back to article The National Museum of Computing flings opens its non-virtual doors

Retro computing fans rejoice! The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) has reopened its doors at Bletchley Park, England. Home to an eclectic selection of computers, including a working reconstruction of the Turing-Welchman Bombe used to crack Enigma-enciphered messages and the rebuild of a Colossus electronic computer, the …

  1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
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    Best of luck to them, and hopefully this can help get them through until all this chaos ends and we can go back to enjoying the full experience there.

    Same for the whole of Bletchley Park in fact.

  2. BenDwire Silver badge
    Go

    Booked

    Thanks to the previous story on El Reg, I donated during lockdown and I've now booked to visit them next week. I've also decided to do the rest of Bletchley Park in the afternoon, which costs £21 but does allow return visits for 12 months.

    Use it or lose it, eh?

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Booked

      13-22 September is Heritage Open Days week in Milton Keynes and Bletchley Park is giving free entry to locals so expect it to be pretty busy, if the max 6 social gathering thing doesn’t mess it up anyway.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do not confuse...

    ...the fine folks the TNMOC with the new shower at the Blethcley Fun Park and Amusement Centre.

  4. Will Godfrey Silver badge
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    Really good news

    The first ray of sunshine I've seen for a long time. I will have to make a serious effort to get there.

  5. Ozzard

    Well worth a visit if you've not been. Sometime, I really must see if they want any of my old bits and bobs - a PDT-11, plus my father's fine collection of early pocket calculators.

    1. RobLang

      If Bletchley isn't interested may I recommend the Museum of Computing History in Cambridge: http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/

  6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I took a brief look at the virtual tour. Just on the LHS of the first corridor there's a board about pioneers It has a portrait of Grace Hopper next o one of Chalres Babbage. Were they the same person? I think we should be told.

    1. martinusher Silver badge

      >Were they the same person?

      They're related -- they have Herman Hollerith in common. Babbage's use of Jaquard punched cards as a data store was turned by Hollerith into the data processing industry, the world of tabulators and sorting machines. When digital computers became available they got inserted into data processing once someone figured out a way to instruct the computer to do useful work that didn't require a postgraduate degree in math or engineering (and infinite patience). That's Grace Hopper's contribution.

      (I wonder if this museum has any LEO machines? They're really important in the history of computing, especially British computing.)

  7. RobLang

    TNMOC is a national treasure; should be protected

    I'll book a virtual tour! Love TNMOC to bits, staff are legendary. Was looking to take the boy now that he's big enough but C19 has put the brakes on that for now. Still, we'll send them some sheckles virutally.

  8. Martin an gof Silver badge

    Cleaning stuff

    It's not necessarily as difficult to clean things as you might think. We have a lot of Elo touchscreens at work (the National Waterfront Museum) and at other sites in the museum group they have prevented access to them. Our museum would be a bit sparse without.

    If you read the manuals you are only supposed to give them a light wipe over with a damp microfibre cloth, but I have long said that they should be able to stand a lot more than that as the panels are actually (similar stuff to) Gorilla Glass. The plastic surrounds might be a bit less robust, but in our case the things are in setwork and you don't see the plastics (much).

    Elo has been looking at the problem too and, who'da thunk it, but they have now decided that a weak bleach solution is acceptable, or certain types of commercial cleaning products.

    But we don't have 40 year-old BBC Micros, Spectrums etc. to worry about, or at least, the ones we do have are safely shut away in a glass case.

    M.

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