My first interaction with a computer was a Texas Instruments handheld business calculator I purchased for a 1973 University of Florida accounting course. It was the single most expensive educational purchase during nine years of college. By 1974 the College of Business was teaching us how to work with Fortran and COBOL. Early on, I was frustrated with the digital perfection of this new electronic world. A wrong character placed in the wrong order would continually hide and then taunt me with an elusive Cheshire smile.
Since those early college years, I have been fascinated with digital changes that have radically changed how the legal profession operates. When computers started changing the legal profession, I was enamored with the new possibilities for efficiency in doing legal research. I convinced my law firm to purchase Xerox brand computers because of Xerox’s technical history. Within a year, Xerox had abandoned the computers we had purchased. The firm’s computer investment went down the drain.
Lonnie Mimms, the founder of the Computer Museum of America (often referred to as “CMoA”), and I worked on a couple of Roswell charities together and shared our interest in our relative collections. His was an amazing digital collection that ran the breadth of computer history. Mine was IRS and tax memorabilia. Needless to say, his collection was far more fascinating for most people. When Lonnie founded CMoA, he asked me to help with the legal processes. I quickly agreed to be on the ground level of an amazing journey.
It was important to me to participate on the CMoA Board because the museum can impact people on multiple levels. By being a Board member, I hope to broaden that impact. Among the impacts of CMoA are the following:
History – CMoA preserves artifacts of the history of the computer revolution and advances the understanding of the amazing connections and stories of the leaders of technological transformation. Preserving history helps us understand the forces that have created the current world and provide unexpected insights into future societal developments triggered by these technological changes.
Community – I serve on the CMoA Board because I believe the Museum has the capacity to positively impact the community of Roswell and the larger world by preserving the artifacts of history and advancing the computer education and training of future leaders (and even my baby boomer generation). As a community resource, CMoA has the potential to draw together people of significantly different ages, backgrounds, and perspectives. Our hope is that CMoA will evolve into a gathering place for people of significantly different experiences and form bridges within our larger community, adding substantial benefits to the community we serve.
Vision – Like many of the other Board members, I have been drawn in by the confident vision of CMoA’s founder and his insights into the continually expanding technological developments of our world. One of our hopes is to inspire future generations with a greater understanding of the possibilities of future innovations and with hands-on education and training. The diverse Board members are a creative crew of differing backgrounds who, with optimism and insight, believe in making the world a better place. I am proud to be a part of this group.
There is something for everyone at CMoA. For example, having been a military history buff, I am enthralled by CMoA’s Enigma exhibit. The NASA exhibits bring back vivid childhood memories of the Gemini, Apollo, and Mercury space programs. I encourage everyone to take time to visit the museum and explore the rich and vast history of CMoA’s insightful exhibits and take part in the various activities on the museum’s calendar of events.
With your support, CMoA can realize its vision for expansion and continue to grow its role in the local community and far beyond inspiring innovators everywhere.
About the Author
Jeff Scroggin is a semi-retired tax attorney who practiced in Roswell and Atlanta for 43 years and spends his time lending his expertise to several non-profits.