Friday, March 28, 2008

Lecture and visit to computer museum

Samantha Power at book signing. Friend Dave in the background.Last week we attended a lecture by Samantha Power. She is the former Obama foreign policy adviser that resigned after describing Hillary Clinton as a “monster”. Prior to this election year faux pas she was better known as a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Harvard professor. She spoke about her new book, “Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira de Mello and the Fight to Save the World”. Sergio Vieira de Mello was an UN diplomat that was known for his efforts on behalf of the humanitarian and political programs of the UN. Ms Power described him as a combination of Bobby Kennedy’s humanity and James Bond’s daredevil tactics. His fascinating life was cut short by a bombing in Iraq of UN offices in August 2003. Her presentation and lecture about Vieira del Mello was very interesting.

The lecture was held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. I toured their collection of computer hardware and had a total geek fest. I took pictures of some of the machines I have used.

Punch Card Sorter at the Computer History MuseumThe only programming class I took in college was FORTRAN. In 1979 one had to key the commands on punch cards and then run the stack of cards through a reader. The punch card was the way to do data entry, store and process information. This is a picture of a punch card sorter.

DEC PDP-11 at Computer History MuseumOne of the first major computer systems I was responsible for was a mini-system, DEC PDP-11, that was donated to the theatre company I was working for. It ran our subscription and donor databases.

The museum had racks and racks of old personal computer models. It was fun picking out the different brands and models that I used in the past. They also had a big display of old HP calculators. I must have owned a half-dozen of them through high school and college.
Racks of old computers at Computer History Museum Old HP calculators at Computer History Museum


Sh@ney said...

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Thankyou & Take Care

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