There's actually a surprising number of videos on antique and vintage computers up on YouTube.
One I found particularly fascinating was the volunteer team that assembled in March 2012 to do a recreation of the EDSAC computer. The EDSAC was a very significant machine in that it is generally considered the first general purpose
electronic computer. Previous machines (ENIAC, Colossus, etc.) were purpose-built for specific tasks such as codebreaking and ballistics calculations.
This is the project overview video:
There are several more videos to be found on various stages of the project if you're curious.
Of course this is all very interesting. But the really important part is the answer to the question: Why bother to spend significant time and resources reconstructing an admittedly obsolete (by today's standards) computing device?
The EDSAC Re-Creation Project gives a number of reasons:
What I think is the most important is the fourth one: To revive disappearing expertise.
I'm already seeing that with most of my clients and the kids I meet. They can make their PCs jump through hoops. And they do so with a degree of almost intuitive grace that it makes people like me who merely learned
this technology instead of growing up with it
sometimes wince at just how good they are at it. Or are until something goes wrong...
And therein lies the problem as I (and many others) see it. Most of what passes for "expertise" is little more than knowing what buttons to push. It's an expertise that's a mile wide, but only a few inches deep. It's an expertise that's totally dependent on having things provided that do exactly what they're supposed to do at all times. Because when something breaks, most users can't fix it for themselves. Their super-duper machines are now 'black box' devices. And the technology driving them has become what we used to jokingly refer to as "F.M."
But even worse - most no longer seem to even know where to begin
should something ever go wrong. I've had honors students at very competitive high schools tell me: "It's not necessary to know about that any more. Just call tech support." when I've broached the topic to them. It made me feel like I was in the old joke about how many Valley Girls does it take to change a light bulb?
The joke if you haven't heard it.
One to break out the diet Coke
One to call "some electrician or whatever"
And one to call Daddy - and bitch.
Fortunately, the people who brought us the RaspberryPi had the same concerns and addressed them in a very cost-effective manner.
Nice to see hope still
@Deo - since you're a child of the 80s, take a peek at how it used to look and work in this video. This is the world of the mainframe - or "heavy iron" as it used to be called. Most of this world disappeared in the mid to late 90s.
Please note that this video doesn't show a server room. It's just one
Ain't you glad you missed all of this?