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Gordon Bell - Tour of the Computer History Museum, Part I

50 minutes, 25 seconds


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Gordon Bell. The name is legendary among geeks. Just read his Wikipedia page to see his accomplishments.

About 30 years ago he started collecting computers while working at DEC. That little hobby turned into a sizeable Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley. We were honored to be able to get a tour from Gordon and John Toole, the executive director and CEO.

Also in the video are Dave Winer, founder of UserLand Software, my son Patrick, and Dan'l Lewin, co-founder of NeXT Computer. Dan'l and Gordon now work at Microsoft.

Dan'l was on the original Macintosh team and tells us some stories about the early days.

Making an appearance was the Google Code Jam participants who were getting a tour of the museum at the same time we were walking around. You also get to meet Jesse, Dan'l son, who works at an Apple store in Palo Alto.

File size is 191 MB.

Part II will be up tomorrow.


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  • iStationiStation Fuujin
    Donators, donators, donators! Cool
  • This was so much fun to make! Great job on the video Robert!!!

  • scobleizerscobleizer I'm the video guy
    ajayjuneja wrote:
    This was so much fun to make! Great job on the video Robert!!!

    Thanks Ajay for arranging the tour. That really was a once-in-a-lifetime tour and interview. Gordon Bell just rocks. Tomorrow you get to hear about his DEC days.

    And, I'll get the video of your car up soon.
  • Great video, very worth while watching!
  • I really don't approve of you operating a video camera while you're driving.. Apart from the fact it is almost certainly illegal, it is stupid and if you hit someone, like the coach with people on it in front of you then you would be 100% responsible and might loose your licence! Not to mention the fact you had a frigging kid in the car who didn't look like they had a seat belt on either! Mad
  • s_jethas_jetha 'Will it run on my 486?'
    Roll on part two!! Big Smile
  • rhmrhm
    It's very interesting to see the exhibits (can't wait to see the more modern stuff) and hear from Gordon Bell and John Toole. Could have done with less annoying interruptions from Dave Winer though. I'd love to visit the museum myself, but probably won't be coming to the USA in the foreseable future due to US Imigration's policy of treating visitors like criminals, so this is a good substitute.

    Anyway, it's a bit late to ask now you've already filmed it, but does Gordon know about or was involved with SAIL - the Stanford AI Lab computer? I've read quite a bit about it online and it has to be one of the most interesting computer installtions around having started off as a PDP (7 I think) prototype that was then expanded and customised over and over by the people at Stanford. It had many firsts including Spacewars and terminals where you could move from one to another and get all your work back up exactly as you left it.
  • Nice vid, but why is manip allowed here Expressionless
  • Nata1Nata1 .Search - Google Appliance killer
    Scoble, you are the cruelest guy I know!  Right at the coolest part, where you're talking about a couple of people actually programming on it, the video stops,

    I can't wait to see part II

    Awesome video Scoble - I'd say this one is my favorite, but I have so many favorites
  • Robert, please tell me you didn't film that while driving.  It's just not worth the risk to the OTHER drivers!


  • msuraskymsurasky Go Manolito
    Pretty good material indeed!... thanks for sending the video, I don't think I'll have the opportunity to see the Museum so having a chance to see it that way (a visit guided by its founder) is really appreciated.

    Thanks Again
  • uslacker wrote:
    Robert, please tell me you didn't film that while driving.  It's just not worth the risk to the OTHER drivers!


    I'd say - bring on the extreme videos.  Next one...swinging from the MS Campus roof from a rope.

    j/k Smiley

    Apparently, Sun and Google showed up at the Computer History Museum to tout their latest idea for a Web version of Office (see further this link).  Apparently, this would be taking on MS on their own turf (the Office suite) .  Anyway, I wonder if this video will include any of that (inadvertently).
  • GoogleOffice was a no show.

    Anyways, nice video!  Looking forward to Part II!  I think I may swing by the museum if I ever head out to the west coast someday.
  • JChung2006 wrote:
    GoogleOffice was a no show.

    Yeah, I noticed after watching the webcast.  Besides that, it seemed to be a very uneasy relationship between Google's Eric Schmidt (former Sun employee) and Sun CEO.   The CEO of Sun totally dissed Google as well, saying that in 5-10 years, Sun will be forming partnerships with another company better than Google.  It's worth the watch...move to the last minute of the video here
  • Outstanding video content. In the tradition of Channel 9, the video is about the people and content in the video. Also, the frequency and rapidness that these great videos are released is fantastic. Please keep up the wonderful work Robert!


    BTW, I've recently started to appreciate the screencasts (under Media in the menu). It all helps me to keep up to date with the great stuff Microsoft is doing.

  • word up Ajay

  • Very nice tour fine sir Smiley

    BTW we should rename you to "Robert the Game pirate" Tongue Out

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