Slideshow: Historical test equipment and computers

-October 12, 2012

Many great things start small. When retired Intel architect Paul Pierce started collecting computers, he began with a 1961 Packard Bell minicomputer. It was taking up rack space and he thought it would be interesting to fool around with it. That led to other purchases. After a while, he realized that many essential pieces of history were in danger of disappearing. “For a while I thought I would just collect a few minicomputers for the fun of playing with them and keeping them working,” he says. “I got on the DOD and GSA sales lists. I saw larger machines and noticed they always went to scrap. Eventually I realized that very few of the great old machines were being saved.”

That was when he got serious about acquisitions. Today, he has amassed an extensive collection of early electronic equipment ranging from the oscilloscopes and analog computers to classic mainframes. He’s graciously allowed us to present some of those images here in a slideshow. To further explore his collection, including a treasure trove of drawings and support documentation, not to mention his wish list, stop by his site. Be warned, though, the time will fly by.

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