The National Museum of Computing

posted in: Geekery 0

Went to the National Museum of Computing today in Bletchley, the old WW2 communications site.

If you are a computer geek, then go visit!

From the Lorenz machine, which was used by Hitler in WW2 to encrypt strategic messages to the rebuild of the ‘Colossus’ machine used to massively speed up the process of German message decryption, the computing heritage here is out of this world. Other areas of geekery include rooms full of 1960’s-1980’s commercial and home computers…. not to mention hard drives the size of a tumble dryer, magnetic storage reels bigger than a giant pizza and enough combined processing power to still not even rival a gameboy. There is also a nice line of more recent (but still retro) home computers in the form of Apple’s, Amstrad’s, Sinclair’s, Acorn’s, and some classic games consoles too. Playing space invaders on the Atari was painful and death ridden experience, but I did complete two levels of ‘Jetpack’ on my beloved ZX Spectrum and STILL remembered the controls on the keyboard. Yes – I’m That awesome.

Wow! I loved it!

The tour guide said that they have about 10 years worth of valves in stock to keep the Colossus running. They appealed to us all if we knew of anyone who has any GPO components from the old exchange tucked away in the loft or as memorabilia, to contact the museum as all of the parts have been out of manufacturer for decades. It took them 15 years to rebuild the machine to working order from 8 plans that were in existence, plans that were for a single aspect of the machine and not the whole. It really was an amazing story.

Please help fund the museum:

Become a member www.tnmoc.org/support/become-member

Become a sponsor: www.tnmoc.org/support/become-sponsor

Visit www.bletchleypark.org.uk

Images: Courtesy of The National Museum of Computing

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