Category Archives: Events

Computing curiosities on show in Swindon!

Simply weird and wonderful! (pic: Museum of Computing)
Simply weird and wonderful! (pic: Museum of Computing)

This Saturday 23 May 2015 sees the opening of a fascinating  display of oddities from the collections of the Museum of Computing in Swindon, Wiltshire.

From programmable peculiarities to the avant-garde of gaming, the volunteer-run, not-for-profit museum, based at 6-7 Theatre Square, SN1 1QN, have dug out their most unusual and rarely-seen artefacts.  In fact, many will be on display for the first time!

It’s a feast for the inquisitive including:

  • Extraordinary inputs – How do Nintendo 64 games respond to your heart rate?
  • Quirky, not qwerty – How does the keyboard with only six keys work?
  • Dangerous computing – What kind of husky can you program?
  • Pyramid of processing – Who built this outlandish prototype?
  • Surfing while actually surfing – Why does this thing even exist

Visitors will have the chance to experience uncanny consoles, silicon strangeness and the electric eccentric by dropping in and perusing the remarkable selection of computing gadgets and goodies over the next six months.

The Museum of Computing in Swindon is full of fun! (pic: Museum of Computing)
The Museum of Computing in Swindon is full of fun! (pic: Museum of Computing)

And there will be regular updates about what’s on show, via the museum’s Facebook and events page as well as their website.

For more info on the museum, including opening times, admission fees and directions, check out their website: http://www.museumofcomputing.org.uk/

And on the exhibition’s Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/816997541702170/

See also the Museum of Computing’s general Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MuseumOfComputing

 

 

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Retro computing fun from RCM at Snibston!

Snibston Event Photo (Pic: Retro Computer Museum)
Snibston Event Photo (Pic: Retro Computer Museum)

Our friends at the wonderful Retro Computer Museum in Leicester are coming out of their shell next month for another fun for all the family foray to the Snibston Discovery Museum in Ashby Road, Coalville.

And the weekend of Saturday and Sunday 20-21 June 2015 will see a fantastic hands-on opportunity to discover and play on a range of historic home computers and consoles from the last 35 years, including machines from:

Acorn, Sony, Amstrad, Atari, Commodore, Ninetndo, Sega, Sinclair, Dragon, Apple – and of course some other, rarer kit!

Also, as part of the great value ticket price (see below) you can also explore the Snibston Discovery Museum – the region’s largest science and technology museum.

The event opens 11am-5pm on Saturday 20 June and 10am-4pm on Sunday 21 June.

Advance tickets can be purchased from the venue up until the day before, or via the ‘Donate’ button on the Retro Computer Museum’s Home Page – please state what days and the ticket type you are purchasing in the comments box – until Thursday 18 June 2015.

Ticket prices are:

  • Adult Single Day £10.50 (£12 on the door)
  • Adult Two Days £15.50 (£17 on the door)
  • Child Single Day £6.50 (£8 on the door)
  • Child Two Days £9.50 (£11 on the door)

Contact details for the Retro Computer Museum:

07519 816283   info@retrocomputermuseum.co.uk

Website: www.retrocomputermuseum.co.uk

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/RetroComputerMuseum

Facebook Event Page:  https://www.facebook.com/events/797749890331815/

Contact details for Snibston:

01530 278 444    snibston@leics.gov.uk    www.snibston.com

 

Go adventuring in Cambridge – and create your own world!

Go with the flow - and build your own adventure (Pic: Centre for Computing History)
Go with the flow – and build your own adventure (Pic: Centre for Computing History)

Text adventuring is one of the oldest and greatest of retro-computing game genres – and now modern computer fans can also discover how such ‘interactive fiction’ games play out – after building their own!

The Centre for Computing History in Cambridge, England is offering visitors the chance to build an adventure game using a special system known as ‘Twine’, during a workshop next Wednesday 27 May.

Twine is a brilliant online tool for constructing interactive stories, and the museum in Rene Court, Coldhams Road,  is inviting adventurers of all ages to come along and learn to use it to build a tale of dragons, spaceships or spies (or maybe all three in one story!) that you or your friends can then play through. You’ll be able to let your imagination loose and maybe learn a thing or two about coding whilst you’re at it.

Entrance to the Centre (Pic: Centre for Computing History)
Entrance to the Centre (Pic: Centre for Computing History)

This workshop, which starts at 2pm, is aimed at children aged seven and up.  Adults are welcome too! Please note that all under 14’s must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

If you’d like to see an example of Twine in action, try playing The Amazing Tale of the Storytelling Workshop, a Twine game that the Centre have put together themselves.  You’ll discover lots more about the workshop that way and have a fun adventure at the same time!  It will open in a new window and will play in all common web browsers.

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 10 am to 5 pm.

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.  Follow this link to book:

http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/37672/Build-your-own-text-adventure-27-May-2015/

Payment is taken by PayPal immediately. Please print a copy of the receipt that is displayed at the end of the payment process and bring it with you as your e-ticket.

For more about the Centre, check out their website:

http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/

Computing fun with bugs – in Cambridge!

A different kind of computer bug! (Pic: Centre for Computing History)
A different kind of computer bug! (Pic: Centre for Computing History)

Youngsters visiting the Centre for Computing History in Cambridge next week will have the chance to experiment with a less common ‘bug in the system’,  when the popular establishment in Rene Court, Coldhams Road is offering the chance to build a Crawling Microbug that will definitely impress everyone you know!!

On Wednesday 27 May, from 11am, they’ll be turning their Hauser Studio into an Electronics Lab., complete with soldering stations set-up and their in-house electronics expert ready to help children assemble, solder and test their very own crawling microbug ready to take home with you. What a great souvenir!

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.  You can do this online by following this link:

http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/37660/Electronics-Lab-Build-A-Bug-27-May-2015/#

Payment is taken by PayPal immediately. Please print a copy of the receipt that is displayed at the end of the payment process and bring it with you as your e-ticket.

Please note: Whilst the Centre will make every effort to help ensure your Microbug works, careful assembly and soldering is required and they cannot be held responsible for any non-working Microbugs due to poor assembly.

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

Check out the Centre’s website here:

http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/

 

Commodore Meeting set for Vienna this Sunday

Picture courtesy Computer Collection Vienna
Picture courtesy Computer Collection Vienna

This year’s Commodore Meeting Vienna is all set to take place in the spectacular city of Vienna (Wien),  the world-famous capital of Austria, on Sunday, 17th May 2015.

The event provides an opportunity to meet each other in person , to exchange experiences and news and to work together with great machines or to play.

The event is aimed at users , fans and collectors of Commodore computers, say the organisers, Computer Collection Vienna.

Interested visitors who just want to take a look at cult computers, of course, are also welcome.

This meeting takes place annually , usually in the spring. Participation is free , but registration to attend the event is required.

The event is open between 4pm – 11pm.

The location is :

Wiener Freiheit

Schönbrunner Straße 25

1050 Wien

The Facebook event page is: https://www.facebook.com/events/734937869948377/

Legendary Oliver Twins to appear at Play Blackpool

Philip and Andrew Oliver with games old and new, Dizzy and SkySaga (Pic: The Oliver Twins/Radiant Worlds)
Philip and Andrew Oliver with games old and new, Dizzy and SkySaga (Pic: The Oliver Twins/Radiant Worlds)

Great news for anyone heading for the PLAY arcade, indie and retro gaming show at Blackpool next month is that they’ll get the chance to hear and meet that dynamic duo of retro and modern gaming, legendary British programmers and businessmen the Oliver Twins.

Not only is Andrew Oliver going to be on hand to talk about the forthcoming game SkySaga from the twins’ own current company, Radiant Worlds, but the latest news is that he will now be joined by his brother Philip.

The popular and wide-ranging event features the first public UK preview of SkySaga, which looks to be a hit in the making, but most importantly for retro fans is that Andrew and Philip will be giving two talks on the Saturday at 1pm and 3pm, the first being a nostalgic glance back at their past games and their remarkable life programming in their bedrooms in the 1980s!

The second, bringing their long and successful careers into perspective, will focus on their important new project, SkySaga: Infinite Isles (definitely not a bedroom job!), and some of the production team from Radiant Worlds will be there, offering show attendees the chance to play the game in the exhibition hall itself.

Andrew and Philip became British gaming legends as ‘The Oliver Twins’ in the 1980s when they developed, amongst other hugely popular series, the equally legendary (and still very popular amongst retro gamers)  Dizzy adventures and the Simulator games, which were published by Codemasters.

PLAY Blackpool

Retro fans and new gamers alike will also have the chance to get their collectables signed by the twins – reason enough to beat a path to the Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre for what looks set to be another great PLAY expo.

So don’t forget to bring your Dizzy games and other items for the Oliver Twins to autograph!

Continue reading Legendary Oliver Twins to appear at Play Blackpool

GEEKs invade Birmingham this weekend!

Heroes and Villains is the theme
Heroes and Villains

This weekend, geeks and gamers will be an even more common sight in Birmingham, England than usual, as the GEEK festival moves north from its usual home in Margate, Kent – and this latest event has the theme of Heroes and Villains!

Since 2012 the event has run in the February school half term, inviting people to come and play in the seaside town in the winter.  But this time the geeks roadshow – organised by Marine Studios – and its hordes of fans old and new – are expected to rock up early, at the Custard Factory arts and events creative quarter and venue  in Gibb Street, Birmingham – in the heart of the ‘second city’.

Retro Gaming and geekery galore in Brum

From Friday 19 – Sunday 21 September, the GEEKS will be bringing you all the best retro video gaming from Replay Events! Classic and modern games will be available to play, alongside quirky games like Punch The Custard.  You’ll also be able to chat to indie developers, check out props from blockbuster movies and geek out to your heart’s content. Tickets are on sale NOW – check out the GEEK website for opening hours and advance tickets, and day tickets can also be purchased on the day/night.

Continue reading GEEKs invade Birmingham this weekend!

Upcoming at The Centre for Computing History

Centre for Computing History

One of the UK’s top computer museums, especially for fans of retrocomputing, is the Centre for Computing History in Cambridge, England.

They regularly participate in and run retro gaming and educational events but for the next few weeks their internal events focus is on things which are mostly a little more up-to-date!

Sonic Pi Workshop

This coming Wednesday 27 August, for example, sees a Sonic Pi Workshop running at the Centre, offering those attending the session the chance to explore the open source programming environment Sonic Pi, which is designed to explore and teach programming concepts on the inexpensive British Raspberry Pi computer through the process of creating new sounds. Sounds like fun!

Full details:  Sonic Pi Workshop

The Art of Intelligence Analysis with IBM

An exciting challenge will be set in the following workshop at the Centre, on Monday 1 September, from 11am-2.30pm, when simulating a real-life investigation, participants are cast in the role of Intelligence Analysts and, using the award-winning IBM i2 Analyst’s Notebook combined with their own brainpower, are asked to solve a fraud case!

Full details:  The Art of Intelligence Analysis with IBM

Continue reading Upcoming at The Centre for Computing History