Vintage Computing Festival

Yesterday I took a trip to the first official Vintage Computing Festival in Britain. I was a little surprised to hear that it was the first, but I imagine that there are plenty of ‘unofficial’ gatherings too. This event was held by the National Museum of Computing in Bletchley Park, which warrants a visit in its own right.

For the weekend’s festival, Bletchley was transformed into vintage computing heaven: a couple of marquees and the ground floor of the house were packed with computers of all makes and models, each one up and running and ready for some hands-on time. The vast majority were being used for gaming – chuckie egg was all over the place – but I did spot the odd word-processing application here and there.

I thought I’d post some pictures from two exhibits that really caught my eye.

First was the BBC playing the 1980s BBC Domesday project from laserdisc. Look right and you’ll see some video footage that we found having searched for ‘falklands’. I’ve read quite a bit about the BBC Domesday laserdiscs over the years (after the CAMiLEON project they’ve become digital preservation folklore), but seeing the content at stake, and interacting with it on a contemporary platform is something quite special. I also suffer from BBC Micro nostalgia (though this is a Master).

This other I’m including partly for nostalgic reasons (I loved my spectrums, and so did my sister and my grandfather 🙂 ), and partly because it amused me. Twittering from a spectrum! Whatever next?!

-Susan Thomas

3 thoughts on “Vintage Computing Festival

  1. Pete – you should! What games do you have?

    Gareth – sounds like you had fun *and* stayed solvent! 🙂 My other half made sure we went in a little car…

  2. I went to the VCF as well – on Saturday. As an Amiga fan, I was there to see the first demo of the new AmigaOne X-1000 machine – a really nice machine, though it lacks a USP to attract users outside the Amiga world (and is likely to cost a fortune).

    I almost bought a Compact Flash reader for the BBC Micro (in case I ever buy one), a replacement Catweasel to replace my dead card and a few ZX Spectrum games that were published this year (the notion of buying software for a machine that was commercially dead 17 years ago has a strange appeal). Fortunately, I’ve learnt a lesson from previous shows and only took a small amount of money. As it was, I bought a signed copy of Mike Hally’s ‘Electronic Brains’ book and a few issues of Sinclair QL World.


  3. Twittering from a device smaller than your hand? 😉

    I’ll bring my BBC B in if you like? I still like turning it on to hear that two-tone noise of joy! 🙂

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