The Geek Tour

I admit it: I'm a home-body. I don't much like to go out, much less travel. Much of that's probably because I dislike being away from my computer and an Internet connection, but it's also because I don't want to miss my responsibilities at church.

But my beautiful wife likes to leave town once in a while and she's really good at coming up with ways to entice me to do her bidding. For our honeymoon we took a Meixco cruise, but not just any cruise: it was a Geek Cuise, with all sorts of classes while we were out to sea.

Hewlett-Packard garage For our anniversary we talked about going to San Francisco, and Cara coaxed me into agreeing by planning a Geek Tour: a visit to the prominent historical and current technological hotspots in the Silicon Valley.

We started out by heading to the Hewlett-Packard garage, arguably the "birthplace of Silicon Valley." This modest 1905 home on a quiet street in Palo Alto was aquired in 2000 by HP and renovated to appear much as it did in 1938.

While Cara and I were standing there reading the Historical Landmark plaque, we were joined by another geek. He seemed a little embarassed when I asked him if he was "doing the geek tour," but didn't hesitate to take out his camera when he saw us taking pictures.

The Googleplex Next was a stop at the Googleplex, the Google headquarters in Mountain View. Unfortunately, it's a closed campus and no visitors are allowed.

Intel Headquarters However, not only does Intel allow vistors, it provides a museum to showcase the company's history. We spent an hour there in Santa Clara and saw only about one-half of the museum. (I like to read everything.)

The Mothership Our next stop was at the mothership: Apple headquarters in Cupertino. Again, no tours are available, but we did spend time (and money!) in the company store. It's mostly a gift shop, with Apple-logoed merchandise you can't get in their retail stores, but they do sell iPods, accessories, software, and books.

Steve Jobs' garage

Back in Palo Alto, we visited the birthplace of Apple, Steve Job's garage, as well as the birthplace of many of Job's ideas for the Macintosh, Xerox PARC. Neither offered tours (Job's former residence is a private home), but we took pictures anyway.

Palo Alto Research Center The tour was a blast! We didn't get to visit the Computer History Museum, because they weren't open during our stay in SF, but I hope to visit it and The Tech during a future excursion.