Sunday, 3 December 2017

The strange beauty of historic computers

Wired have a great article on the sights and smells of historic computing, the strange beauty indeed of the "olden days" of computing : mainframes, minicomputers, line printers and other historic computing artifacts. Many of the computers and peripherals at places like the Computer History Museum in California still work after being restored adding an extra dimension to the experience. The sound and heat of a punched card reader...

It is a very different tech world to now, a bigger world too. Computers filled huge rooms with printers being the size of small cars, plus tape units the size of wardrobes. That is part of the fascination i feel, its just so different to the computing we use now.

Unfortunately by the time i entered work we were past the age of old iron, though i did use a Pr1me minicomputer at university which was great fun. The biggest computer i've ever had physical access to is a HP PC server which was the size of a small fridge. A large computer indeed just not the same as a room full of IBM 360.