Sunday, July 15, 2012

Day 12 - San Jose, CA to Santa Cruz, CA

Today was another really short day. We spent a couple of hours wandering through the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA before heading over the mountains to Santa Cruz. I begrudgingly took CA-17 as traffic was very heavy with miles of stop and go. As a side note, one of the original web sights back in the early 90's highlighted daily examples of the worst drivers on Hwy 17. It was a great example of what could be put up on the web when the web was just getting started. I believe it was hosted by Yahoo but that was a long time ago.

The original Google server. Since they were being charged by the square foot of floor space, the computers were disassembled and cases discarded to fit four machines in the space designed for one.

Their newly constructed Babbage difference engine. Designed in the 1800's but never constructed by the inventor. It works as designed. Unfortunately, there was no demonstration scheduled while we were there. The photo doesn't really show the mechanical intricacies of this mechanical computer.

One of the original Apple 1 computers signed by "Woz". Their was a lot of familiar technology that I used regularly over the years. From a PDP 8/e, Apple Newtons, Wang minicomputers, and IBM card readers. Boy, I feel old now...

How about this for a mouse?

An Enigma encryption machine.

Google StreetView car. Their was also a pedal powered version on display.

If you ever find yourself in Mountain View, this is a great place to visit and spend some time reminiscing about technology as it used to be.


  1. Dang Richard, next you'll be telling me you miss Windows 3.1....c'mon!

    Just kidding, I still have a set of install floppies for DOS 6.2, sad actually.


    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

    1. DOS 6.2, that may be worth something on EBay... Or not. The museum does have a list of technology they are looking for on their web site.

  2. Nerd heaven. Did you like the actual riding on first world roads?

    1. Actually, in a word, no. If first world brings all this traffic, then I prefer the gravel and off the beaten track. Since I turned off the Cassiar, the roads have gotten more and more crowded. And I don't like crowds. If I lived down here, I wouldn't bother riding as it isn't enjoyable anymore.

    2. rofl. good to see I wasn't the only one that thought things got depressing after the Cassiar. ;)

  3. You can't deny your inner nerd (and nothing wrong with that).

    The google street car looks interesting. I wondered what setup they would use.

  4. I think i would enjoy that museum. next trip we'll have to check it out.

    speaking of old computer junk, I just tossed out a 2.5 foot stack of DOS 6.2 and Win3.1 books. Why I kept them I don't know. I also have a pile of floppies, but no drive. that makes sense too ;)