Ed Driscoll

Where Old Hal 9000s Go To Die

Sorry for the lack of posts yesterday afternoon. I was out with my digital camera, shooting numerous images of the hardware inside the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. I ended up spending quite a bit of time last night color correcting the images in Photoshop, as a result of whatever lights the museum uses in its overhead lighting grid. I don’t think they were fluorescent, which has always been known for adding a green tint to color photos. This was more of a strange yellowy tint, which required lots and lots of fooling around with Photoshop’s color balancing to make look (sorta, kinda) normal.

Until only a couple of years ago, the Computer History Museum was housed in a Quonset hut in Moffitt Field, formerly a Naval air base, and now owned by NASA. That Quonset hut was kind of a funky place to see the computers that dominated American businesses (and eventually, homes), but it was cramped and had limited room for expansion. Having to check in at a gate staffed with MPs and obtain a day base to the base was also a bit awkward for visitors.

The museum is now housed in a very large, ultra-modern building built originally for (I believe) Silicon Graphics, with lots of room for expansion.

I’ve written about the Computer History Museum before–in fact, in a weird bit of synchronicity, writing about it led to this Weblog, as I’ve also written before: the second article I wrote for National Review Online was about the museum (it’s still online, incidentally), and it was linked to by Glenn Reynolds, who was in his second or third week of publication with InstaPundit. I found it via a Google vanity search, and thought, “hmmm…this is interesting”. It was the first time that I became aware that Weblog software could be used something other than day-in-the-life diaries and ephemera–you could link to an interesting news item, and post a few words of thought about it. (Only later did I find, via InstaPundit, sites like Steven Den Beste’s, who used blogging software to post tens of thousands of words (brilliant written in Steve’s case) on a subject. Nine days later, 9/11 happened, which changed America, the world, and how we interact with the media, and along with numeous other post-9/11 Weblogs, this blog started in late February of 2002, as an adjunct to my other writing.

But I digress: watch for an article or two about the new version of the Computer History Museum in a few months.