An evening with friends… And retro computers!

Last Saturday (20th) I had the pleasure of spending an evening with some of my Raspberry Pi friends/conspirators 😉 at the truly awesome Centre for Computing History in Cambridge, UK and I thought that I’d just do a short blog post about it! I had a great time with Daniel Bull, Ryan Walmsley, Mike Horne, Tim Richardson and, of course, the infamous Jim Darby.

For those of you who do not know The Centre for Computing History is an excellent museum in Cambridge dedicated to collecting, preserving and maintaining computer history. Does that mean that it’s just a big room with a load of PCs in glass cabinets? Quite the opposite in fact – the interesting thing about the the museum is the fact that it is completely hands-on. All of the computers (from Apple ][s to BBC Micros) are in full working order and can be used by the public to reminisce/learn/muck-about-with! I volunteer there and run the Raspberry Pi Workshops – for any of you interested then don’t forget to check out their website here. Around a year ago I even did a montage video for the Centre and you can watch that here (a lot has changed since then though!):

So what did we get up to then? Well we all had a good look around and a chat of course! Played a few retro games (which I was obviously the best at) and Jim started unscrewing old Acorn computers which looked very valuable and rare. We spent a good few hours in there but I could easily spend days playing retro games, learning about the PCs of the 80s and also just marvelling at some of the lovely, beige-coloured, whizzy and beepy goodness that the museum holds. Some pictures shall explain this best:


The Raspberry Pi Gang – from left to right: Dan, Me, Ryan, Mike, Tim and Jim!


The front room of the museum – featuring the Apple ][, PET computers and the original Macintosh!


Arcade cabinet goodness! All still working!


Now isn’t that a lovely CRT monitor – the design movement is most likely ‘Atomic/Space’ design – sorry… I am now regurgitating GCSE Product Design!


Every geek’s dream – all lined up and functional! Amstrads to Ataris!


8-Bit Tape-y beautiful games! This is now my Nexus 5’s wallpaper


Now that is a pretty computer – Sinclair playing the famous Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. 42. Nothing more.


Ahh… Jet Set Willy was a favourite for all. A rather enjoyable game.

As I am sure you can tell we all had a great time and headed to the pub after. I would wholeheartedly recommend that anyone and everyone should visit the museum: it’s extraordinary and not just for geeks!