CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Hollerith Electric Tabulating System

Uniservo tape drive

UNIVAC 1 mercury memory tank

SAGE installation

Magnetic drum

RAMAC actuator and disk stack

1984 computers

Gaming consoles

IBM 1130

Cray-1A

ARPANET Interface Message Processor

Belleville Personal Computer

Hawk missile autopilot

Spacewar!

Spacewar!

Pong

Steve Wozniak

Fran Allen

Don Knuth

Max Mathews

Al Acorn

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--Nestled in the heart of Silicon Valley, the Computer History Museum has opened a spectacular exhibit that traces the birth of the computer. Several industry pioneers showed up for the launch on Tuesday.

This is a replica of the Hollerith Electric Tabulating System that was used to process punch cards in the 1890 census. In all, 60 million cards were processed with these machines.

Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Scott Ard/CNET
1
of 21

Hollerith Electric Tabulating System

Uniservo tape drive

UNIVAC 1 mercury memory tank

SAGE installation

Magnetic drum

RAMAC actuator and disk stack

1984 computers

Gaming consoles

IBM 1130

Cray-1A

ARPANET Interface Message Processor

Belleville Personal Computer

Hawk missile autopilot

Spacewar!

Spacewar!

Pong

Steve Wozniak

Fran Allen

Don Knuth

Max Mathews

Al Acorn

Massive Uniservo tape drives were used on UNIVAC 1 computers in the 1950s.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Scott Ard/CNET
2
of 21

Hollerith Electric Tabulating System

Uniservo tape drive

UNIVAC 1 mercury memory tank

SAGE installation

Magnetic drum

RAMAC actuator and disk stack

1984 computers

Gaming consoles

IBM 1130

Cray-1A

ARPANET Interface Message Processor

Belleville Personal Computer

Hawk missile autopilot

Spacewar!

Spacewar!

Pong

Steve Wozniak

Fran Allen

Don Knuth

Max Mathews

Al Acorn

From the museum's info card: "For memory, the UNIVAC used seven mercury delay tanks. Eighteen pairs of crystal transducers in each tank transmitted and received data as waves in mercury held at a constant of 149 degree Fahrenheit."
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Scott Ard/CNET
3
of 21

Hollerith Electric Tabulating System

Uniservo tape drive

UNIVAC 1 mercury memory tank

SAGE installation

Magnetic drum

RAMAC actuator and disk stack

1984 computers

Gaming consoles

IBM 1130

Cray-1A

ARPANET Interface Message Processor

Belleville Personal Computer

Hawk missile autopilot

Spacewar!

Spacewar!

Pong

Steve Wozniak

Fran Allen

Don Knuth

Max Mathews

Al Acorn

This SAGE installation (IBM, 1958) contained two computers for redundancy (which only partly explains the massive footprint).
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Scott Ard/CNET
4
of 21

Hollerith Electric Tabulating System

Uniservo tape drive

UNIVAC 1 mercury memory tank

SAGE installation

Magnetic drum

RAMAC actuator and disk stack

1984 computers

Gaming consoles

IBM 1130

Cray-1A

ARPANET Interface Message Processor

Belleville Personal Computer

Hawk missile autopilot

Spacewar!

Spacewar!

Pong

Steve Wozniak

Fran Allen

Don Knuth

Max Mathews

Al Acorn

This magnetic drum (1955) was used to read and write data. The scratches are the result of misaligned heads.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Scott Ard/CNET
5
of 21

Hollerith Electric Tabulating System

Uniservo tape drive

UNIVAC 1 mercury memory tank

SAGE installation

Magnetic drum

RAMAC actuator and disk stack

1984 computers

Gaming consoles

IBM 1130

Cray-1A

ARPANET Interface Message Processor

Belleville Personal Computer

Hawk missile autopilot

Spacewar!

Spacewar!

Pong

Steve Wozniak

Fran Allen

Don Knuth

Max Mathews

Al Acorn

The heart of the world's first disk drive (1956) has 50 24-inch disks that spun at 1,200 RPM and could hold 5 million characters.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Scott Ard/CNET
6
of 21

Hollerith Electric Tabulating System

Uniservo tape drive

UNIVAC 1 mercury memory tank

SAGE installation

Magnetic drum

RAMAC actuator and disk stack

1984 computers

Gaming consoles

IBM 1130

Cray-1A

ARPANET Interface Message Processor

Belleville Personal Computer

Hawk missile autopilot

Spacewar!

Spacewar!

Pong

Steve Wozniak

Fran Allen

Don Knuth

Max Mathews

Al Acorn

State of the art in 1984: an IBM PC, Apple Mac, and Apple Lisa.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Scott Ard/CNET
7
of 21

Hollerith Electric Tabulating System

Uniservo tape drive

UNIVAC 1 mercury memory tank

SAGE installation

Magnetic drum

RAMAC actuator and disk stack

1984 computers

Gaming consoles

IBM 1130

Cray-1A

ARPANET Interface Message Processor

Belleville Personal Computer

Hawk missile autopilot

Spacewar!

Spacewar!

Pong

Steve Wozniak

Fran Allen

Don Knuth

Max Mathews

Al Acorn

Assorted game consoles. How many have you owned (and don't lie about having the Pippin)?
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Scott Ard/CNET
8
of 21

Hollerith Electric Tabulating System

Uniservo tape drive

UNIVAC 1 mercury memory tank

SAGE installation

Magnetic drum

RAMAC actuator and disk stack

1984 computers

Gaming consoles

IBM 1130

Cray-1A

ARPANET Interface Message Processor

Belleville Personal Computer

Hawk missile autopilot

Spacewar!

Spacewar!

Pong

Steve Wozniak

Fran Allen

Don Knuth

Max Mathews

Al Acorn

Apple co-founder and Apple II creator Steve Wozniak says an IBM 1130 (1965) like this one was the first computer he used.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Scott Ard/CNET
9
of 21

Hollerith Electric Tabulating System

Uniservo tape drive

UNIVAC 1 mercury memory tank

SAGE installation

Magnetic drum

RAMAC actuator and disk stack

1984 computers

Gaming consoles

IBM 1130

Cray-1A

ARPANET Interface Message Processor

Belleville Personal Computer

Hawk missile autopilot

Spacewar!

Spacewar!

Pong

Steve Wozniak

Fran Allen

Don Knuth

Max Mathews

Al Acorn

For five years the Cray-1A (1976) was the world's fastest computer. Each machine was hand-wired and took about a year to complete and cost $6 million - $10 million.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Scott Ard/CNET
10
of 21

Hollerith Electric Tabulating System

Uniservo tape drive

UNIVAC 1 mercury memory tank

SAGE installation

Magnetic drum

RAMAC actuator and disk stack

1984 computers

Gaming consoles

IBM 1130

Cray-1A

ARPANET Interface Message Processor

Belleville Personal Computer

Hawk missile autopilot

Spacewar!

Spacewar!

Pong

Steve Wozniak

Fran Allen

Don Knuth

Max Mathews

Al Acorn

The drab-looking box played a crucial role in the creation of the Internet. Called an Interface Message Processor (1969), it was the interface between the ARPANET, the Internet's predecessor, and a computer connected to the network.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Scott Ard/CNET
11
of 21

Hollerith Electric Tabulating System

Uniservo tape drive

UNIVAC 1 mercury memory tank

SAGE installation

Magnetic drum

RAMAC actuator and disk stack

1984 computers

Gaming consoles

IBM 1130

Cray-1A

ARPANET Interface Message Processor

Belleville Personal Computer

Hawk missile autopilot

Spacewar!

Spacewar!

Pong

Steve Wozniak

Fran Allen

Don Knuth

Max Mathews

Al Acorn

Talk about homebrew. Robert Belleville built this computer (1980) around an Intel 8080 microprocessor. The design was inspired by the Xerox Alto, which he had worked on.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Scott Ard/CNET
12
of 21

Hollerith Electric Tabulating System

Uniservo tape drive

UNIVAC 1 mercury memory tank

SAGE installation

Magnetic drum

RAMAC actuator and disk stack

1984 computers

Gaming consoles

IBM 1130

Cray-1A

ARPANET Interface Message Processor

Belleville Personal Computer

Hawk missile autopilot

Spacewar!

Spacewar!

Pong

Steve Wozniak

Fran Allen

Don Knuth

Max Mathews

Al Acorn

Two men check out a Hawk missile autopilot system (1960) built by Raytheon.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Scott Ard/CNET
13
of 21

Hollerith Electric Tabulating System

Uniservo tape drive

UNIVAC 1 mercury memory tank

SAGE installation

Magnetic drum

RAMAC actuator and disk stack

1984 computers

Gaming consoles

IBM 1130

Cray-1A

ARPANET Interface Message Processor

Belleville Personal Computer

Hawk missile autopilot

Spacewar!

Spacewar!

Pong

Steve Wozniak

Fran Allen

Don Knuth

Max Mathews

Al Acorn

Spacewar! is acknowledged as one of the first, if not the first, computer games. Creator Steve Russell stands by an operational PDP-1 (1960), the computer he used to create the game.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Scott Ard/CNET
14
of 21

Hollerith Electric Tabulating System

Uniservo tape drive

UNIVAC 1 mercury memory tank

SAGE installation

Magnetic drum

RAMAC actuator and disk stack

1984 computers

Gaming consoles

IBM 1130

Cray-1A

ARPANET Interface Message Processor

Belleville Personal Computer

Hawk missile autopilot

Spacewar!

Spacewar!

Pong

Steve Wozniak

Fran Allen

Don Knuth

Max Mathews

Al Acorn

Steve Russell, the creator of Spacewar!, shows how players in the early 1960s operated the game using toggle switches on the PDP-1.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Scott Ard/CNET
15
of 21

Hollerith Electric Tabulating System

Uniservo tape drive

UNIVAC 1 mercury memory tank

SAGE installation

Magnetic drum

RAMAC actuator and disk stack

1984 computers

Gaming consoles

IBM 1130

Cray-1A

ARPANET Interface Message Processor

Belleville Personal Computer

Hawk missile autopilot

Spacewar!

Spacewar!

Pong

Steve Wozniak

Fran Allen

Don Knuth

Max Mathews

Al Acorn

Al Acorn invented the Pong arcade game and co-founded Atari with Nolan Bushnell.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Scott Ard/CNET
16
of 21

Hollerith Electric Tabulating System

Uniservo tape drive

UNIVAC 1 mercury memory tank

SAGE installation

Magnetic drum

RAMAC actuator and disk stack

1984 computers

Gaming consoles

IBM 1130

Cray-1A

ARPANET Interface Message Processor

Belleville Personal Computer

Hawk missile autopilot

Spacewar!

Spacewar!

Pong

Steve Wozniak

Fran Allen

Don Knuth

Max Mathews

Al Acorn

Steve Wozniak co-founded Apple Computer and created the iconic Apple II computer.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Scott Ard/CNET
17
of 21

Hollerith Electric Tabulating System

Uniservo tape drive

UNIVAC 1 mercury memory tank

SAGE installation

Magnetic drum

RAMAC actuator and disk stack

1984 computers

Gaming consoles

IBM 1130

Cray-1A

ARPANET Interface Message Processor

Belleville Personal Computer

Hawk missile autopilot

Spacewar!

Spacewar!

Pong

Steve Wozniak

Fran Allen

Don Knuth

Max Mathews

Al Acorn

Fran Allen is considered a pioneer in the field of optimizing compilers and has developed several programming languages. She also developed an advanced code-breaking language known as Alpha while working with IBM in the 1960s.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Scott Ard/CNET
18
of 21

Hollerith Electric Tabulating System

Uniservo tape drive

UNIVAC 1 mercury memory tank

SAGE installation

Magnetic drum

RAMAC actuator and disk stack

1984 computers

Gaming consoles

IBM 1130

Cray-1A

ARPANET Interface Message Processor

Belleville Personal Computer

Hawk missile autopilot

Spacewar!

Spacewar!

Pong

Steve Wozniak

Fran Allen

Don Knuth

Max Mathews

Al Acorn

Legendary computer scientist Don Knuth is best known for his book series on computing algorithms and structures called "The Art of Computer Programming."
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Scott Ard/CNET
19
of 21

Hollerith Electric Tabulating System

Uniservo tape drive

UNIVAC 1 mercury memory tank

SAGE installation

Magnetic drum

RAMAC actuator and disk stack

1984 computers

Gaming consoles

IBM 1130

Cray-1A

ARPANET Interface Message Processor

Belleville Personal Computer

Hawk missile autopilot

Spacewar!

Spacewar!

Pong

Steve Wozniak

Fran Allen

Don Knuth

Max Mathews

Al Acorn

Max Mathews programmed the first computer-generated sounds in the 1950s while working at Bell Labs. A believer that any sound a human can hear can be generated by a computer, his pioneering work paved the way for musicians to synthesize, record, and play music on computers.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Scott Ard/CNET
20
of 21

Hollerith Electric Tabulating System

Uniservo tape drive

UNIVAC 1 mercury memory tank

SAGE installation

Magnetic drum

RAMAC actuator and disk stack

1984 computers

Gaming consoles

IBM 1130

Cray-1A

ARPANET Interface Message Processor

Belleville Personal Computer

Hawk missile autopilot

Spacewar!

Spacewar!

Pong

Steve Wozniak

Fran Allen

Don Knuth

Max Mathews

Al Acorn

Al Acorn co-founded Atari with Nolan Bushnell and is credited with creating Pong in the 1970s, which sparked a new industry of coin-operated video games.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Scott Ard/CNET
21
of 21
Up Next

Zelda: Breath of the Wild's biggest and best secrets, exposed [SPOILERS]