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Professions like art, history and literature have countless museums in their honor, but even regular non-entertaining fields like transportation and medicine have some destinations that could be of interest to the enthusiast.

What about programming ? Are there any places of interest or historic significance that could amuse people with an interest in programming ?

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closed as not constructive by Walter, ChrisF Sep 6 '11 at 18:28

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@Rook, the OP elaborated by asking for places of interest or historic significance. –  Huperniketes Oct 21 '10 at 15:04
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+1 - Great question. –  Walter Oct 21 '10 at 16:16
    
@Huperniketes - Not complaining, but'was just emphasizing it for brevity. –  Rook Oct 21 '10 at 16:49

11 Answers 11

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"Stonehenge, the world's largest undocumented computer."

(Quote from Fred Brooks' The Mythical Man-Month)

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Albuquerque - New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

START-UP - Albuquerque and the Personal Computer Revolution
http://startup.nmnaturalhistory.org/

START-UP is the first museum exhibition dedicated to the history of the microcomputer - the little machine that revolutionized the way we live, work and play. The gallery features one-of-a-kind artifacts, video and interactive displays, including “Rise of the Machines” - an immersive multimedia theater experience.

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The Smithsonian Institution Museum of American History in D.C. has a pretty impressive set of exhibits regarding the history of computers.

If I remember correctly, they even have the original Wooden Apple-1 computer.

The Apple-1

Update: That first link threw some (ironic) ColdFusion errors on a lot of the sub-links. Here is a more reliable page talking about the exhibit: Computers & Business Machines Exhibit

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+1 - cool. I had no idea that there was a wooden Apple. –  Walter Oct 21 '10 at 16:13
    
Yep, although it appears they were much better with electronics than a (wood) router. –  JohnFx Oct 21 '10 at 16:18
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@Walter - yeah, they were pretty cool. The tough part was genetically modifying a tree to grow the wooden CPU's - and, OK, "debugging" meant a whole something else when you lived in termite country - but on the whole pretty cool. :-) –  Bob Jarvis Oct 21 '10 at 16:40
    
very cool, I'd love to see that in person. The links on that exhibition site don't work too well; whats funny is the error message that shows up - "The following information is meant for the website developer for debugging purposes.... Check the ColdFusion documentation to verify that you are using the correct syntax." Pure innocence! –  Preets Oct 22 '10 at 13:36
    
Maybe that is the ColdFusion exhibit. =) –  JohnFx Oct 22 '10 at 14:44

Xerox Parc in Palo Alto California. The birth place to a lot of things common to us now.

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The "milestones" section on the site is quite interesting. –  Preets Oct 22 '10 at 13:04

It's not a museum (and may not be open to the public) but I think Bell Labs deserves a mention.

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Indeed it is! Its a shame theres nothing open to the public. –  Preets Oct 22 '10 at 13:17

The Science Museum in London also has several pieces that are important to the history of computers. Their exhibits include components from and reproductions of a few of Charles Babbage's machines.

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That entire museum rocks! –  sdg May 9 '11 at 20:07

The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, USA, as its web site states, "offers a wide variety of information, exhibits, research and a rich library of multimedia content garnered from some of the most influential people of the computing era. Take some time to dig deeper into computing history and the one-of-a-kind information available here."

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I didn't know we have a museum! Yippee! –  Preets Oct 21 '10 at 14:47
    
@Preets, for programming or in the UK (that would be Bletchley Park)? –  Huperniketes Oct 21 '10 at 15:01
    
Now I know :) –  Preets Oct 22 '10 at 12:54
    
The computer history museum is pretty cool, they've got a section of the ENIAC on display, and plenty of computers from 'recent' history to bring back many fond memories :-) –  Dean Harding May 10 '11 at 22:12

If you are in Austin Texas, there is a really decent computer museum surprisingly managed by Goodwill (yes the charity).

They have a special unit for accepting donated electronics and I think they just started collecting historically significant computers from the donations and putting them on display with placards containing a brief history of the device.

Goodwill Computerworks Austin Computer Museum

They are still looking for donations of early computer technology to add to the museum.

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The American Computer Museum in Bozeman, Montana, USA, showcases "the history of the information age while also offering in-depth displays for those who are serious technophiles".

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+1 for bletchley park –  billy.bob Oct 21 '10 at 14:41
    
You win, by 24 seconds! –  Frank Shearar Oct 21 '10 at 14:41
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What a shame, I missed Bletchley Park ! Is the Charles Babbage institute open to public or is it only for researchers ? –  Preets Oct 21 '10 at 14:52
    
Another +1 for Bletchley Park –  Gratzy Oct 21 '10 at 14:52
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Well worth a visit, really interesting place. Nice that they have some of the people who worked there to talk you through the work they did as well. –  glenatron Oct 21 '10 at 16:19

The School of Engineering and Applied Science (formerly Moore School of Engineering) at the University of Pennsylvania has on display a remnant of ENIAC ("the first general-purpose, electronic computer").

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