Computer History Museum

In the morning of Presidents’ Day, we made our way to Mountain View, to review four-decade history of computing at the Computer History Museum. The Computer History Museum established in 1996, which is dedicated to preserving and presenting the stories and artifacts of the information age and exploring the computing revolution and its impact on society.

Everyone received a small blue badge and get ready to start his journey in time. A guide was dedicated to our group. A passionate of informatics and a fan of female computer scientists who had spent his entire career in the famous companies of Silicon Valley and now for his retirement shares his passion with people from all around the world. He had a folder file in his hand, we showed one by one the precious photos at that time.

We start our visit with the alphabet of computing: “abacus,” the first calculator of humans and Pantograph Card Punch, a machine made by Heram Hollerith to recording data on punched cards which would be read by a tabulating machine.

You can see the evolution of computer gurus in the museum, the “firsts” in history, their origins and the birth and the die of products. The first apple (apple I), the first super computer and the first prototype of the computer mouse. You can have a look at the inside of a Cray supercomputer, the grandfather of all super computers, the beautiful IBM s/360 and an example of the first-generation of Google’s Web servers and much.

We even found the story behind the word Spam. The term spam is derived from the 1970 Spamsketch of the BBC television comedy series Monty Python’s Flying Circus. The sketch is set in a cafe nearly every item on the menu includes Spam canned luncheon meat. As the waiter recites the Spam-filled menu, a chorus of Viking patrons drowns out all conversations with a song repeating, “Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam… lovely Spam! wonderful Spam!”, hence “Spamming” dialogue. Later on, the word “Spam” turn into undesirable messages.

After ascending in the history, we continued our tour in the enormous campus of Google. The colorful free bicycles are provided in the campus.

In the evening we took the Cal Train to go back to San Francisco, and I was thinking of the progress of the human being in less than 50 years and the people that made this come true. Now it’s our turn to make an impact and change the future.

Akram & Peng

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