The Computer History Museum

1 Comment

Yesterday I had the pleasure of adding a museum I have been looking forward to for some time. The Computer History museum in Mountain View California.

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 3.26.47 PM.png

This place was incredible. It has old IBM Mainframes, PDPs, Mini-Computers, ancient analytical machines. My old Apple 2. I day for someone how is into computer and history just isn’t enough.

You start off by seeing homepage being paid to Robert Noyce and the original group that kicked off what is considered the first start up in Silicon Valley – the traitorous 8 as they are called for leaving Fairchild Semiconductor (for those of you who don’t know Robert Noyce co-founded Intel years later with Gordon Moore and Andy Grove).

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 3.27.18 PM.png

You then proceed to a section that they have dedicated to the Google self driving car.

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 3.27.48 PM.png

The tech this car has is incredible, and I still can’t believe we are even talking about self driving cars. Still seems amazing to me.

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 3.28.00 PM.png

Then just casually sitting out in the open they have a 1976 Cray Supercomputer. These things were so fast and advanced that they cost $14M at the time to buy, took a year to manually assemble, and were in the shape of a cylinder because the length of the wires actually mattered for sending signals internally in the machine. Incredible story.

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 3.28.31 PM.png


They had a nice expose to Ada Lovelace and her contributions, along with the Babbage machine to computing.

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 3.28.54 PM.png

And then they had a great demo of one of the two working IBM 1401’s in the world and demonstrated how it sorted cards at lightning speeds.

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 3.29.25 PM.png

Then there were 14 more sections to the museum that I won’t go into great depth on this post. But needless to say, it’s amazing how much through, work, ingenuity has gone into this industry, much of it right around this very museum.

And needless to say, I has blown away by how far we have come, in such a short period of time.

They paid home a little to the computer gaming industry. Here were some of my favorites

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 3.30.15 PM.png

And who could forget the impact of space invaders.

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 3.30.27 PM.png

And of course my favorite machine of all time.


Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 3.30.41 PM.png

Needless to say, this was an incredible, exhausting day. You wouldn’t believe how amazing people are / were when it comes to making these incredible machines to things.

It was inspiring, education, and just made you want to go out there and build something.

Thanks Dima (my friend from Belarus) for a wonderful day. I will definitely be coming back.

Here is a short video of one of the original MIT hackers who got music working on a PDP one back in the 60s. Yes he was actually there. Yes they found the music he created over 45 years ago. And yes it still plays. Amazing!















History of Cocoa

Leave a comment

Some good history of Cocoa from Aaron Hillegass’s book Cocoa Programming.

The window server on Mac OS X is like the X window server on Unix. It gets events from the user, forwards them to the application, and puts data on the screen.

NeXTSTEP came up with a set of libraries to enable programmers to deal with the window manager in an elegant manner. These frameworks were originally called OpenStep, which was later renamed Cocoa.

Programmers loved OpenStep. Tim Berners-Lee developed the first Web browser and the first Web server on NeXTSTEP.

Apple selected NeXTSTEP as there next operating and bought the whole company in December 1996.

NeXTSTEP became Mac OS X. It’s Unix underneath.

Cocao Touch is built on top Cocoa (many of the classes are identical). Most importantly, the principles and design patterns are essentially unchanged.

On China by Henry Kissinger

Leave a comment

Henry Kissinger has had the privilege of participating and witnessing first hand some of what are the most influential and pivotal events that are now affecting your’s and my life first hand – and that is the remarkable growth and rebirth of China.

Outlined in great detail with first hand account of conversations with Mao and Deng Xiaoping, Mr. Kissenger takes you through the behind the scenes accounts of China tumultuous relationship with the US, and puts in context event and possible futures of tomorrow.

He starts of by looking at China’s great history and gives us the Chinese perspective of how they see themselves in the world. With the exception of the last two centuries (which China sees as the humiliation of foreign subjugation) China was always view itself as the middle kingdom. The center of the universe. And a place with foreigners come for enlightenment.

Further to that they see their ascendancy back onto the world stage as simply reclaiming they historical always had – most enlightened nation status.

I’m not doing this book justice. I will only say that by reading it, I appreciated how little I understand the Chinese perspective of the world (even after living in Hong Kong for two years) and little we in the West get where they are coming from. This should be mandatory reading for any politicians or business people before dealing with the Chinese.

It’s an incredible text. A great work. And a must read for anyone looking to gain insight into what China relationship with the world looks like, and how events may unfold.

%d bloggers like this: