The punch card kit and IBM 1130 arrives, great weather for the BBQ and a busy bank holiday
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The fine weather over the Bank Holiday weekend resulted in over 2,500 visitors to the museum so a sterling effort by all to cope with one of the busiest times this year.
Punch Card kit arrives
After many months of waiting the various assortment of 40 column punch card machines finally arrived on Friday. We would like to thank Carry Gently for transporting the equipment from Liverpool and all the volunteers who helped get the 18 large and small machines into the museum on Friday morning. Plans for the new 'Debits and Credits' gallery has now started and we hope to get the new display up and running within the next few months. A major project of restoring the equipment to working order is in planning.
Big Blue Iron Arrives
The IBM 1130 arrived this week as well. Three large cabinets: the console including it's own printer and the disk drive, the card punch & reader, and a line printer. More importantly a complete rack of diagnostic card sets. Bit of a project this one!
Air conditioning ordered
After much juggling of funds, and a very hot bank holiday, we have now ordered the air conditioning for the server room. This is expected to be delivered before next weekend and will be fitted by the volunteers as soon as possible. Work will then begin to seal off the server area, as part of the preparation for the new packet switching gallery, so the air conditioner does not try and cool the whole of the museum! I'm sure Ben and others will appreciate having a much cooler working environment.
New server for PC gallery screens
As well as the air conditioning, a new rack mounted DELL PowerEdge server is expected in the next few days. This will be used to drive the screens in the PC gallery and allow us to run the Operating System emulations which the current box is unable to cope with. Ben will certainly be busy again installing SunOS 10.
The weather for our after hours BBQ on Saturday exceed all expectations. We had over 30 volunteers and partners for the event and a good time was had by all. We also had a nice demonstration from Peter O of flying a model plane and gyrocopter. Sadly the plane had a bit of a mishap after it was flown upside down when it went down rather than up and hit the ground. Thanks to Lin for organising the event and getting the food and Peter V and Barney for cooking on the day.
PC Gallery PDP8 & lighting
New lighting to show off the PDP8 in the PC gallery was fitted by Jo. You can now see all the internals of the processor through the perspex cover. Phil H is making steady progress in restoring the unit to full heath with approx 60% of the cards now testing and where necessary replaced. He is, however seeing a large number of faulty cards and suspects the unit may have been used for parts in the past (leaving behind many faulty cards). Fortunately we have another spare PDP8 in the workshop which is being used to find replacements.
Archive room web cam
A web cam has been set-up in the archive room by Peter V to allow progress to be seen on the fitting of the new archive storage system. Compact Storage Ltd have generously donated the purpose built storage system and will be installing it during the week. You can see progress here. (Link no longer available)
IRIS air traffic control system
The air traffic control system has been behaving itself over the past few weeks. After fitting the PDP8 lighting, Jo made a start on the earth wiring of the various cabinets and processors which may have been a factor in the serial board failures. This work should hopefully be completed next weekend but only time will tell if this really was the problem.
A very busy bank holiday
With over 2,500 visitors to the museum, this was easily our best in terms of visitor numbers this year. Monday was the busiest with almost 2000 visitors thanks to a 40's event being held by the Park. We also had a fly past of a Lancaster Bomber and a very brief fly-past of the Red Arrows with smoke. The trustees would like to thank all the many volunteers who helped to keep the museum open on all 3 days of the bank holiday weekend.
Pixelh8 on BBC Digital Planet
After the recent very successful concerts by our resident 'chip tune' musician, Pixelh8, he has appeared on this weeks BBC World Service's Digital Planet broadcast. You can listen to the program here, see a video of the production here, listen to a podcast here and listen to a new free theme tune by Pixelh8 here.
We would all like to welcome our newest volunteer, John Gould to the team.