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I was at the National History Museum with a few family members. It was interesting, but very busy. I spent most of my time glimpsing at things while trying to play not lose your family, as they were storming ahead. They were missing a lot of detail in things. Although I wasn't too upset, all the biology/animal stuff I see doesn't interest me that greatly.

The National Science museum was next door, and that was more interesting. Far more interesting. But my family knowing that our interests will vary just said we should meet up in a few hours time to go home. They managed to see all the floors in the time. I think I only saw about 20% of the museum, but then again only half the stuff there I was interested in. I would go back if I could to spend more time there.

The place was busy inside, being the holidays, a lot of children running around. But it didn't really get in the way. I was mostly looking in the glass cabinets, not the huge suspended airplanes or pushing buttons on the interactive exhibits. At a glance the stuff looks boring, just some boxes and stuff, but if you read the little text by it, you realize the significance of it.

I spent a lot of time around the Technology and computer sections. I know a few bits and bobs about the history of things and was like "OOohh, they could mention this and that!" It was all very interesting. Spent a lot of time looking at the various type of memory early computers had. With a lot of elegant delay lines. I still haven't found an answer as to why they didn't use Flip flops. They had valves for a long time, I am guessing they were hugely unreliable, but I thought you could always tweak them? Or were they oddly too slow? Speed was a big thing, infact these days Memory is fast, but not always fast enough with more demanding applications.

But my favorite thing there was the clock section. They had a electro-mechanical talking clock. You know the dude if you dial 123 from a phone, he tells you the time. "At the third stroke the time will be nine hours, twenty seven minutes preciesley *beep* *beep* *beep* " (I wonder if it works on skype?)
It was a working restored machine seen here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Speakingclock.JPG I have a few pictures myself, But i spent a good bit of time inspecting it and seeing how it operated. There was very little information on it there. But I was blown away by the engineering beauty of it. I need to try and run a software simulation of how the voice can be stored optically like it was. Proved to be higher quality than I expected.

And I think throughout the day, people really do take certain modern engineering designs for granted. There is a lot of thought and research gone into a lot of every day items. I think you should watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekv0kprA3AY His other videos are interesting too.

It never ceases to amaze me what Engineers can do. I still can't wait until I end up working on a something that would be as cutting edge as this. Thinking of a world's first and seeing how better is compared to other similar products on the market. I always wanted to be an inventor of sorts.

As a kid, I used always be curious how things worked. And realized more potential in certain devices than other people could see. I used to always be engrossed when ever I saw something slightly mechanical or electrical. I had to know what it did and how. I just ended up zoning out, and performing various test after test to see what it did under certain conditions and see if it was a desirable or undesirable effect. And in a sense I got half of this in the museum. It was tempting to see If I could tamper with devices to see what they did. But sadly no touching, these things are very valuable, and I can see that.

Oh well, a few more years and I'll be out of uni, who knows what I will be working on then. But I know what, it won't take me much to prosper if given the right job.
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Comments

  1. crazykittensmile's Avatar
    I have been to the science museum, although not for a few years, but I think I would be the type of company you would hate. I love looking at the suspended things and the buttons on the interactive displays, and pretty much ignore the things in glass cabinets and the writing. Otherwise I tend to get bored with the science and race through the exhibits. My favourite London museum is the Natural History Museum. I love the floor with all the stuffed mammals of all different animals on, I could spend hours and hours in there.
  2. recovery's Avatar
    I don't think babyjess will be happy with the idea of stuffed cats on display. Maybe cute photos and facts :P
  3. crazykittensmile's Avatar
    No, babyjess would not like stuffed cats! Babyjess likes lovely real cats for cuddles.
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