Category Archives: Museum of Computing

Museum of Computing bags award – thanks to volunteers!

The Museum of Computing's volunteers are always "game" for a laugh (pic Museum of Computing)
The Museum of Computing’s volunteers are always “game” for a laugh (pic Museum of Computing)

Mixing education and fun, the popular volunteer-run Museum of Computing in Swindon, England is a relaxed and friendly place for all involved.

But that’s not just the proud staff of the museum talking – reviews back this up and are the reason why the museum, based in Theatre Square, has just been awarded TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence Award 2015.

And what better way to celebrate national Volunteers’ Week, an annual event which takes place on 1-7 June and celebrates the contribution made by millions of volunteers across the UK?

Curator Simon Webb, of the Museum of Computing, proudly shows off their Certificate of Excellence (pic Museum of Computing)
Curator Simon Webb, of the Museum of Computing, proudly shows off their Certificate of Excellence (pic Museum of Computing)

Museum Curator, Simon Webb, says, “It helps that our volunteer team is a pretty diverse bunch. From college students to the retired, and from all corners of the globe, it’s great how our enthusiasm for all this cool stuff brings us together. Besides, we reckon we have more fun than the average museum!”

Volunteers are partial to a bit of Pacmania but aren't spooked by hard work either! (pic Museum of Computing)
Volunteers are partial to a bit of Pacmania but aren’t spooked by hard work either! (pic Museum of Computing)

And if you like the sound of joining their happy band of volunteers, why not get in touch?  The museum especially needs people who can help organise events, work at the front desk on Fridays, or be assistant volunteer co-ordinators.

As a volunteer, you can do normal museum work, from greeting visitors to setting up exhibitions, you could also dress up as a game character for events, play with Lego, Papercraft (like Minecraft but with scissors) and compete at retro video games with visitors, but only if you want as there’s no pressure.

Museum of Computing volunteers get up close and pixellated with Mario (pic Museum of Computing)
Museum of Computing volunteers get up close and pixellated with Mario (pic Museum of Computing)

As for the many visitors to the museum, few can resist getting hands-on in the ‘Pong to PlayStation’ gallery with three decades of gaming to enjoy.

For inspiration, active displays bring alive the story of computing together with artefacts ranging from pioneering pre-70s machines, to nostalgic home computers from the 80s and 90s plus hand-held toys, robots, calculators and other fascinating stuff.

The Museum of Computing offers a great escape from wet weather, and shopping, in Swindon’s town centre.  It is open on Fridays from 10am until 4pm and on Saturdays from 9.30am until 5pm.

For more details of the museum, check out their website: www.museumofcomputing.org.uk

And to find out about volunteering there,  email: nora@museumofcomputing.org.uk or call 07834 375628.

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Computer-mad volunteers needed in Swindon!

Museum of Computing at Swindon
Museum of Computing at Swindon

It’s National Volunteers’ Week, and the award-winning Museum of Computing in Theatre Square, Swindon, England has appealed to people who can give up some time to help out.

It is open on Fridays from 10am until 4pm and on Saturdays from 9.30am until 5pm.

The museum traces the history of the computer from ingenious mechanical devices to compact machines from as recently as a few years ago.

Countless machines are on display and many can be used by visitors.

The same goes for its extensive stock of gaming machines, the earliest of which include ‘Pong’-style offerings, which thrilled a generation when they were released in the early 1970s.

The museum also runs computer clubs for people of all ages and organises regular events such as live action Pacman tournaments.

In a news item published this week by the Swindon Advertiser newspaper, museum spokesman Rob Leaney said roles included welcoming people at reception and helping catalogue the vast collection of computing items.

“We’re always on the look-out for anyone who can help us with everything from helping out with events, manning the front desk and cataloguing the collection, to a spot of cleaning,” he said.

“Whether people can help us out with their time, or just want to visit, we offer a friendly and interesting experience.”

The museum especially needs people who can help organise events, work at the front desk on Fridays or be assistant volunteer co-ordinators.

For more details and to apply via email nora@museumofcomputing.org.uk or call 07834 375628.

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