Centre for Computing History

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Established in 2006, the Centre for Computing History is a pioneering educational charity. Its core purpose is to increase understanding of developments in computing over the past 50 years through exploring the social, cultural and historical impact of the Information Age.

The impact of the computing revolution is immeasurable. It has created a global society; entire cultures remain in transition. Our thinking, our means of communication and the way we organise our lives has been irreversibly transformed. It is now virtually impossible to envisage a world without computers.

Having witnessed some of the biggest business successes and worst business decisions in history, the computing industry has spawned notorious legal battles, created the world’s wealthiest man and engendered breath-taking innovation.

This is a story as compelling as any Shakespearean drama encompassing passion, intrigue, betrayal, wonder, risk and vision.

Significantly, there is now a generation growing up who know little or nothing about the dawn of the Information Age. They are fascinated to learn that computers in 1975 had less power than today’s mobile phones!

(Registered Charity No: 1130071)

Venue Type:

Museum, Science centre

Opening hours

Wednesday - Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 10am - 4pm

Admission charges

£7 adults
£5 children (5-16years)
Under 5's are free.
£20 Family ticket (up to two adults and two children).

Getting there

The museum is at Rene Court in Coldhams Road, Cambridge, CB1 3EW, very close to the Beehive Shopping Centre. From the Beehive Centre, take the 3rd exit off the roundabout into Coldhams Road and go over the railway bridge. Immediately after the bridge there is a very sharp, left hand turn that doubles-back on itself. Take that turn into the commercial estate and follow the road to your right. Just before the railway crossing, turn first right into Rene Court and you will see the museum.

Includes a vast range of vintage computers and gadgets, peripherals, software, literature and other related artefacts. Aims to tell the story of the Information Age.

Collection details

Toys and Hobbies, Social History, Science and Technology, Archives

Key artists and exhibits

  • Microsoft
  • Altair
  • Sir Clive Sinclair
  • Apple
  • Acorn
  • Amstrad
  • Spectrum
  • Commodore
  • Atari
  • IBM
  • Psion
  • Compaq
  • neXT
  • Steve Furber
  • Bill Gates
Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Conducting Carrots!

Conducting Carrots!

  • 5 August 2015 From 11am *on now

In this workshop, we'll be playing with an ingenious little device called Makey Makey that allows us to connect everyday items to a computer! BUT do they conduct enough electricity to allow us to make music?

We'll be experimenting with lots of everyday items from fab fruits to funky furniture to see how well they conduct electricity.

This is a lively science and computing based workshop for younger children. It's fun and teaches the principles of circuits, resistance and conductivity.
This workshop is aimed at children aged seven and up and is ideal for children at the KS2 level. Please note that all under 14's must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 11-13

Admission

Standard museum entry fees apply: £7 for adults, £5 for children, and £20 for a family (2 adults and 2 children). There is no additional charge for this event.

Although the booking is for a specific time slot, entry to the museum is permitted all day. The museum is open from 10am to 5pm.

Tea, coffee and snacks will be available from our Pac Lunch Shop. And, plenty of seating for parents :)

Places are limited. Tickets must be booked in advance.

Website

http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/37684/Conducting-Carrots-5-August-2015/

Microbug

Electronics Lab - Build A Bug

  • 6 August 2015 From 11am

We'll be turning our Hauser Studio into an Electronics Lab. We'll have soldering stations set-up and our in-house electronics expert will help you assemble, solder and test your crawling microbug ready to take home with you.

Ideal for budding electronics engineers or anyone interested in learning to solder, this is a great project where you get to build a robot bug which loves light and scuttles towards areas where it can find some!

This is a lively and unique workshop aimed at children aged from seven upwards. All under 16's must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Spaces are limited for this hands-on session, so booking is required to ensure your place.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 11-13

Admission

This workshop session is priced at £22.00 per participant and includes the cost of the kit and entry to the museum!

Website

http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/37660/Electronics-Lab-Build-A-Bug-6-August-2015/

Minecraft

Minecraft Day

  • 7 August 2015 10am-4pm

During this all-day event, we'll be leading a number of fantastic educational and entertaining activities within the world of everyone's favourite block-building gaming phenomenon, and there'll be plenty of time to enjoy unstructured playtime as well.
Activities will include:

Build battles: we give you a theme - 'motorbike', 'chocolate', 'birthday', or anything else - and you have five minutes to build something!
Computer construction - can you build a computer within a computer? In Minecraft you can! We'll show you how to use redstone circuitry to construct a basic calculator, and teach you a bit about binary code in the process.
Hack the game - using some clever code, we'll demonstrate how to crack open the inner workings of Minecraft to produce some amazing in-game effects.
Free-form play: between activities there will be time for you to play as you like on a creative or survival server (all kept in-house on our local network). We'll also have a long-term building challenge going on throughout the day, with some great prizes for the winner.

We ask that, where at all possible, attendees bring their own hardware on which to play the game (laptops are best, but we can accommodate bigger hardware if you play on a desktop and are willing to bring it!). We will have the Raspberry Pi version of Minecraft running on our machines during the day for those who want to try out the game, but because the Pi Edition is a stripped-down version of the full game it'll be best if you bring your own.

Since this day will involve accessing our network and using some add-ons, we will be devising a guide that will be sent out to all attendees prior to the event so you are all prepared for the big day.

As if all this wasn't enough, we are delighted to be welcoming Staci Northfield, otherwise known as Minecraft Youtuber Salem's Lady, to the event. She'll be around to talk about video editing, building an online audience, and literally playing computer games for a living, as well as judging some of our building contests!

This day is aimed at children aged from seven upwards. All under 16s must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Spaces are limited for this session, so booking is required to ensure your place.

Time : 10am-4pm. Activities will start at 11am, but we recommend getting here beforehand to set up your machines and make sure you can connect to our network.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

The activity day costs £7 for adults and £5 for under 16s. This also gets you full access to the rest of the museum if you need a break from the game.

Website

http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/38169/Minecraft-Day-7-August-2015/

Python screen

An Introduction to Python Programming

  • 12 August 2015 From 11am

Python is one of the two languages that is available on the Raspberry Pi. So, if you've wanted to turn all your Pi project ideas into reality, come along to this fun workshop and we'll give you a push in the right direction.

This workshop is suitable for all - adults and children. For children, this workshop will be ideal for KS3 and KS4 students. Please note that all under 14s must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Although the booking is for a specific time slot, entry to the museum is permitted all day. The museum is open from 10am to 5pm.

Tea, coffee and snacks will be available from our Pac Lunch shop! And, plenty of seating for parents :)

Places are limited. Tickets must be booked in advance.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

The workshop is priced at: £7 for adults, £5 for children, £12 for 1 adult and 1 child, and £20 for a family (2 adults and 2 children). Note: If you are only accompanying a child (and not taking part in the workshop yourself), please select the 'Adult and Child' option.

Website

http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/38086/An-Introduction-to-Python-Programming-12-August-2015/

Pi Robot

Pi Power!

  • 13 August 2015 From 11am

Have you got a Raspberry Pi and want to to do more than just programming? Have you ever longed to create your very own robot? Well, this fun workshop is a great place to start!

We'll be showing you how to connect motors to your Pi and create the very basics of a moving robot. Using Python we'll teach you the code needed to operate the motors.

This workshop is aimed at children aged ten and up and is ideal for children at the KS3 and KS4 levels. Please note that all under 14's must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

No soldering will be required. A rudimentary understanding of the Raspberry Pi would be helpful.

Although the booking is for a specific time slot, entry to the museum is permitted all day. The museum is open from 10am to 5pm.

Tea, coffee and snacks will be available from our Pac Lunch Shop. And, plenty of seating for parents :)

Spaces for these exciting hands-on workshops are limited, so booking is required to ensure your place.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+
  • 11-13

Admission

Standard museum entry fees apply: £7 for adults, £5 for children, and £20 for a family (2 adults and 2 children). There is no additional charge for this event.

Website

http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/36668/Pi-Power-13-August-2015/

Pi Screen

Scratch and Pi

  • 14 August 2015 From 11am

What can we make Scratch Sprites do? Talking to each other, dance, run? Or should we make them control blinking LEDs, buzzing buzzers or a motorised wheel?

In this workshop, we’ll be using Scratch to program the Raspberry Pi. Come and see what we can create without having to ‘type’ in any code!

This workshop is aimed at children aged seven and up and is ideal for children at the KS2 level. Please note that all under 14's must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Although the booking is for a specific time slot, entry to the museum is permitted all day. The museum is open from 10am to 5pm.

Tea, coffee and snacks will be available from our Pac Lunch Shop. And, plenty of seating for parents :)

Places are limited. Tickets must be booked in advance.

Suitable for

  • 11-13
  • 14-15
  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

Standard museum entry fees apply: £7 for adults, £5 for children, and £20 for a family (2 adults and 2 children). There is no additional charge for this event.

Website

http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/37688/Scratch-and-Pi-14-August-2015/

Bitmap v Sensible

Bitmap Brothers Vs Sensible Software

  • 15 August 2015 From 6pm

This is a very special one off event. Jon Hare, founder of Sensible Software, and Mike Montgomery, founder of Bitmap Brothers, will be talking about their careers and the games they created. Bitmap Brothers and Sensible Software were two of biggest video game companies in the UK during the 80s and 90s and were responsible for titles such as Sensible Soccer, Speedball 2, Gods and Cannon Fodder.

The talk is being hosted by Mike James aka UK Mike from Retrogaming Roundup. You’ll get the chance to vote for your favourite Sensible Software and Bitmap Brothers games, ask questions and play the games on the original consoles and computers they were released on back in the day.

Feel free to bring your own drinks and nibbles, we’ll be open late for those that want to stick around after the talk to play some video games.

6pm till Late

Spaces for this exclusive event are limited, so booking is required to ensure your place, although if you're lucky you *may* get in on the day. (tickets on the door will be £2 extra)

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 16-17

Admission

£7

Website

http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/37996/Bitmap-Brothers-Vs-Sensible-Software-Saturday-15th-August-2015/

Maxxed Out Gaming Night

Maxxed Out Retro Family Gaming Night

  • 24 August 2015 6-10pm

An evening of video gaming that you won't forget!!

We'll have more video games consoles and computers out for you to play than you can shake a stick at!

Can you beat dad at Space Invaders, or mum at Pac-Man? Find out at our 'Maxxed Out Gaming' evening!

We'll be opening at 6pm for a solid 4 hours of digital fun in a fun and family friendly environment. There will be games that everyone can play from retro classics like Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Tetris to some of the modern versions like Wii, PS3, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. It's a great chance for kids and parents to come together, share experiences, compete against each other and talk, talk, talk about how technology and gaming have changed over the years.

An entertaining event for all the family - kids young and old!!

The Pac Lunch shop will be open offering tea, coffee, cold drinks, chocolate, crisps and cereal bars to keep you going!

The event starts at 6pm and finishes at 10pm

Under 5's are free.

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly

Admission

Adult £7
Child £5
Family £20

Website

http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/32505/Maxxed-Out-Gaming-Night-Saturday-29th-August-2015/

Getting there

The museum is at Rene Court in Coldhams Road, Cambridge, CB1 3EW, very close to the Beehive Shopping Centre. From the Beehive Centre, take the 3rd exit off the roundabout into Coldhams Road and go over the railway bridge. Immediately after the bridge there is a very sharp, left hand turn that doubles-back on itself. Take that turn into the commercial estate and follow the road to your right. Just before the railway crossing, turn first right into Rene Court and you will see the museum.

Centre for Computing History
Rene Court
Coldhams Road
Cambridge
Cambridgeshire
CB1 3EW
England

Website

www.computinghistory.org.uk

E-mail

events@computinghistory.org.uk

Telephone

01223 214446

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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