Hewlett packard computer museum: exploring computing history

The Hewlett Packard Computer Museum, located in Mountain View, California, is a fascinating destination for anyone interested in the history of computing. This museum is dedicated to preserving and presenting the stories and artifacts of Silicon Valley and the information age, showcasing the computing revolution and its impact on society. With its extensive collection of computing artifacts and interactive exhibits, the museum offers a unique opportunity to explore the evolution of technology.

Content Index

A Rich History

The origins of the Hewlett Packard Computer Museum can be traced back to 1968 when Gordon Bell initiated a quest for a historical collection. At the same time, others were also looking to preserve the Whirlwind computer. The resulting Museum Project had its first exhibit in 1975, housed in a converted coat closet in a DEC lobby. Over the years, the museum went through various name changes and relocations, finally settling in its current location in 200

Today, the museum claims to house the largest and most significant collection of computing artifacts in the world. With nearly 90,000 objects, photographs, films, and cataloged documentation, as well as several hundred gigabytes of software, the museum offers a comprehensive view of the history of computing.

The Exhibits

The Computer History Museum features a range of exhibits that cover the evolution of computing from its early days to the present. One of the highlights is the exhibit titled revolution: the first 2000 years of computing, which opened to the public in 201This exhibit spans 25,000 square feet and consists of 20 galleries that showcase the history of computing, from the abacus to the Internet. Visitors can explore the exhibit online as well, making it accessible to a wider audience.

Another notable exhibit is make software: change the world! This interactive exhibit explores how software has transformed people's lives and is designed for middle schoolers and up. Visitors can engage with multimedia and touchscreen interactives, including a software lab where they can explore coding hands-on.

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In addition to these exhibits, the museum also houses rare and one-of-a-kind objects such as the Cray-1 supercomputer, the Utah teapot, an Apple I computer, and examples of the first generation of Google's custom-designed web servers. There are also restored minicomputers and a difference engine designed by Charles Babbage on display.

Preserving Software History

Alongside its collection of hardware artifacts, the Hewlett Packard Computer Museum is also committed to preserving software history. The museum has an extensive collection of software, curated by Al Kossow, a veteran of Apple Computer. Kossow is responsible for preserving and accessioning software in the museum, as well as developing software-themed exhibitions. The museum has collected source code from important software, including Apple's MacPaint 3, APL programming language, and even the source code of Photoshop 0.

Visiting the Museum

If you're interested in exploring the history of computing, a visit to the Hewlett Packard Computer Museum is a must. The museum is located at 1401 N. Shoreline Blvd in Mountain View, California. It is open to the public and offers a range of educational programs and events. Whether you're a technology enthusiast, a student, or a curious visitor, the museum provides a unique opportunity to dive into the fascinating world of computing.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Hewlett Packard Computer Museum?
  • The Hewlett Packard Computer Museum is a museum of computer history located in Mountain View, California. It presents stories and artifacts of Silicon Valley and the information age, exploring the computing revolution and its impact on society.

  • What can I see at the museum?
  • The museum houses the largest and most significant collection of computing artifacts in the world. It features exhibits on the history of computing, including rare objects such as the Cray-1 supercomputer, an Apple I computer, and the first generation of Google's custom-designed web servers. There are also interactive exhibits that allow visitors to explore software and coding.

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  • Where is the museum located?
  • The museum is located at 1401 N. Shoreline Blvd in Mountain View, California.

  • Is the museum open to the public?
  • Yes, the museum is open to the public. It offers educational programs and events for visitors of all ages.

  • Can I explore the exhibits online?
  • Yes, the museum's revolution: the first 2000 years of computing exhibit is available to explore online, allowing a wider audience to access the museum's resources.

Overall, the Hewlett Packard Computer Museum is a treasure trove of computing history. From its rich collection of artifacts to its interactive exhibits, the museum offers a comprehensive and engaging experience for anyone interested in the evolution of technology. Whether you're a computer enthusiast, a student, or simply curious about the impact of computing on society, a visit to this museum is sure to be a memorable and educational experience.

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