Technology

10 Destinations for the Tech-Savvy Traveler

Going anywhere nice this year? If technology is your thing then why not stop off at one of these locations while away on your next vacation.

Centre for Computing History, Cambridge, United Kingdom

While perhaps not as grand as its Mountain View counterpart (see below), the U.K. Centre for Computing Historyhas a treasure trove of gadgets for those who want to relive to good old days of IT.

For the full back-in-time experience you can even hire retro computers and vintage games consoles.

Computer History Museum, Mountain View, CA, United States

A must for IT fans in California, the Computer History Museum is said to have the world’s largest collection of computing artifacts, including a Cray-1 supercomputer and a working Difference Engine, built in 2008, based on the original design by Charles Babbage in 1849.

Goonhilly Earth Station, Cornwall, United Kingdom

Tucked away in the southwestern tip of the United Kingdom, Goonhilly Earth Station is a spectacular cluster of around 60 satellite communications dishes set amid remote downs.

One of the largest satellite earth stations in the world, it earned a place in history when it received the first transatlantic television broadcast from the United States, in July 1962.

The visitor center is currently closed for refurbishment but if you are in the area it is still worth a detour to take a look.

Henn Na Hotel, Nagasaki, Japan

If the idea of stumbling across a Dutch theme park in Nagasaki seems odd enough, then wait until you check into Huis Ten Bosch’s Henn na Hotel after it opens in July 2015.

“We carefully reconsidered the services and facilities that have personified hotels up until now,” says the hotel’s website, “and came up with the idea for a new hotel based on state-of-the-art technology with the main staff consisting entirely of robots.”

Henn na, which means ‘evolve’, has been grabbing headlines with the robot staff concept, although its android employees are unlikely to get worked up over the attention.

Songdo International Business District, Incheon, South Korea

Built according to the latest smart city and sustainable living standards, the $35 billion Songdo development by Gale International is probably the closest you can get right now to a metropolis of the future.

Cisco collaborated closely with Gale in the technology infrastructure for the city, which was built from the ground up on reclaimed land near the Yellow Sea.

UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, United States

The University of California, Los Angeles, or UCLA, holds a special place in the hall of IT fame.

It was here in 1969 that a team led by distinguished professor of computer science Leonard Kleinrock sent the very first message over the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network or ARPANET, the computer network that later became known as the Internet.

That spirit of invention remains alive and well today, and you can sample it via a visit in person or even a virtual tour.

Virtual worlds, anywhere online

As any diehard IT fan knows, nowadays you can visit entire worlds without leaving home. If your budget won’t stretch much further than a broadband connection then you can still get to virtual worlds such as those available in Minecraft, Second Life, or SimCity.

Alternatively, if you do not want to stray too far from reality then take a look at some of the bizarre real-world vistas found on Google Street View or even see what it is like to stroll around Mars.

Xerox PARC, Palo Alto, CA, United States

Few corporate charters can claim to have been as successful as Xerox Palo Alto Research Center’s aim of being “the office of the future.”

Since its inception in 1970, PARC has participated in technology developments as diverse as laser printing, personal computers, and Ethernet networking. It is said a visit to the center gave Steve Jobs the idea for Apple Computer’s graphical user interface.

To visit now you may need an invite from someone who works there, but even if you drive past you’ll be coming close to IT history.

Cisco Systems, San Jose, CA, United States

Cisco has seen its fair share of action in the history of IT around the world, from commercializing the first routers to developing market-leading technologies such as the Cisco Carrier Routing System or Unified Computing System.

Today, anyone with a serious interest in buying Cisco technologies is welcome at one of our Executive Briefing and Experience Centers.

About the author

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Jason Deign

Jason Deign is a Barcelona-based business writer, journalist and author. Besides writing, he is regularly interviewed by the media and has been featured in the UK's Daily Mail and The Guardian, among others. Used with the permission of http://thenetwork.cisco.com/.

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  • Last year, my wife and I visted the ‘Centre for Computing History’ in Cambridge, United Kingdom – and we both thoroughtly enjoyed it.

    In her working career, she was a computer operator on a Bull DPS9000 mainframe, whilst I began my computing journey in the late 1980’s – so there was something there for both of us. It took me a little while to get back into remembering as to how to program in BASIC (they have a ‘classroom of the 1980’s’ with quite a few working BBC Micro’s – the first computer I learnt to program on). Boy, did it and the many other computers/early software they’ve got there (a lot of which, is working – including computers with Wordstar) take my wife and I back in time.

    Certainly worth a visit.