Saturday, 12 June 2010

The Vintage Computer Festival, Bletchley Park

The computing highlight of June will be the Vintage Computer Festival at The National Museum of Computing, Bletchley Park.  Held on 19-20 June, the event is the first of it's kind in the U.K.  Tickets can be purchased for £8.50 online or £10.00 on the door.

The National Museum of Computing's website has the full list of exhibitors, lectures and events. Some of the highlights include:

  • The launch of the new Amiga X1000 boasting a dual-core 1.8GHz PowerISA CPU, 2GB memory and Xena 500MHz SDS co-processor
  • 20+ exhibitors demonstrating a variety of historic computers
  • Lectures by a number of key figures in computing history, including Sophie Wilson, one of the designers of Acorn Computers and ARM processors
  • Retro gaming competition

I'll be there when the gates open at 10:30am on Saturday. Are you planning to attend?

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Computer Museums in the U.K.

The U.K. has a number of dedicated computer museums while a few other museums have permanent computer history collections. If you're interested in the history of computing the following are definitely worth a visit:

The National Museum of Computing

During World War II Bletchley Park was home to Britain's secret codebreaking activities. The National Museum of Computing is based at Bletchley and has a collection which includes an Elliot 803, ICL 2966 and the Colossus. The museum is open Thursday and Saturday afternoons. Admission is £12 for Bletchley Park plus £5 for TNMOC.

Museum of Computing

The Museum of Computing is close to Swindon's town centre and specialises in home computers and games consoles. The museum is open on Friday and Saturday. Admission is £2.

The Science Museum

London's Science Museum has a collection dedicated to the history of computing. The museum is home to a variety of notable systems including a Cray 1, Ferranti Pegasus and Charles Babbage's Difference Engine. Entry is free.

The Centre for Computing History

The Centre for Computing History is based at Haverhill in Suffolk. The museum has an extensive collection of home computers, manuals and magazines. Admission is free but by appointment only.

The Museum of Science and Industry

The calculating and computing exhibition at Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry includes a rebuilt Baby, the world's first stored program computer. Entry to the museum is free.