Pattern+Place: Computer History Museum, Silicon Valley

Vintage Computer Equipment Patterns by Wanderlust Designer
Vintage Computer Equipment Patterns by Wanderlust Designer

It’s hard to believe some of the beginnings of computer technology as we know it today happened in my own “backyard.” I grew up just blocks away from the famous garage of Hewlett and Packard… and of course, Steve Jobs was not far away in Mountain View dreaming up a simple to use computer with his pal Steve Wozniak.

Recently my family and I headed to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California for an afternoon outing. This museum is a must see for any computer geek, of course… but for me, I couldn’t get over the great patterns of all the vintage hardware and circuit boards. Rows and rows of knobs, switches, dials and wires… out of context of the large machines they were a part of, these elements become quite artful!

This extensive exhibits’ focus is much more historical than artsy, but really does have a bit of everything to everybody. From vintage calculating devices (like a slide rule, and abacus) to very large 1960’s computers… from hand held “games” from the 80’s to the internet today; the museum covers it all. There’s even an exhibit with a Google car to show how all the millions of pictures have been taken around the world to create Google’s street view of their maps. So if you are in Silicon Valley, and want to “geek out” a bit– be sure to make a visit!

Location Resources

Computer History Museum

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