Take a tour of the new Computer History Museum “Revolutions” exhibit

This weekend the Computer History Museum opened its doors on a new exhibit, titled Revolutions.

We don’t take enough time to look back on history in this industry. Why should we? To understand how things inside our machines work, but also to understand the importance of huge shifts in technology work to create new companies.

The new exhibit wonderfully shows that, and here’s a couple of tours, along with some wonderful interviews with people who are true technology pioneers.
From Left:
Al Alcorn, invented Pong.
Donald Knuth, software pioneer.
Steve Wozniak, co-founded Apple.
Max Mathews, computer music pioneer.
Frances Allen, pioneered several computer languages.

First, an introduction to the museum with pioneers, Part I and Part II. In these videos you see From LEFT,
Len Shustek is chairman of the board of trustees of the Computer History Museum, John Hollar, CEO of Computer History Museum, Max Mathews, computer music pioneer, Donald Knuth, software pioneer, Steve Wozniak, co-founded Apple, Al Alcorn, invented Pong, Steve Russell, inventor of first computer game, Frances Allen, pioneered several computer languages. In Part I, they introduce the pioneers, and the museum, then we got a tour, then in part II they take questions from the press. Good stuff.

A 30-minute walking tour, which gives you highlights and where you meet some of the pioneers. If you don’t want to watch the whole thing, you can click through to meet Frances Allen, first female Turing award winner and you can meet Al Acorn, inventor of Pong. Finally, Mark Weber, curator at the museum, shows us one of the first computers that connected the Internet.

Don Knuth, in front of his quote on the wall

While at the museum, it was a real thrill to meet Don Knuth, software pioneer who has taught so many programmers to program through his books. I got a chance to interview him in the software piece of the Revolutions exhibit and that’s in two parts: Part I, Part II.

Finally, Steve Wozniak gave us an earlier tour before the museum was finished to give us a look at some of the exhibits and what they meant to his life. After the tour I had a chat with him. Sorry for the poor audio, but in that piece we talk about early days at Apple.

Other press reports, with other interviews and tours are here:

CNET: A revolution at the Computer History Museum.
IEEE Spectrum: A Revolution at the Computer History Museum.
StarkInsider: Inside the $19M Computer History Museum renovation and “Revolution” exhibit.


Can you help with my Quora addiction? (My favorite questions)

So far on Quora I’ve answered 332 questions, mostly in the past month or so.

Now, some people are wondering why I’m spending so much time there and not on my blog. I’m having a tough time answering that, other than it’s easier to write when someone asks a question and it’s just hanging out there to answer. Plus, there’s the interplay of other people’s answers, the voting, the commenting, etc that I just wouldn’t get here.

It HAS become my main blogging place.

Lots of you are signing up as well, I’ve gotten more than 14,000 followers, most in the past three weeks.

Of course I don’t need to worry about monetizing my blog. If I did worry about that, then I guess I would feel more impelled to spend time here, rather than there.

Keep in mind my first reaction to Quora was to ignore it and try to keep using other tools, like Twitter or Google Buzz. That was back in July, how times change!

The cartoon above? Just seemed to fit this blog post. It was done by Hugh Macleod for Rackspace in a post titled “not everybody’s cut out for ‘normal.'”

Here’s some of my favorite questions that I’ve given answers to:

Is having a blog useful in 2011? Why?

Is Robert Scoble an investor in Quora (And does he get compensated by Quora)?

What platform should I choose to develop? (Android/iOS)

Why does Apple gets more media coverage than any other companies?

What are the coolest things from the 2011 CES?

If RSS is dead, what’s next?

Will Google figure out social?

What events in 2011 have the most potential to be the introduction ground for transformative and disruptive technologies?

Got any advice for startups launching at SXSW 2011?

What do users want on a location based app?

What apps should every journalist have on their iPhone?

Should I move my Rails app from Heroku to Rackspace? If so, why?

How will Xbox Kinect evolve gesture based interfaces?

What are the must-have iPad apps? Why?

What are the must-have iPhone apps? Why?

How would you make Path better than Instagram?

What do you like about Cinch?

Why does Twitter enjoy such success in comparison to FriendFeed, Plurk, Buzz or any of the others?

Why haven’t list features on Facebook and/or Twitter caught on?

Does it frustrate employees at Google / Yahoo / Microsoft / Facebook that they can’t genuinely speak up on the Internet and are compelled to do so anonymously (self-censorship), in most cases?

How do TechCrunch, Mashable, RWW and other influential tech blogs get their news/sources? And how much do they reward/pay their sources, if any?

What are the best sources for original tech news?

How do companies apply social media to customer service?

How do I get blogs to post about my startup?

What are some tips for getting your startup featured on TechCrunch, Mashable, and other tech blogs?

Is the “Scoble Effect” on startups real or imaginary?

What is the key to achieve success as a startup outside the Valley?

Who are the most influential people in the Valley?

Which Quora users have the most followers?

Why is Quora better than Facebook Questions or Linkedin Answers?

Will Quora suffer from the chat room/forum problem?

For an amateur concert photographer, which DSLR is recommended?

If I’m not happy with life, should I commit suicide?

Besides developing Building43 and hunting down new exciting web-startups, what do you actually do at Rackspace?

How does a busy man like you find so much time to answer so many questions and be so approachable? Does your day have 72 hours?

What are some good strategies for dealing with information overload?

What is the most magical software?