged $15m (8.54m) to the Computer History Museum in California.

The gift is the museum's largest and will be used to create an interactive exhibit, tracing the computing revolution and its impact.

The Gates' donation boosts a $125m (71.2m) fund-raising campaign to set up a long-term endowment.

The institution still needs another $50m (28.4m) to reach its target.

It wants to use the funds to have more exhibits, have longer opening hours and set up educational programmes.

'Incredible change'

"The Gates' generous gift has provided an unprecedented opportunity to build more rapidly toward a full complement of programmes and exhibits, and fulfill our destiny as a significant and unique cultural resource," said John Toole, CEO of the museum.

Inside of Computer History Museum
The museum has a collection of more than 4,000 artefacts
The museum was established in 1996 and moved to its current site in Mountain View in California in 2002.

It houses an impressive collection of more than 4,000 computing artefacts, 10,000 images, 4,000 linear feet of catalogued documentation and gigabytes of software.

Currently the museum is only open three afternoons a week. It has two exhibitions, plus a large area where visitors can see a range of historic machines, such as a Cray-1 supercomputer, an Apple I and a PalmPilot prototype.

"The impact on our society of the computing revolution is simply breathtaking. It has changed the way we work, play, learn, and communicate," said Mr Gates.

"It's our responsibility to collect the artefacts and stories today that will explain this incredible change to future generations."

Techzonez Gates donates $15 million to computer history - 16 hrs ago
Brainerd Daily Dispatch Computer museum getting $15M from Gates - 38 hrs ago
KSL-TVComputer Museum Getting $15M From Gates - 40 hrs ago
KTVB.com Gates to donate $15M to computer museum - 44 hrs ago
CHINAdaily Gates to donate $15M to computer museum - 46 hrs ago
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