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Apple Pop-Up exhibits ‘pieces of computer history’
by Joan Durbin
April 10, 2013 10:48 AM | 8567 views | 2 2 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
From left, Roswell resident collector Lonnie Mimms, curator Thereze Almstrom and graphics artist Jannelle Brockway.
From left, Roswell resident collector Lonnie Mimms, curator Thereze Almstrom and graphics artist Jannelle Brockway.
Many Americans have gotten used to dumping their current computers and smartphones when they buy newer versions.

But not Lonnie Mimms.

The Roswell resident has every computing device he ever owned — and quite a few more.

His collection is “very deep and extensive going back to the very first microcomputer, with a few of the larger computer mainframes thrown in,” Mimms said.

“I started the collection process when I started using computers as a little kid, 10 or 11 years old on a time share mainframe through a special summer program at Fernbank Science Center. I convinced my dad to buy one of the very first micros and from there on, I never got rid of anything.”

It’s Mimms’ collection that is the source for the Apple Pop-up Museum, a two-day-only exhibit of what is being billed as one of the largest displays of historic and modern Apple products in the country.

Held in 6,000 square feet in the Kings Market Shopping Center that once housed CompUSA in Roswell, the Apple Pop-Up has about 75 devices by the company, 25 of which are all iPod generations between the 2000 version and today’s.

The Apple technology on display ranges from the company’s very first product, the Apple I personal computer, to its most recent consumer electronics. The exhibit features other rare Apple milestones, including an original Apple II and a Lisa, the first commercial computer with a graphical user interface, or GUI.

There also is a Xerox Alto, the first computer with a mouse-driven GUI using a desktop metaphor and a major influence on early Apple designs, such as the Macintosh and Lisa.

Mimms, who spearheaded the Pop-Up, said out of all the devices in his possession, he chose to do an Apple museum with the history of Apple “because it’s so mainstream. I thought it would bring in a better sampling of the general public.”

Apple has absolutely no official connection with the museum, Mimms emphasized, adding that they much prefer to look to the future rather than their past.

“Apple is a totally forward-looking visionary company. They don’t have a rear view mirror.”

But the one constant about technology is change, Mimms said. “These devices are made to be thrown away. They get obsolete very quickly, people ditch them and they end up in a landfill.

“The exhibit and my collection are for posterity to remember what we all saw in the beginning. These are pieces of computer history.”

Thereze Almsdtrom, a professional exhibit designer on sabbatical from the Museum of World Culture in Sweden and a friend of the Mimms family, is curating the Apple Pop-Up Museum.

“This exhibit is very much for the person who is into Apple products or computers but is not really aware of their history,” she said. “The average person has an iPhone but doesn’t know the story behind it.”

For more information, go to

If you go:
When: April 20 and April 21
Hours: Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Sunday 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Where: Kings Market Shopping Center, 1425 Market Blvd, Suite 200, Roswell
Tickets: Adults 18 and older $10. Two-day adult pass $15. Children age 17 and younger are free when accompanied by a parent or guardian

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