A-mazing Easter Bytes
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every afternoon 10-21 April 2014
The spectacular Bletchley Park Maze which disappeared at the beginning of World War II has been recreated digitally for visitors to explore at The National Museum of Computing on Bletchley Park over Easter.
Searching the maze for Easter Eggs is just one element of the digital fun, games and competitions for the whole family at the Easter Bytes Festival running every afternoon from 10-21 April 2014.
Visitors can build LEGO EV3 Mindstorms robots, use the SketchBot sand table robot to draw their face in the sand, create computer music, have fun with computing electronics using the credit-card sized Raspberry Pi, play vintage computer games, see a demonstration of 3D printing by BlackCountryAtelier on Easter Saturday and on Easter Sunday get to use the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.
Chris Monk, Learning Co-ordinator at TNMOC, has been working hard on recreating the Bletchley Park Maze and secreting away some virtual Easter Eggs: "We have recreated the maze onscreen with a code-breaking twist. Eggs are hidden throughout the maze and when a visitor finds one they get a clue of three letters -- three letters of a Caesar cipher! Negotiate the maze, find the eggs, crack the code, rather than the eggs, and win a prize! It's not easy, but it's been tried and tested by visiting educational groups. Now the public can have a go!"
The Easter Bytes Festival runs every afternoon from 10-21 April at The National Museum of Computing on Bletchley Park. Anyone under 13 gets in free and an adult's entrance fee is only £5 (concessions £2.50). As well as taking part in the many activities, visitors can see working machines from every decade of computing.
About The National Museum of Computing
The National Museum of Computing, located on Bletchley Park, is an independent charity housing the world's largest collection of functional historic computers, including the rebuilt Colossus, the world’s first electronic computer, and the WITCH, the world's oldest working digital computer. The Museum enables visitors to follow the development of computing from the ultra-secret pioneering efforts of the 1940s through the large systems and mainframes of the 1950s, 60s and 70s, and the rise of personal computing in the 1980s and beyond.
A recent pledge by an individual benefactor of £1 million if matched funding is found means that every pound or dollar donated to the Museum will count double. Previous funders of the Museum have included Bletchley Park Capital Partners, CreateOnline, Ceravision, InsightSoftware.com, Google UK, PGP Corporation, IBM, NPL, HP Labs, BCS, and 4Links.
The whole Museum is currently open to the public on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 12 noon, spring and summer Bank Holidays and increasingly during school holidays. Colossus and Tunny galleries are open almost every day. Guided tours are available at 2pm on Tuesdays. There are often additional opening times for the public -- see the website or the iPhone app for updates. Educational and corporate groups are very welcome and may be on any day or evening by prior arrangement.
For more information, see www.tnmoc.org and follow @tnmoc on Twitter and The National Museum of Computing on Facebook and Google+. A TNMOC iPhone App is also now available from the iPhone App Store.
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