Computer History Museum

Two weeks ago, Rob and I spent a couple hours at the very excellent Computer History Museum in Mountain View. I can’t get over how awesome it was. We saw some core memory, a PDP-1, a German Enigma, part of ENIAC, an IBM 360, an Apple I, an Altair, a Xerox Alto… so much amazing antique tech. We spent the entire time in the Visible Storage exhibit, but there are many others including Mastering the Game, the history of computer chess.

Here’s a picture of me standing inside a Cray-1 (serial number 001, originally at Los Alamos). Mark inside a Cray-1

Many elements of the museum’s collection are available online. For example, check out the Cray-1 Manual I just found, or this picture of Seymore himself.

The museum is located in the old SGI building just off 101 (on N. Shoreline Blvd.), and is totally free — although donations are welcome and, naturally, accepted in powers of two.

On our way home, we stopped at Halted Electronics, which served as a kind of surrogate gift shop for the museum. HSC is like Noah’s ark for electronics and computer parts: they have two of everything. I picked up a killer AthlonMP motherboard for $20. Great store, don’t miss it.


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