Right now SFGate has a great review of a book I’d love to add to my coffeetable book porn collection: Core Memory: A Visual Survey of Vintage Computers by Mark Richards. Over at his Core Memory site (Flash, meh, image via), you can see a range of stunning examples of the photos featured in the book. Snip from the review, Beauty in Binary:
In a stunning mix of art photography and geek worship, Richards has managed to focus on the digital guts of computers and transform them into vibrant portraits that conjure both emotion and nostalgia.
It all started on a visit to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View a few years back, as Richards tells it. He was there to see a temporary exhibit but was quickly drawn to the museum’s permanent “Visible Storage” exhibition, an amazing collection of computers dating back over half a century to the industry’s earliest punch-card dinosaurs. All the biggies are there: the Univac, the Johnniac, the Altair 8800, the Cray supercomputers. There’s even an Apple I, housed in its original wood casing and signed by Steve Wozniak.
“I got wrapped up into the beauty of the machines, the human aspect of the machines,” said Richards, a former newspaper photographer who shoots on a freelance basis these days. “I was struck by how much we are reflected in the design. The intricate wiring reminded me of the veins and arteries in our own bodies.
“They’re obviously historical objects, right up there with the printing press. But they need to be appreciated as art, as well. I see it as a geek. And I see it as an artist.”
See also: A Visit to the Computer History Museum