This past Sunday, a friend of mine and I took a trip to a staple of most New England childhoods (mine included): Boston’s Museum of Science. As we explored the exhibits, a surprising number of which remain unchanged since I was a kid, an exhibit called “The Computing Revolution” caught my eye for the first time.
This exhibit was kind of the inverse of the rest of the museum — while the main exhibit halls contained relics unchanged since my childhood, the computer retrospective introduced machines I remember using as a child to the museum. I’ve never had the experience of seeing things I’ve actually used displayed in a glass case as historic artifacts — but that’s computer time for you.
Luckily I also had my camera with me, and the Museum allows photography — so I can share some of this trip down memory lane with the people in my audience I know will appreciate it.
Photos after the jump.
Whirlwind, an MIT mainframe from the 1950’s.
Univac computer room from the 1950’s. The plaque with this exhibit, which is kept behind a plexiglass picture window, reads “This is as close as most people got to a computer in 1952.”
Paper tape from an Enigma machine, c. World War II.
Ah, now I’m starting to get nostalgic — dot matrix paper!
(Update: Twitter follower @alextangent informs me this is 132 character impact print, not dot matrix)
Now’s the part where I get to feel old — on the left is an IBM PC much like the one I used at home as a kid; on the right, the kind of Apple computer most children of the 80’s probably recognize from their school computer lab.