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National Museum of Computing

Discussion in 'off topic' started by Tony L, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    A very cool if incomplete 3d walk-through here (link). I can't seem to get through to Colossus or the early home computer sections, so I assume they are not mapped yet, but a great effort so far!
  2. thebiglebowski

    thebiglebowski pfm Member

    computer glitch ;)

    (more likely a PICNIC issue :) )
  3. gintonic

    gintonic Pussy Lover

    that is brilliant. I normally help taking a coachload of our first students to the Museum once a year, it is amazing how much it has changed (improved) over the years, thanks to the work of the team the there.
  4. Barrymagrec

    Barrymagrec pfm Member

    There seems to be quite a lot more than when we visited a few years ago - it was full of old guys telling bored looking wives "hey look , it`s a [insert computer type here] - I used work on one of those"

    I was one of them.
  5. venton

    venton pfm Member

    Great link, ta
  6. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    The EDSAC replica looks to be coming along nicely too (link). I'll go have a play with that when its finished!
  7. Still

    Still gyldengourd

    Here we have coding jokes, but in the van ... thread at least one lil' fish appears to have missed out on a chunk of evolution.
    pfm is the enigma.
  8. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Crumpets. I can hear crumpets.

    10: Peek (At_Exhibits)
    20: GOTO Gift_Shop
  9. suzywong

    suzywong The Man who had no Naim

    You are not alone.........

    I really must go and see it sometime, and also the one in Manchester
  10. Paul R

    Paul R pfm Member

  11. Derek Wright

    Derek Wright pfm Member

    A classic System 360 Model 50 would need a huge room to display all the processor cabinets, hard drives, tape drives. To have it running would take a lot of power and support so in some respects I think a set of photos is the only way to do it justice.

    Perhaps this old clip could be running in the background as well

  12. Paul R

    Paul R pfm Member

  13. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    The thing that makes TNMOC so good is it is enthusiast/volunteer-driven and all about working exhibits. It is probably my favourite museum because of this attitude and I guess it is as much a computer geek club as a museum. If I lived nearer to it I'd be involved for sure! I love the chaotic approach to displaying stuff too, it is the opposite of the highly coordinated modern story-boarded rout-planed simple-narrative thing that is becoming so popular in museum structuring these days. It is a real Aladdin's Cave with everything from a slide-rule or ZX80 to a Cray supercomputer (the latter being one of the very few things there that doesn't work, or didn't when I was there a few years back).
  14. Paul R

    Paul R pfm Member

    I don't disagree with you. (The Cray-1 is never going to go again, but it's a cool artefact.)

    I'm a TNMOC member, I think it's a bit of shame that EDSAC got the nod rather than a Pilot-ACE, which to me is very much more interesting. Due a visit soon anyway.

    I suppose the essential problem is that you can restart or recreate a functional classic CPU, but it just sits there and blinks while emitting heat. If we make it run something then we could just use a Raspberry Pi to pretend, or an emulator in a VM on your laptop.

    What's probably more interesting is classic software, preserving and running. Which doesn't so much need the hardware itself to be functional.

  15. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    IIRC EDSAC got the nod as there was at least some of it to work with. The sad thing is they aren't allowed to play with mercury so the memory is being faked with solid state as far as I'm aware.

    I don't see an issue with usage, and ideally I'd like to see the software running on the correct machine - if a computer has been restored to functional condition chances are there are a whole load of folk who either know how to program it, or are eager to learn. We certainly keep the SSEM replica busy in MOSI and have written a whole load of stuff to run on it, and that is a far more limited computer than the vast majority of stuff they have at TNMOC. I tend to run the original 1948 program most of the time (a factor of 2 to the power 18). I know TNMOC have tons of stuff for the home computers and the training area full of BBC Bs and Masters. The Dekatron seemed fully functional and able to run programs too. The big ICL stuff will likely run some variant of Cobol so shouldn't be too hard to get it to do some stuff assuming all the neccessary parts work (discs etc). The Elliott 803 would be fun to learn as I think there is some vague connection to the SSEM/Farranti there. Looks pretty low level.
  16. Paul R

    Paul R pfm Member

    I think I have a BBC B somewhere, and an old S100 bus Z80 machine complete with an official CP/M licence and 8" floppy distribution.

    But in a world where https://bbc.godbolt.org/ exists what is real?


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