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Ken's Korner: New museum chronicles the computer revolution

Ken’s Korner: New museum chronicles the computer revolution – The Journal of Antiques and Collectibles – March 2006
Inside a former office building in Mountain Valley, Calif. (the heart of Silicon Valley), visiting techies can enjoy the Computer History Museum, with more than 4,000 modern artifacts and 10,000 images, plus assorted manuals, tape and documents stretching 4,000 feet. Example: a drawing depicting a chess-playing “machine” invented in the 1700s by Wolfgang von Kempelen. The contraption amazed Ben Franklin and Napoleon Bonaparte before being exposed as an elaborate hoax. Fast forward to 1997, when IBM’s Deep Blue computer defeated chess champion Garry Kasparov in a much-publicized match.
Also on display: a 1976 Apple I computer, built by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak; magnetic disks as big as hula-hoops (with very little storage capacity); a 1953 Johnniac (one of the first mainframes, built by Rand Corp., named for designer John von Neumann); and part of an Enigma (shown), the decoding device used by Germany in World War II.
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