Ancient relic from the distant past -- 1984 Dell PC -- donated to Smithsonian

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WASHINGTON -- Michael Dell never imagined his work would end up in a museum when he was sitting in his college dorm room in 1984, dreaming of building and selling his own personal computers.

Now, one of his original computers is going to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

The 42-year-old chairman and chief executive of Texas-based Dell Inc. donated a collection of materials Wednesday to the Smithsonian, including his employee badge, one of the company's newest computers and a PC Limited computer from 1985.

The objects will join an Altair computer, a first-generation IBM PC and an original Apple Macintosh in the museum's collection.

"If we do our jobs right, I suspect that much of the technology developed right now in 2007 will be ready for the museum in another two or three years or so," said Dell, who dropped out of the University of Texas at Austin 23 years ago when his business took off.

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