How Computers Work: A Journey Into the Walk-Through Computer, hosted by David Neil

How Computers Work: A Journey Into the Walk-Through Computer, hosted by David Neil

Recorded 1990

How Computers Work: A Journey Into the Walk-Through Computer is an educational video produced by The Computer Museum and hosted by David Neil of PBS’s Newton’s Apple. Join David Neil and his four young companions on an entertaining and illuminating trek through The Computer Museum’s one-of-a-kind, two-story working model of a desktop computer.

The Computer Museum in Boston, Massachusetts was the predecessor institution to the Computer History Museum located in Mountain View, California since 1996. Sadly, the walk-through computer did not move to California with the Computer Museum’s collection, but as you can see from this video, it was a very engaging exhibit.

Catalog Number: 102651194

50 Comments

  1. yan kumar on November 28, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    thanks for sharing ComputerHistory



  2. Andrey Bykov on November 28, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    I watched this in the 90s on russian tv with translation into russian language. It was a good time.



  3. Daniel Dawson on November 28, 2019 at 6:54 pm

    This brings back some memories. I remember seeing it back in the day. Kind of a cool way to explain things. And I think it holds up fairly well today, too. Obviously, there are some things that date it. We’re a loooong way past the 486, floppy disks are obsolete, and hard drives have gotten significantly smaller than that monster they showed while also increasing roughly 10,000 times in capacity. It also seems a bit odd to feature a trackball as "the" pointing device, with no mention of the more conventional mouse (or were they really more popular for a time?). And the presentation is a little cheesy when it comes to the people involved, but I kind of like it, and it can be good to have relatable people asking some of the audience’s questions in an educational program.

    BTW, it’s David Heil, not Neil, as you can hear right at the start.



  4. Joey Simone on November 28, 2019 at 6:54 pm

    He really made the only black person turn his "lights off"



  5. thebrainsquid on November 28, 2019 at 6:56 pm

    Wow, an entire novel!



  6. Champo3000 on November 28, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    It’s central America.



  7. Zero on November 28, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    Cheese factor ten!



  8. Christopher.T.R Pratt on November 28, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    looking for resources to use in my computer science GCSE lesson dunno if to show this for the subject knowledge or the cringiness



  9. Don Mayfield on November 28, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    Like it says above it was recorded in 1990 when the 486 chip was state of the art.



  10. James Hagerman on November 28, 2019 at 7:02 pm

    Oh man! I vaguely remember walking through those exhibits as a kid!! I love this!



  11. Adam 1 on November 28, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    Makes me wanna listen to Boyz-to-Men and Rico Suave:)



  12. steviebboy69 on November 28, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    wow a flashback to the 80’s. I found it funny at the end when he said about putting the computer back together again. I dont think the hard drive would work after being opened or the CPU being touched by everyone.



  13. Tracy Ridge on November 28, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Amazing video very education suitable for schools i love 1s and 0s



  14. James Buckley on November 28, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Thank you.  What memories. remember my dad (also a software engineer ) brought me there when I was 13 (1989).  a great learning experience and memory.  i live in boston and do not even know if the computer museum is even still there in any form (i will go ask mr google.  I know the children museum which is next door is still there.  I would love to bring my now 12 year old to the machine.  PS  can not  believe i dressed like that.  James B 38 yo boston.



  15. swishasweetrold on November 28, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    wow he had the black kid put his hands down



  16. Bootleg Genie on November 28, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    cheese town



  17. Shane V on November 28, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    no it’s not.



  18. mykeydrive on November 28, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    I’m sorry for your consciousness, I know what a pain in the ass it can be, especially for you…



  19. AlexanderMccarthey87 on November 28, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    Is this still at least partially accurate? Its 3 years younger than I am.



  20. Djwubsteppony on November 28, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    im watching this, on a tablet for abolutely no reason



  21. mykeydrive on November 28, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    I too am a science correspondent…hmm



  22. Jason Smith on November 28, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    edwin has the sweetest mullet!!!!!!!



  23. BBQdSnowflakes on November 28, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    I was looking for a video to cover some computer basics for a college course. I don’t think this one is going to be too helpful, but it’s so entertaining and reminds me of how thrilled I was to discover that a program could be stored on this "Floppy disk" thing that you could stick inside the little black-and-white macs we used.

    Oh, and their clothes… 😀



  24. Alex MacKellar on November 28, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    Mexico is missing from "North America"



  25. Dius276 on November 28, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    I can’t believe the sexism and racism of this video. The blacks and girls have all the right answers and the white kid is just a hulligan. We all know that he Asian kids build all this stuff and they don’t get a look in. [I’m not an American so I understand irony]



  26. 🔴Warped🔴 on November 28, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    Ram was very cool.



  27. Lord Zizumias on November 28, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    Hhhhahahaha! In High School my Computer’s teacher played this video for my class. It was so state of the art!
    Pretty much it’s all the same today, but on an even smaller scale and processes can go even faster.



  28. teltri on November 28, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    Bože to je nuda.



  29. Drew Graham on November 28, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    I hate my school for not ever teaching me anything useful like this



  30. Tom Wilcox on November 28, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    Kid n play



  31. CassetteMaster on November 28, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Sooooo ooooollllllldddddddddd!!! The hairstyles!!!! 



  32. Jack Fowler on November 28, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    edwina is such a cunt.



  33. Jane Roxanne Beamon on November 28, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    The basics haven’t changed. It’s a beginner video, and a very good one. Yes, it is dated; it was filmed in 1990.



  34. Engineer 314 on November 28, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    Do they still have a Walk-Through Computer today?



  35. Madness832 on November 28, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    Oh yeah, I remember this video quite well. Not to mention using being there quite a few times, back in the 90’s. And if you look in the background, around 3:28, you’ll see the entrance on the left side w/ the wall made up to look like part of the power supply. Well, the funny thing that I remember was the door to the men’s room being cleverly hidden in the wall!



  36. Sisdkdk on November 28, 2019 at 7:33 pm

    This video is trash



  37. Kie 7077 on November 28, 2019 at 7:33 pm

    Back in the days when a CPU didn’t even need a heatsink.



  38. Engineer 314 on November 28, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    This documentary is surprisingly concise. Although it feels kind of lacking on a hobbyist’s point of view, I’m impressed how they didn’t just blatantly mention CPU and RAM, but actually go through the whole process of the input going into the HDD and so on. Also, the software section could be used for the #hourofcode event.



  39. Daz C on November 28, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    "You mean a tape player?"



  40. iisdan on November 28, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    I don’t understand, what is a floppy?



  41. X Leonhart on November 28, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    Cheesy, but pretty nice, and the information was very well explained. I miss the 90´s.



  42. Discord, King of Chaos on November 28, 2019 at 7:39 pm

    school made me watch this… yay…:(



  43. dorugu on November 28, 2019 at 7:39 pm

    woow soooo cheesy so cheesy and it looks so old even though its only round 30 yrs ago 🙂
    but the basic function of the computers still the same though



  44. Leo Adams on November 28, 2019 at 7:39 pm

    When was this video made? It looked very old.



  45. Sisdkdk on November 28, 2019 at 7:41 pm

    Grabage
    dajwojifdisefseogjsridghrosguiorhg



  46. Omar Delawar on November 28, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    "On one of those floppy’s you can store an ENTIRE novel" – mind blown.



  47. Tymon the Łajza on November 28, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    Oh my.. Fresh prince of Bel-Air



  48. The Fandom Menace on November 28, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    “I predict that within 100 years, computers will be _twice_ as powerful, ten thousand times larger, and so expensive that only the five richest kings of Europe will own them.” – Prof. Frink



  49. To Err is Huma on November 28, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    I started watching this because my track-ball stopped working



  50. Salty Man on November 28, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    Narnia is past our world