he intersection of 20th century history and computers is a place of bliss for me.
I visited the Computer History Museum on Sept. 8, 2013.
The Computer History Museum
The IBM Type 80 card sorter
1401 N Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View, CA
IBM's quest for profit
One of the first computing technologies displayed at the museum was punched card sorters and collators. Punched cards were
paper cards punched with holes in meaningful locations to represent information. The sorters and collators would organize
hundreds or thousands of cards quickly to group information in a meaningful way to help answer questions. The IBM Type 80 sorter was invented
in 1925 and was used into the 1940s.
The Enigma machine
resulted in some questionable business practices. IBM provided punched card technology to the Nazis during WWII through its
German subsidiary Dehomag. This is a photo of Thomas Watson, Sr. meeting with Adolf Hitler in 1937.
ENIAC - 1945
This famous encryption machine was used by the Germans in WWII for encrypted radio communication.
The instructions begin: "Please note! Note the instructions for use for the encryption machine."
UNIVAC - 1951
ENIAC was one of the first electronic programmable digital computers. This is a "small" piece of it. It used vacuum tubes for memory.
PDP-11 and UNIX - 1970
UNIVAC was the successor to the ENIAC, designed by the men who invented ENIAC.
Who is this guy in my shot of the supervisory console?
I think the tape drive is looking at me.
Alto - Xerox PARC - 1973
The DEC PDP-11 minicomputer was popular in the 1970's.
The first edition of UNIX ran on a PDP-11/20 (unix.org
Cray-1 - 1976
The Alto could be considered the first personal computer. It had the first of several innovations, including
the mouse and Ethernet networking.
NES - 1985
The Cray-1 was a popular supercomputer in the late 1970's and early 80's.
What would the history of computers be like without the Nintendo Entertainment System? I still have one of these.
And that's it! Of course there is a lot more at the museum. Next time you are in Sillicon Valley, I highly recommend visiting the