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12 famous places from the history of technology

The 12 most sacred sites for geeks to visit

Like all great hobby subjects, technology has its own places of interest. Indeed, to true tech geeks these are places of pilgrimage. Here are the 12 greatest places in the history of technology.

Where big iron was born

Tech mecca No. 9: IBM's "Main Plant" - Poughkeepsie, New York.

In April 1953, IBM unveiled "the most advanced, most flexible high-speed computer in the world," the IBM 701 Electronic Data Processing Machine. It, and every other IBM mainframe made for the 56 years since, rolled out the doors at the company's famed "Main Plant" in Poughkeepsie, New York.

It was here in 1964 that IBM created its first general-purpose mainframe, the System/360 family. The S/360's interchangeable software and peripherals made it possible for businesses of almost any size to take advantage of computers, then add more powerful systems as their needs grew.

It was an IBM System/360 Model 75 that helped NASA get Apollo astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the moon and back 40 years ago. It doesn't get much holier than that.

Students who win IBM's annual Master the Mainframe Contest still get a free trip to Poughkeepsie to view the hallowed ground where IBM's iron was forged, along with lesser prizes like iPods and Linux laptops.

Think you're a tech fanatic? You've got nothing on these guys: The 7 most popular technology cults | And for a look at the most pivotal moments in the evolution of IT, see 15 events that changed technology history.

Dorm rooms of the rich and famous

Tech mecca No. 10: Room 2713, Dobie Hall, University of Texas - Austin, Texas.

Tech mecca No. 11: Kirkland House, Havard University - Cambridge, Massachuset.

Tech mecca No. 12: Lyman Residence Hall, Stanford University - Stanford, California.

If a tech company wasn't born in a garage, odds are pretty good it started in a dorm. The first and arguably most famous dorm shrine is Room 2713 of Dobie Hall, half a block from the University of Texas campus, where Michael Dell began selling computers via the mail in 1984.

If you can't get to Austin to see the room where Dell Computer began, you can visit the virtual one on Dell's island in Second Life.

Touring colleges of the Northeast? Pack your beer bong and visit the third-floor suite Mark Zuckerberg shared with Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes at Kirkland House in Cambridge.

That's where the three Harvard undergrads cooked up Facebook (or "borrowed" the idea, depending on your point of view) in February 2004.

Before the Google Guys opened shop in that garage (see Tech mecca No. 3: 232 Santa Margarita Avenue, Menlo Park, California), they started out in Larry Page's room in Stanford's Lyman Residence Hall in 1997, which housed the search engine's first server farm. (No, the Googlionaires haven't bought that yet, but give them time.)

Finally, no tour would be complete without a stop at Albuquerque Police Station, where a 22-year-old Harvard dropout named Bill Gates got detained for driving without a licence, resulting in possibly the most famous billionaire mugshot ever taken.

NEXT:

  1. Garageland USA: Silicon Valley
  2. The nucleus of the web & the cure for the uncommon code
  3. The fathers of invention & the first computers
  4. Where big iron was born, and dorm rooms of the rich and famous

Infoworld.com


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