August in Mountain View

A card Brady and I got for Mom.  

Summer continues although I feel badly for the kids already back in school.  School in mid-August- yuck!  A few weeks ago was the highlight of the Summer, SMS’ birthday!  We had an awesome pool party with his family and several of our friends.  It was so awesome to see everyone and we had a great time.

SMS is so fast, he’s a blur!

Last weekend, we stayed super-local and SMS planned our things to do.  On Saturday, we went to the Redwood City Roller Skating Rink where it was Disco Saturday Night!  It was a lot of fun although it had been awhile since I had been on skates and I was a little timid.  Especially since I saw a few spectacular falls, marked by F-bombs or tears depending on the age of the faller.

When not delivering toys, Santa gives lectures about the Babbage Difference Engine #2

On Sunday, we went to the Computer History Museum and it was really cool.  (Excuse me while I reapply the Scotch tape to the eyepiece of my glasses!)  Seriously, it was really amazing and I’m so glad SMS took me.  We had a Groupon (yeah!) and the first thing we did was head over to the Babbage Difference Engine #2.  Charles Babbage (1791-1871) designed the first automatic computer engines.  The British Government bankrolled the building of the Difference Engine #1, a more complex design with over 24,000 parts all of which were hand-forged by a master blacksmith of the time, Joseph Clement.  It went on for 10 years and only 12,000 parts were created so funding was pulled before the machine was ever completed.  Babbage later drew up the plans for #2 which only had 8,000 parts but he couldn’t secure funding.  So the machine was never built in his time and the plans locked away for decades in the Science Museum of London.  Fast-forward to the late 1980s, when the machine was built in time for Babbage’s 200th birthday in 1991.  There’s a second machine in the Computer History Museum which is on loan from Nathan Myhrvold, the former CTO at Microsoft.  So, we saw the machine, heard a lot about the history and saw it in action.  Super cool!

From the back

Afterwards, I went on a docent-led tour while SMS explored parts of the museum he hadn’t seen on his last visit.  The tour was very good and tracked the development of computers from the early census-tabulating machines up to the personal PC.  It was a nice narrative arc that kept my interest and I really enjoyed it.  After the tour, we wandered around the museum for a little bit longer before heading home.

The first Mac

We wanted to celebrate by watching more Silicon Valley but we are done with the two seasons.  I have a feeling we’ll have a ridiculous binge-watching session when Season 3 comes out!

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