By Christine A. Finn

Silicon Valley, a small position with few identifiable geologic or geographic beneficial properties, has completed a legendary attractiveness in a really short while. The sleek fabric tradition of the Valley will be pushed via expertise, however it additionally encompasses structure, transportation, nutrition, garments, leisure, intercultural exchanges, and rituals.Combining a reporter's intuition for a very good interview with conventional archaeological education, Christine Finn brings the views of the prior and the longer term to the tale of Silicon Valley's current fabric tradition. She traveled the realm in 2000, a interval whilst people's fortunes may possibly switch in a single day. She describes a computer's speedy trajectory from useful gizmo to laptop to be junked to collector's merchandise. She explores the feel that no matter what one has is quickly outdated by way of the following new factor -- and the impact this has on monetary and social values. She tells tales from a spot the place fruit-pickers now recycle silicon chips and the place more cash will be made babysitting for post-IPO than operating in a manufacturing facility. The ways in which everyone is operating and adapting, have gotten filthy rich or slightly getting via, are noticeable within the cultural panorama of the fifteen towns that make up the realm referred to as "Silicon Valley."

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Then he left to work as a bus driver for the VTA. His friend stayed on at the company. “He’s pretty well off,” José said. “But I’m content. ” He pointed out the hills where he bought a house five years ago. ” Today there were more beggars around, and more scams. José said he was duped by a “homeless” man with a three-year-old child standing at the side of road. “I took him back to my place to give him some work in the garden. Gave him $40. He took my pager. ” Sure, there were more jobs, but Santa Clara Valley was a different place these days.

But I wasn’t entirely convincing in my rage against the machine. There was still something about those zeros and ones, the odd collusion of science and art expressed in Jacquard looms and textiles, Ada’s poetic passion, and the philosophical consequences of machines that could think. On that flight to San Jose, and for days after, I mused on all this; seeking something to connect it on a personal level. Somewhere in Berkeley, in a scruffy diner, the answer came. On the countertop was a dog-eared copy of the magazine Fast Company, and as I waited for breakfast I found an article in which a Japanese visionary predicted that someday computers would be in museums.

Photo by Ian McRae. Archive photograph, Alviso Yacht Club. xl | Photo Essay Cover of Skinner’s technology sale catalog, April 1, 2000. xli | Photo Essay Ad for Honeywell’s Kitchen Computer, from the archives of The Computer History Museum Center. xlii | Photo Essay J. Presper Eckert (on left) with ring counter from ENIAC. J. Presper Eckert’s slide rule. xliii | Photo Essay DEC equipment and ephemera, John Lawson’s house, Malibu Hills. Computer kit, from Sellam Ismail’s vintage computer collection.

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