Notes from the Museum

Programming for a high speed automatic calculating machine. (M.V. Wilkes).

A volunteer at TNMOC doesn’t spend all of the time with hardware and software, or even our visitors. This week I found myself sorting through some old documents, which I confess I find fascinating and came across a draft of a paper by the then Maurice Wilkes, later to be Sir Maurice of course.

Plastic flip flops from the 1970s

We get donations of all types of calculator at TNMOC, but rarely something like the BOBCAT. The Ball Operated Binary Calculator and Tutor (BOBCAT) was once used as part of an Open University Course.

QWERTY - something consistent across the years

TNMOC contains many computers from across the decades. But there is something you will see over and over again: the keyboard used to communicate with many of our computers.

One analogue of a desktop, the TR-48 ticks away

One of the Museum’s galleries is dedicated to the less well-known, analogue computers and includes an exhibit of a working TR-48 desk top analogue computer (c1961) available for our visitors to see.

Ele leads the code stitchers at TNMOC last weekend

Something different was happening at the Museum last Saturday. Between the clicking of Colossus, the whirr of the Elliott and the beeps of the Beebs, our meeting room was a buzz of activity - stitching the code.

Out with the new and in with the old

Last year the Museum acquired an authentic Calcomp 565 drum plotter that had once been part of an Elliott 503 system. The hope was to connect the plotter to our working Elliott 803 computer, and so the work began.

New displays, restoring the oldest working PC in the UK and lots more.

Three new display cabinets in the WITCH room will display artefacts relating to British computing in the 1940s, 50s and early 60s.

Turing's SatNav...Is it more intelligent than a chicken?

With the recent news of Bletchley Park securing Alan Turing's papers, TNMOC volunteer Pete Chilvers recalls how he gave his new SatNav an unusual test, and wondered how intelligent it really was...

A temporary display of Thermionic Valves

A new display of Thermionic valves, courtesy of one of our members.

More than machines

The National Museum of Computing hosts not only computers of all shapes and sizes, but also a large archive of documents and books.

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