Photos: The technical history tour

Photos: The technical history tour

Summary: Join us on a whistlestop trip around the places where technological history was made

TOPICS: Tech Industry

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  • The HP Garage, Palo Alto, California

    Almost too well known to be included, the garage where Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard built their first product — an audio oscillator used by Disney — is now a listed building, to be an inspiration for generations of entrepreneurial engineers as yet unborn. Other famous garages include the one in Menlo Park where Sergey Brin and Larry Page started Google, and the Los Altos carport where Steves Wozniak and Jobs kicked off Apple.

    Real-life visiting potential: 5/10. It's not nicknamed Shallow Alto for nothing.

  • 1215 Walnut Avenue, Philadelphia

    A car-strewn patch of concrete is all that marks the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation, which once threatened to beat IBM at its own game. This was where the first American commercial computer Univac was developed, and where Grace Hopper did her first work on third-generation computer languages, leading to the first compiler and, via her language Flow-Matic, to Cobol. But the Univac project hit cost over-runs, the company was bought and the founders resigned.

    Real-life visiting potential: 1/10. Handy if you need somewhere to park while visiting 1213 or 1217 Walnut Avenue, Philadelphia.

Topic: Tech Industry

Rupert Goodwins

About Rupert Goodwins

Rupert started off as a nerdy lad expecting to be an electronics engineer, but having tried it for a while discovered that journalism was more fun. He ended up on PC Magazine in the early '90s, before that evolved into ZDNet UK - and Rupert evolved with them into an online journalist.

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  • Greaybeards rejoice!

    We're a select breed!

    Born at the end of the second world war into a world of valves ("vacuum tubes" for the linguistically lattitudinally challenged) we've been privileged to live through the birth and the first sixty years of the "semiconductor era" which has not only been the engine behind the "technological revolution" but has also changed the face of humanity irrevocably.

    We've seen the point-contact diode and all the spin-off diodes (Zener, Shockley, Tunnel, Gunn, LED, Photo, Varicap, SCR, Hall effect, etc.) the junction transistor and it's spin-offs (unijunction, Darlington, field effect, MOSFET, etc.) develop into today's analogue and digital integrated circuits of mind-numbing complexity.

    For those of us who made technology of our life, in whatever speciality, it's been a roller-coaster of a ride, we've had to hang on by our fingertips and had to run like crazy just to stand still... but it's been thrilling, breathtaking, breakneck and as exciting and as full of possibilities as a new-born baby... and it's only "just" starting!
  • technical tour addenda

    sorry, but you can't mention xerox parc and microsoft without putting in 1, Infinite Loop. After all - it's because of that company that we are now using computers to read this site!