I am with Sellam Ismail, a year-old programmer and collector of defunct electronic gear.
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I chanced onto Ismail's website, www. A cybernaif, I soon began seeing computers in a different light; no longer just boxes, they began to take on discrete identities. Friends, however, insisted on asking what a traditionally trained excavator of past cultures like myself was doing digging up old computers? I was intent, I told them, on examining computers as artifacts, chronicling their changing value and meaning over mere decades.
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- Artifacts : an archaeologist's year in Silicon Valley | | Computer History Museum.
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Like an archaeologist studying oil lamps or nail heads, I would examine the changing form of the computer over the past half-century or so, from room-sized machines to efficient little personal computers. To follow a series of objects from status symbol to trash, to museum artifact, to collectable is intriguing in so far as it all happens in a matter of a few years. Finn gets behind the visible landscape of the place that went from orchards to Apples - salaries, successes and failures - and presents a three-dimensional picture of past and present.
Notwithstanding the irony of an archaeologist excavating a community that epitomises the times we live in, the result is a challenging but rewarding book, with a difference. Written before the travails of the last year when the latter-day pioneers found there was no crock of gold at the end of the rainbow, Finn felt like she had witnessed the rise and fall of the Roman empire in 12 months.
A friend corrected her by pointing out that the past five years had been unusual for the Valley - which had always been built of more than just the dot.
Progress, a scientific guide
Archaeologist digs deep into Silicon Valley Fri, Jan 4, , Artifacts is replete with insight, humour and learning, and is a beautifully produced volume. Personal Finance.
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American Scene: Rescuing Techno-Trash - Archaeology Magazine Archive
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