A busy Easter weekend, some project news and other activities
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Another round-up of activities at the museum over the past few weeks...
Easter bank holiday
The extended opening hours (to 5pm) and lighter evenings resulted in a lot of visitors over the 4 day Easter bank holiday weekend. Thanks to many volunteers giving up their Easter break we were able to open on all 4 days this year with Monday being the busiest day.
Educational visits becoming very popular
Our educational packages are proving very popular with local schools, collages and other educational establishments. With Lin organising many of the visits, ably assisted by Derek, Sheridan and Pete C, they are getting between 2 and 3 per week.
Storage space reorganisation
Finding room to store all the donated equipment is a constant challenge for the museum and we often have to decline many donations as a result of having no physical space to keep them. Work is in progress to try and re-organise the space we do have more efficiently by using larger and additional shelving and re-arranging them better. This work is being planned by, and a lot actually done by David H with other volunteers helping out when available. This does involve a lot of equipment moving around (which we have had plenty of practice at!)so it is going to take quite a while before the benefits of this work will be seen.
Harwell Dekatron Computer
After a short sabbatical, progress on the HDC restoration has resumed with some important progress made. Tony F, the restoration project lead, has produced a detailed update of recent progress plus some ideas about how the system will eventually be shown to the public. While the full restoration is some way off progress is being made to try and show what the system may have looked like when operating. More details on this can be found on the HDC projects page.
Elliott 803 activities
After the 803 getting "hot and bothered" the other week Peter O has attached some LCD strip thermometers to the air vents at the top of the cabinets. The readings he has taken from these show that it takes about 45 minutes for the 803 to reach a steady temperature. However since the gallery warms up more slowly the 803 continues to slowly get warmer during the day.
A few weeks ago Lin and Peter O took a trip to the local Ikea to buy some cupboards and a worktop to put behind the 803. Over the last two weeks Bob J has assembled and installed all the units (and got all the bits that Peter and Lin forgot to get!). Now we have a nice workspace for any 803 maintenance jobs.
A number of the 803 operators have had a short "refresher" training session to make sure they are able to deal simple "situations" that can arise when operating the 803.
As preparation for starting to teach museum volunteers how to programme the 803 Peter O has begun to relearn how to use some of the 803 programming tools he's not used for about 30 years!
ICL 2966 news or rather no news
For those wondering why there has been no update on the 2966 restoration, it is because Delwyn, our resident 2966 expert, has been away due to other commitments. He is hoping to continue with the work as soon as he is available again.