August 2, 2010

American Computer Museum, Bozeman, Montana

On our way to Bozeman today, we passed the zipline over the Madison River.

We visited old downtown Bozeman which has an eclectic selection of shops, if shopping is your thing.

We then visited the American Computer Museum, which is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary with free admission for everyone.

One of the first modern-day adding and accounting machines was the comptrometer pictured in the middle of the top shelf. Variations of this machine were used from about the 1920's to the 1960's. Accounting would be simplified with the evolution of the computer.

This is a Block I Apollo Guidance Computer on loan from the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. Computers of this type were used in the Apollo I and the Apollo 4 & 6 unmanned missions. They had a whopping 1,024 bytes of RAM and 4,576 bytes of ROM!

This hard disk drive was built in 1975 with 10 megabytes of storage and a weight of 75 pounds!

Have you ever wondered what the inside of your laptop looked like? Pretty simple stuff.

An actual cross-section of a human brain was used to demonstrate that, while there are similarities, a human brain and a computer are vastly different.

This poster describes the functions of all the various parts of the brain.

The first commercial "video arcade game" is not a familiar-looking one to us.

The first home video games are another story. Most of us over 40 years old remember playing our first game of Pong or Simon.

These machines are familiar to all of us who attended high school or college in the 70's and 80's.
The PDP-8, introduced in 1965, was the first commercially successful desktop computer. For $18,000, you could have one of the 1,450 made and 4 kilobytes of memory. Oh...this one was big too...at 250 pounds.
The first computers filled a room and had less memory than your current cell phone.
Instead of using chips, they used vacuum tubes.
This IBM 1620 Computer is an artifact from Montana State University used from 1964-1968.
For more information on the American Computer Museum, visit their website here .

Like we have mentioned previously, there are signs warning of the dangers of meth in Idaho. Here was one warning of meth in Montana.
Here's a sign that a recent hail storm caused a bit of damage.
There were similar signs of the hail storm all up and down the major streets of Bozeman.
We even had hail, without the damage, when we arrived home after our trip to Bozeman.
For more pictures, click here .

To be continued...

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