The Computer History Museum – An Amazing Trip Through Time

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The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, is a truly amazing place. Even if you are not a geek like me, or indeed not a geek at all, it’s a wonderful walk through the evolution of computing, and provides unique and unexpected views into history.

Indeed, the Computer History Museum holds something for everyone – an hour and a half long tour held the attention of guests from 7 to 70. Now that’s saying something!


Starting with what is considered by most to be the dawn of modern computing, the abacus, the exhibits are truly something to behold. Moving along in time from the abacus, one passes an array of antique slide and cylinder rules, a difference engine, log books as thick as your arm, and a model of and genuine cards from a Jaquard loom (considered by some to be the first punch cards, and hence the first computer program). And that’s just in the pre-keyed machine area!

Then you move on to analog computers, computers made up of banks and banks of tubes, and computers bigger than most bedrooms in Silicon Valley. They have an Eniac and a Johnniac, And Crays 1, 2, and 3. They have an IBM 360, and the IBMs which came before that. A PDP10. And even the Neiman Marcus Kitchen Computer, which was offered at $10,600, came with a 1 1/2 day class, and never sold at all – not a one.

They had siamese monitors:

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the first analog computer:

 

and a honking big tube:

AND

They had this amazing bit of history – do you know what it is?:

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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4 thoughts on “The Computer History Museum – An Amazing Trip Through Time

  1. It looks a bit like an enigma engine; certainly the cog behind/next to the box tends to re-inforce that thought.

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