Last week, while visiting the San Francisco Bay Area, I had a chance to visit the Computer History Museum.
Surprisingly, I didn’t go there to see their impressive collection of vintage computers, although I highly recommend checking out the PDP-1, Babbage Engine, and Revolution, a tour of the first 2000 years of computing.
Jim worked on making efficient laptop backlight power supplies for many years, and there are a lot of artifacts from this long term project on his desk, including God’s Own Backlite Current Calibrator:
Jim’s workbench (more photos) is impressive, and reason enough to visit the museum. But the freshly-remodeled museum is really breathtaking, and the new exhibits are excellent. Plan to spend a day here, or you’ll discover (as I did) that 3 or 4 hours isn’t enough time to see everything.
For more on Jim Williams, I recommend checking out Reading Jim Williams, a blog about Jim’s famously well-written (and sometimes humorous) app notes.