There aren’t a lot of museums where most of the main attractions were created by (or actually are) people who are still alive and kicking, outside of modern art. The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, is one of those places, and although some visitors will simply want to find their own first computer on display and reminiscence, the museum’s “Revolution” exhibit explores the first 2,000 years of computing.
The $19 million dollar exhibit covers everything from the abacus to calculators to punch cards to analog computers to today’s (relatively) powerful machines, and it has forays into all different aspects of computing, including programming, gaming, mainframes, supercomputers, graphics and design, memory and storage, networking, mobile computing, the web, and more. There’s even a section on AI and robots. (Are you getting excited yet?)
Wozniak's Apple I
The museum also includes the history
of some of the most important companies in the industry and the emergence of Silicon Valley
Whether you’re a hardcore technophile or just someone with a passing interest in the history of our civilization, this is a place you can get lost in; the pictures of some of the displays alone are enough to elicit wonder in one’s mind.
There’s huge bonus, too: You can browse through much of the information online.
If and when we make it to the Computer History Museum, the first thing we’re going to do is try and find our first family computer--a massive concrete block of a laptop, which was a hand-me-down from a techie friend on which we kids did nothing but play Nibbles.