Binary Images From Silicon Valley

I traveled to Silicon Valley last week. I visited the Computer History Museum, the Intel Museum, and Stanford University. I took some binary-themed pictures that I’d like to share.

Computer History Museum

Logo from the visitor map:
Logo from the visitor map

Wall with cutouts of 1s and 0s:
Wall with cutouts of 1s and 0s

The same wall but taken when the spinning binary projection was cast on it:
Binary projection on the binary cutouts wall

The projection cast over a wall with a quote from Donald Knuth:
Binary projection over Donald Knuth quote

Binary in wavy lines:
Binary in wavy lines

Rows of binary (screenshot from film):
Rows of binary

Rows of binary on multicolored background (screenshot from film):
Rows of binary on multicolored background

Conversion from binary to decimal, caught as it was transitioning between displays of binary and decimal numbers (screenshot from film):
Transitioning from binary to decimal

AND, OR, and NOT gates, plus flip-flop:
AND, OR, and NOT gates, plus flip-flop


There was a plaque with a list of donors:
Donor plaque

Here it is zoomed in to two places, to show the amounts:
Donor plaque zoom 1
Donor plaque zoom 2

Did you notice the donation ranges?

  • Partners Circle ($1,024-$2,047)
  • Innovators Circle ($2,048-$4,095)
  • Investors Circle ($4,096-$8,191)
  • Visionaries Circle ($8,192-$16,383)
  • Pioneers Circle ($16,384-$24,999)
  • Founders Circle ($25,000-$65,535)
  • Benefactors Circle ($65,536+)

They are in power of two amounts — for the most part. Why did they break the pattern between $16,384 and $65,536? Why not make Pioneers Circle $16,384-$32,767 and Founders Circle $32,768-$65,535? They are hurting my binary brain!

Intel Museum

This column was lit up in binary:
Binary column

A graph of Moore’s Law, shown logarithmically (log base 2):
Moore's Law shown with log base 2

Spell Your Name

There was a machine that let you spell your name by typing in ASCII code:
‘Spell your name’ machine

Here is the ASCII chart and input buttons:
ASCII chart and input buttons

Here is my creation:
Exploring Binary from ASCII

There was no ASCII code listed for ‘.’, so I didn’t type ‘.com’. (It just occurred to me — I should have looked online for the ASCII code and just tried it.) It probably wouldn’t have fit anyhow.

Stanford University

The tiles under the arches are numbered — not in binary, but I framed them that way. After all, 0 is engraved as 00, and 1 is engraved as 01 — how was I not to think binary?
00 tile
01 tile

I threw ten and eleven in for good measure:
10 tile
11 tile

San Francisco

After leaving the Valley I traveled to San Francisco; this caught my eye at the Wharf:
Power of two pulleys

I would have ordered them right to left 🙂 .



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