Computer museum looking for permanent home

Everyone fondly remembers their first computer experiences. For me, it was the Timex Sinclair 2068. Programming in BASIC was helped by macros on the keyboard: Press the letter “G” on the keyboard and the “GOTO” command popped onto the screen. It opened up an entirely new world (although loading and saving to a cassette tape was always annoying!).

The Centre for Computing History, founded in 2006, has a goal of preserving the history of computers. The organization is currently based in Haverhill, Suffolk in a small space with only 1,000 square feet of display area and another 2,200 square feet of densely packed storage space. Their goal is to secure a location near the high-tech Cambridge, UK area that can be used as a permanent museum for the history of computers. Cambridge was selected as the home because it housed two of the big players in the computer market – Sinclair Computers and Acorn Computers; the former brought computers to the people’s homes while the latter (no longer in business) was responsible for the ubiquitous ARM processor.

The website has a lot of detailed information on legacy systems, from video game consoles (the Phillips Videopac G7000, also known as the Magnavox Odyessey), to calculators (the Casio AL-2000 Programmable Calculator is interesting), to computers (the Epson PX-8). It also contains a detailed timeline of historical events, starting with the creation of logarithms in 1614 and ending with the launch of the iPad in 2010.

The website is an interesting stroll down memory lane and a good way to learn about old technologies that you may not already be familiar with. The Centre for Computing History is a registered charity and is currently seeking donations to help with their goal.

Images Courtesy of Wikipedia and The Centre For Computing History

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My first one was something that my dad, Charles Babbage, brought home from the office. Was a nightmare having to oil the cogs in order to load Jet Set Willy.

In grade school we had TRS-80s in the library, although they were pretty old at that point I think. It wasn't exactly a state of the art school. They would let us play Eliza and Space Invaders on them sometimes but mostly we did boring educational programs. When I started high school they had Apple IIs but by senior year they were rocking state of the art 486s with CD-ROM drives. I remember how amazing the CD based encyclopedia program seemed at the time.

I finally got my very own computer a few years after graduation; a Compaq Presario 4640 with Windows 95, DVD-ROM drive and a horribly slow 4GB Quantum Bigfoot hard drive.

My first was some old Dell computer that had DOS on it. 500 MB hard drive, and the DOS versions of things like Microsoft Works, Mixed Up Mother Goose, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, and King's Quest.

CoMMo said,
My first was some old Dell computer that had DOS on it. 500 MB hard drive, and the DOS versions of things like Microsoft Works, Mixed Up Mother Goose, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, and King's Quest.

God, Monopoly on DOS was epic.

We had a NES with a gun for Duck Hunt, a Master System, a SNES, a Mega Drive, Amiga 500, a 486 running 3.11 and then my first Windows PC was a 166 MMX P1 running Windows 95, with a 4gb HDD and 16mb of RAM. Oh, and a Matrox Mystique graphics card. Those were the days. Then we had an N64 and not much after that in the way of consoles until the Wii.

jwoodfin09 said,

Mine was Windows 3.1
I just barely missed Windows 3.1, when I started using the computer, my parents had just upgraded.

SpeedyTheSnail said,

Mine was DOS lol. Battleship and Flight simulator.

Commodore C16 here at the age of 4, I remember typing BASIC programs out of the user manual to show patterns on the screen (like spyrograph).. Remember coding on the C64 after that, using assembly to read joystick inputs and translate that into sprite movements and also programming simple tunes using the SID, I though I was a game programmer

satukoro said,
Sadly my first was a Windows 95 rig.

mine was this box that had 8 Lights + 8 swtiches.. On or off and you programed it with punch cards...

shortly after I coughty a 8086 and then a 80286 and then a 80386 with a amega some were in between there

satukoro said,
Sadly my first was a Windows 95 rig.

Mine was good old OS/2 2.0 - didn't even consider Windows till NT4.0 (by that time I was running OS/2 Warp 3 Connect).

bugsbungee said,

Commodore C16 here at the age of 4, I remember typing BASIC programs out of the user manual to show patterns on the screen (like spyrograph).. Remember coding on the C64 after that, using assembly to read joystick inputs and translate that into sprite movements and also programming simple tunes using the SID, I though I was a game programmer


Lol you're more advanced than I was. I didn't start programming (and haven't done anything useful for the most part) until I was 10 or 11, on a Windows 95 machine. It was in the days where computers had a physical on/off switch still. I remember seeing "It is now safe to turn off your computer". That drove me nuts, because my grandpa's work computers would automatically shut down, as well as my schools. I searched high and low for how to get it to shut off automatically before I realized it was my hardware.

I have a Sinclair 1000 that I ordered as a put-together kit. It had the fantastic design feature of having the optional RAM module being about a centimeter higher than the computer, thus causing a crash if it wobbled even the slightest while typing on the membrane keyboard.