Sunday, March 03, 2013

Computer History Museum

Last weekend I had the chance to visit the local Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley during a private evening function.
I have seen the Google Map car driving around the area, but never had the chance to see it up close or even sit in the driver seat.
This was neat in a nerdy sort of way.
Have you seen this unusual looking car mapping out your neighborhood?

There were rows and rows of computer displays. When the docent told me to take a map; otherwise I would get lost, he was not kidding.
It was like a maze in there taking visitors from the early beginnings to modern times of the computer.

This is the IBM Type 80 Card Sorter which sorted punch cards by numerical or alphanumerical order. It was widely used in the 1940's and even until the 1970's.

Another step back into the time machine with this IBM computer of the 1960's.
These are fun to look at and reminds me of nostalgic science-fiction movies.

Remember the old MAC versus PC computer commercials on television in the 1980's?
They are still in competition today although I think the tablets and smartphones are winning now.

I even found the first computer system I used in high school learning how to program in BASIC.

As I move further into the bowels of the museum, I came across a few robots on display.

I thought Officer MAC was the most impressive. It was operated by remote control and its duty was to be the ambassador to the police where it visited schools and help counsel abused children.
It looks a little intimidating to me and maybe a precursor to Robocop.

And who can forget the whacky sock puppet.
It's headquarter was in San Francisco where it sold pet supplies online during the height of the dot-com days, but went out of business after a little over 2 years.

- Karen


cocomino said...

How fascinating! I have never seen a car for making a google map although I often use it
The old computers are really nostalgic

Jenny Woolf said...

Oh that looks like a most fascinating museum. Well organised and attractive as well as informative. I don't know Mountain View but I see from their directions they're not too far from San Jose, maybe I will get there before too long, I have a vague idea of going to CA soon..

AVCr8teur said...

cocomino: The Google street view maps are very useful and I am glad to hear that it is being used in other countries. I hope you get to see this car driving by.

Jenny Woolf: To look at all the displays, I was told to plan to spend about 2 hours there. I hope you get to visit this museum firsthand if you are in the area.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

That looks like fun. I would like to see some of the stuff I used to mess with, the IBM RACS Terminals, DEC PDP 8 and 16 minicomputers, the IBM 360. In engineering school I spent hours keypunching cards for my Fortran programs. BASIC was for sissies.

Anonymous said...

It's an amazing looking place, no wonder you needed a map to guide you around! said...

I must admit, I didn't think a computer museum could be quite as interesting as you have made it. What a fun event.

eileeninmd said...

What a cool museum! The IBM computer look very familar, most likely from one of my jobs. Thanks for the tour!

Mandy said...

What a fascinating museum! I've been to the Science Museum in London a couple of times and they have a computer section but somehow this seems all the more intriguing because of its location in Silicon Valley, where it all happened.