The Computer History Museum

A big milestone in my life was my first visit to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.

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Colin Ho Ready to GoI went on October 12, 2012 with Colin Ho and Brian Lee on a recommendation by Nick Pinkston.

If you’re in the area and at all interested in technology, I encourage you to make a visit to this museum a priority.

Here’s why it blew my mind:

This all happened over such a short amount of time. Almost everything covered in this museum happened less than 100 years ago. That means there are people still alive today who lived through ALL of it.

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The incredible amount of work they did in the 1950s to process data seems unfathomable now. Everything was so mechanical and required so many man-hours.

IMG_4207To do something as simple as generate a report of all credit accounts for a department store required rooms full of women encoding data into punchcards, and several MASSIVE machines to process them and finally generate a static, printed report. It almost made me think “why did they even bother to do it that way?” — but they didn’t have another choice.

I get the same feeling about my Hammond Organ. It’s extreme over-engineering of older technology to solve a problem that would be trivial with current technology.

I’m going to expand on this post soon, so for now check out some photos:

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