If you're ever in Silicon Valley, I highly recommend checking out the Computer History Museum. Where else can you see a live demonstration of the only known working PDP-1 in existence, and actually get to play the original Spacewar on it? I did. It was incredible. I got chills. And my wife was bored beyond belief, but I love her all the more for soldiering through.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2007/03/building-a-computer-the-google-way.html