entropy
archives
December 2003


6 Dec 2003[link to here]

I went to the Computer History Museum last night. It's in a large building that, like many interesting buildings in the area, was once occupied by SGI. Only one room has much on display so far, but that one room is worth a visit if you're at all into computing machinery. It starts at the abacus, moves quickly through sectors and slide rules, then hits you with the good stuff, and it just keeps coming.

They have a difference engine, part of an ENIAC and a UNIVAC, Cray supercomputers, a Connection Machine, an armored fire control computer from a battleship, and tons and tons (literally, I think) of bizarre machines and historic components from the '40s through the '80s. Mercury delay tubes, core memory, tapes, disks of all sizes, a klystron tube, and more stuff I hadn't even heard of.

It's funny to see a museum displaying electronic games I had when I was a kid and a computer I still have in my garage. The most surprising thing on display was the teapot, sitting quietly on a shelf in a corner, pretending to be just an ordinary teapot, which I guess it once was.


27 Dec 2003[link to here]

Today I bought a large piece of white posterboard. As I carried it home, holding it carefully in front of me so it wouldn't get bent by the shifting winds, I noticed passing drivers looking at me. I must have looked at first glance like I was advertising something, only there was no ad. Now I want to stand on a street corner with my blank posterboard on a handle or maybe two as a sandwich-board hanging from my shoulders, promoting nothing but cultural awareness.