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Before heading back home from Cambridge this morning we managed to squeeze in a visit to somewhere I've been looking to look around for a while: the Centre for Computing History.

The CCH is tucked away down a small road in an industrial estate behind the retail park (if you've ever wondered if there's anything worth making that weird hairpin bend at the south end of Coldham's Lane railway bridge for, now you now). It has a couple of themed rooms opening onto a small warehouse organised by broad theme (1970s, consoles, mechanical and electronic calculators, early home computers etc), although like a lot of specialist museums it can only display part of its collection. Many of its exhibits are in working order and are left running, so if you want to have a go at programming in BBC Basic or playing Space Invaders on an original Atari home games system, the CCH is the place for you.

I did warn [ profile] attimesbracing that I would probably succumb to extreme nostalgia overload during my tour, and I wasn't wrong. Mind you, she had the odd squee at exhibits like 1990s mobile phones or the Commodore 64 (she well recalled the infamous carpet-singing power brick). In approximate chronological order, here are a few of my personal highlights:

large pictures )

If you're in Cambridge, the CCH is only £7 to visit, and will probably induce a serious bout of retro-computing nostalgia. My only disappointment was that they didn't have a wider range of their calculator collection on display, but then I have my own personal museum in that regard...!
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...are few and far between (it's a lovely city) but the infernal touting for punt trips is one of them. And according to The Guardian, things are going from bad to worse.

Just waiting now for Somali Pirates to muscle in; fewer pesky Russian warships on the Cam, for starters.


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Simon Bradshaw

September 2017



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