Sunday, March 04, 2007

Site Review: Computer History

While reading this blog in a wealth of fine colors on your 2 GHz computer with 1,000 Mb of memory and 300 Gigabyte hard disk you might wanna surf with your wireless optical mouse to the Computer History Museum. The site contains lots of information on the development of computers. There's an interesting timeline where you find descriptions and photographs of computers, from the first models, operating with enormous banks of relays, to the latest technology. But there's more! You can search by category, read about companies, computer components, languages, games and the development of network communication. There's an on-line exhibition tour that covers the history of the groundbreaking PDP-1 and the museum’s recent restoration of a PDP-1 to working order. In the visible storage you find a wealth of photographs.

Another great site is This site has an enormous archive with nearly all computers, including their technical details. You can browse through the archive by name, year or company. There's a nice history section, describing in detail the development of computers.

Surfing through these pages I can't help feeling a bit nostalgic. Writing software for over 25 years myself, I remember the days of hex code programming, simple compilers and the art of squeezing programs into a 64 Kilobyte memory. It's been a quantum leap from the first computers to your high-tech laptop. But one thing never changed: it's all about 0 and 1.

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