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The world's first museum exhibit on the history and role of microcomputers, software and hardware is at the Albuquerque's New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science. STARTUP: Albuquerque and the Personal Computer Revolution is funded by Paul G. Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1976, and a $1.5 million Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant.

The 4,000-square-foot gallery is located next to the museum's atrium, 15 minutes from the historic site where Paul Allen and Bill Gates launched Microsoft. The personal computer exhibit includes the development of the Altair (the first microcomputer available to the public) in Albuquerque, and the roles played by computers today.

Visitors learn that early computers were huge, expensive and exclusive to large organizations. The exhibit describes how hobbyists began playing with personal computers in the late 1960s and how Paul Allen, Bill Gates and Ed Roberts started the computer revolution.

The role of programmers, hackers, computer clubs, and games in developing computers for mass use is covered. Exhibits on computer-friendly software, graphical user interface (GUI), and the Internet show how they make it easy for people to use personal computers for everyday tools and problem solving. Museum-goers are asked to help predict the evolution and use of computers 10, 100 and 1,000 years in the future.