By Christine A. Finn

Silicon Valley, a small position with few identifiable geologic or geographic good points, has accomplished a legendary attractiveness in a really few minutes. The glossy fabric tradition of the Valley could be pushed by way of expertise, however it additionally encompasses structure, transportation, meals, garments, leisure, intercultural exchanges, and rituals.Combining a reporter's intuition for a great interview with conventional archaeological education, Christine Finn brings the views of the prior and the long run to the tale of Silicon Valley's current fabric tradition. She traveled the world in 2000, a interval whilst people's fortunes may well swap in a single day. She describes a computer's fast trajectory from great tool to computing device to be junked to collector's merchandise. She explores the experience that no matter what one has is readily outdated by means of the subsequent new factor -- and the influence this has on fiscal and social values. She tells tales from a spot the place fruit-pickers now recycle silicon chips and the place more cash might be made babysitting for post-IPO than operating in a manufacturing facility. The ways in which everyone is operating and adapting, have gotten filthy rich or slightly getting by means of, are noticeable within the cultural panorama of the fifteen towns that make up the world known as "Silicon Valley."

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I spot my bus a block away and I ask Josh if I can keep in touch, ask him more about growing up in Silicon Valley. “Your email address would be great,” I say. He gives a wry smile. ” He is thoughtful. ” He remains unconvinced by the culture around him. “I can remember the orchards . . coms. Late morning, and I am one of the few on public transport in Santa Clara. At the train station, I get talking to Jeff, a twentyyear-old computer programmer. Correct that—a retired twentyyear-old computer programmer.

But for now, I am watching and waiting. A coach shoots by, showering me with gray specks, and from the windows peer rows of faces. I wonder if they are prospective computer engineers, or tourists trying to find Silicon Valley; either way they seem fascinated to see people standing on the pavement, at a bus stop by a freeway, in the middle of a vast industrial site. In months to come, I will look back on this journey and come to bless the lack of foresight on my part that led to my taking public transport instead of a rental car from Berkeley to Santa Clara.

Xlii | Photo Essay J. Presper Eckert (on left) with ring counter from ENIAC. J. Presper Eckert’s slide rule. xliii | Photo Essay DEC equipment and ephemera, John Lawson’s house, Malibu Hills. Computer kit, from Sellam Ismail’s vintage computer collection. xliv | Photo Essay Recycling chute, San Jose. Photo by Tony Cole. xlv Cable, recycler’s, San Jose. Photo by Tony Cole. Recycled metal ingots. Photo by Tony Cole. | Photo Essay xlvi | Photo Essay Recycling chips. Photo by Tony Cole. Circuit board, recycler’s, San Jose.

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