Vivid geek dreams

Beautiful, sensual, colorful photos of … computers?

Core Memory is a new art book by photographer Mark Richards that celebrates the beauty of vintage computers.

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.

Most of his photos were taken at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. I recognize some of my favorites:

  • The HAL-like console of the CDC 6660.
  • The compact origami stack of the Apollo Guidance Computer.
  • The amazing quixotic complexity of the Illiac IV super computer.

If some cookbooks are “Food Porn”, this new book redefines “Computer Porn”.

Control Data (CDC) 6660 console
Control Data (CDC) 6660 console.

Apollo Guidance Computer prototype
Early prototype of the Apollo Guidance Computer, developed by MIT and built by Raytheon.

Wiring in the Illiac IV
Wiring in the Illiac IV, designed at University of Illinois, and built by Burroughs.

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