Museum of Computer History

Last night the OpenAFS conference had a private tour and dinner at the Museum of Computer History in Mountain View. Its a bit of an odd place, with many machines I’ve used on display as “antiques” and a constant stream of “no way! I had one of these in my basement!” from the attendees.

Two of the coolest exhibits were a fully functioning replica of the Babbage Difference Engine (one of two ever built):

The other interesting exhibit is the very first production Google Server, built entirely from parts bought at Fry’s Electronics in 1999. Most of us at the conference laughed quite a bit at this, as we’ve all built such frankenstein like things, but to a lesser degree.

And a closeup…notice that the hard drives (right in the middle) are resting on a piece of plexiglass, that is resting right on top of the memory of each board. Awesome.

Decent food and drink, and a lot of funny admins made for a great night.