Shots from a Revolution
“Desperation and insecurity.” That’s what Mark
Richards says drove him to photograph the machines
in Core Memory: A Visual Survey of Vintage Computers
(text by John Alderman, Chronicle Books, May 2007).
After a long freelance career shooting hot spots like
Afghanistan in the 1980s for Time and Newsweek,
Richards realized that photojournalism was dying,
and went on a frantic search for something new.
He found it on a visit to the Computer History
Museum in San Jose, Calif., where he was struck
by the unintended beauty of early computers built
in military-funded university labs. Using a digital
camera wired to a laptop monitor, Richards’ complex
lighting schemes and 30-second exposure times
show the rest of us what he first saw in his mind’s eye.
ABOVE: Philco 212, 1962. Memory: 64K. $1.8M. BELOW: ENIAC, 1946. Memory: Ten 10-digit numbers. $500k.
84 Make: Volume 10