I recently found myself at a loose end in Cambridge and thought it might be fun to visit The Center of Computing History.
It’s a slightly weird place - a bit out of the way from the centre of Cambridge. It’s pretty easy to find, just trust the map and your phone and don’t worry if you seem to be walking through an industrial park.
In the entrance to the museum they’ve got The Megaprocessor - a 16-bit processor built out of discrete transistors. It’s a pretty impressive piece of engineering and it’s fun to watch it in action. They’ve got it set up to play Tetris.
The most exciting thing for me was the prototype ZX Spectrum - if you’ve read my previous post where I talk about growing up with computers, you’ll know that this is the machine that I cut my teeth on.
Weirdly, I couldn’t find a ZXSpectrum to play around with, but I did do a little program on a ZX81.
And also messed around on a BBC Micro - we had these in the school computer lab, but the Spectrum was my workhorse.
There’s a whole room full of consoles along with a few classic handheld ones. I’ve put up a short video on the extras channel of the video footage I recorded.
They’ve also got an Apple 1.
I could have recorded a lot more, but I ended up just wandering around enjoying myself!