Author Topic: The National Museum of Computing  (Read 3492 times)

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Offline Sionyn

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The National Museum of Computing
« on: June 11, 2012, 04:14:01 pm »
quick heads up their look for help restoring old electronics
too far from me else id straight there iv'e suggested they start up a hackspace

http://www.tnmoc.org/
eecs guy
 

Online Fraser

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Re: The National Museum of Computing
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2012, 05:09:41 pm »
They are in my 'back yard'  :D

Located at Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes. I have visited many times and have been impressed with the historic restoration work that has taken place. Since the activities of Station X + Enigma decoding etc during WWII were declassified, the site has become very popular with the public, and businesses for conferences. Its a great day out if you are interested in Station X, Enigma, Cryptography, Diplomatic Wireless or Old computing technology. Did you all know that Britain built the very first electronic computer and not the USA, as was believed ? Its true...Colossus was the first, but was kept as a secret due to its ability to crack codes. Yay !  for Britain... those were the days !

I liked the place so much, I got married there !   ;D

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has helped with the Diplomatic Wireless exhibits and you can see Crypto equipment there that I never thought would be released for public viewing. GCHQ have also provided some interesting equipment for the cryptography displays.

Recommended to anyone who finds themselves in this part of the country.

Aurora
Milton Keynes
« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 05:14:45 pm by Aurora »
 

Offline T4P

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Re: The National Museum of Computing
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2012, 07:21:25 pm »
I knew that the Colossal Colossus was the first 'computer' !
Them americans didn't do anything first in computing  :P
« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 07:30:20 pm by DaveXRQ »
 

Offline bullet308

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Re: The National Museum of Computing
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2012, 07:27:13 pm »
Well, there was that whole going to the moon thing...
>>>BULLET>>>
 

Online Fraser

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Re: The National Museum of Computing
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2012, 09:25:12 pm »
NOOOOOOOOOOOOO ! DONT GO THERE  :o

The conspiracy theorists will come pouring out of the woodwork quoting faked lunar pictures and two sources of sunlight on the lunar surface etc  ;D

Aurora
 

Offline T4P

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Re: The National Museum of Computing
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2012, 10:05:53 pm »
NOOOOOOOOOOOOO ! DONT GO THERE  :o

The conspiracy theorists will come pouring out of the woodwork quoting faked lunar pictures and two sources of sunlight on the lunar surface etc  ;D

Aurora

Ala ... Sahara Desert  ;D
 

Offline T4P

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Re: The National Museum of Computing
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2012, 05:10:57 pm »
Try building a "stored program" computer with valves  :P
 

Offline Zad

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Re: The National Museum of Computing
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2012, 01:55:21 am »
It is a fair point, although there was a certain amount of programmability on the later Colossi. The 1949 EDSAC (Cambridge Uni's machine) used mercury storage delay lines, the same system that Turing's Pilot ACE used. Before that though, in 1948, the Manchester University SSEM was using cathode ray tubes (CRTs) to store data. There is quite a lot of information on the relative capabilities of the machines in the biography of Alan Turing.

Offline amspire

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Re: The National Museum of Computing
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2012, 03:13:37 am »
Don't forget Austalia's CSIR Mark I computer that first ran November 1949. It was later renamed the CSIRAC.

http://ww2.csse.unimelb.edu.au/dept/about/csirac/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSIRAC

The specifications are interesting:

Clock speed:  1000Hz with 2 cycles/instruction (initially)
Memory:  768 x 20 bits.
Power consumption:  30KW

An emulator was written for the CSIRAC with some of the original programs:

http://ww2.csse.unimelb.edu.au/dept/about/csirac/emulator.html

Its power seemed to be limited to tasks like calculating the square root of a number, and playing some music. He is a reconstruction of one of the pieces:

http://ww2.csse.unimelb.edu.au/dept/about/csirac/music/ColonelBogey.mov

I remember as a kid going to electronic junk stores in Sydney and seeing old surplus logic modules. Probably more from industrial control hardware rather then an old computer, but there were these reasonably  large plug in modules with several valves that all together made up a single JK flipflop. There were also germanium transistor logic boards that may have had up to 4 RTL flip flop's per board.

Richard.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2012, 04:54:44 am by amspire »
 

Offline T4P

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Re: The National Museum of Computing
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2012, 05:05:27 am »
1KHz ...  ;D
30 ... KW  ;D
 

Offline Zad

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Re: The National Museum of Computing
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2012, 04:34:45 pm »
Look at it this way, had Babbage built his Analytical Engine then it would have taken several minutes to multiply 2 numbers. I'm sure it would have been rapidly improved, but I don't think it would have been playing Quake III.


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