Tip of the Week #100 – The Centre for Computing History

Tip of the Week #100 – The Centre for Computing History

System Developer Christian Mütze visited Cambridge, England last week for this year’s CIP4 Interop Conference – and we’ll have a post about that shortly! While there, however, he had the pleasure of experiencing a new type of museum, featuring exhibits of a kind that we suspect will begin popping up around the world.

What happens to our outdated technologies? Are there burgeoning computer graveyards rising around the world now, with mountains of monitors, keyboards, piles of PlayStations and stacks of XBoxes? Probably. Let’s hope we can do better than generating a behemoth and voracious technological dustbin.

The folks at The Centre for Computing History in Cambridge recognize that we now have an entire generation of youth who are completely unaware of the evolution of computer technology, and how different things were just a few decades ago. They have created a charitable learning center – more than a museum but an interactive educational facility with hands-on exhibits and workshops – to help spread understanding of the progress of information technology and its broad societal impacts.

“The growth and innovation of the computing revolution has been fast and furious. Having created our global society, whereby our thinking, means of communication and the way we organise our lives have been irreversibly transformed, it is now impossible to envisage a world without computers or the Internet.

There is now a generation growing up who know very little about how this has all come to pass. The Centre for Computing History tells this story.”

Housing nearly 24,000 items (and that’s sure to grow, no doubt), The Centre for Computing History boasts about 800 historic computers as its core collection, many of which you can see in the photo gallery above. Adult visitors are sure to wax nostalgic over old Commodore, Compaq and Atari systems, all in perfect operating condition in the hands-on exhibits. They even have an Altair 800, widely recognized as the first home computer.

So if you’re ever in Cambridge, be sure to support this wonderful destination, which provides valuable educational services for all ages in an effort to foster a better recognition of where we came from, and where we’re going.

Not going to the UK anytime soon? Why not begin your own technological diorama, beginning with a few of those old towers and scanners gathering dust in your garage?

Thank you Christian!

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