Three years of my life as an EU student of English Literature at the University of East Anglia,England.
During my trip to Cambridge to go see Steven Wilson’s concert, I went to the Centre for Computing History! I’d read many excellent reviews about it on Trip Advisor, and although the entry is quite expensive (£7 for adults), me and my boyfriend were really interested.
They have tons of very old computers (and “computers” that were more like keyboards) from the 80s and 90s, but also lots of video game consoles, from Atari and Pong to the more recent Playstations or Gamecubes, and a few “mobiles phones” (I don’t even know how people were supposed to carry them), some of the first digital cameras etc.
Super-old “computer” that was only released in France — but they made very similar ones in America around the same time. I’m not sure I understood everything, but you had to connect it to your TV, type on the machine, and your data would be recorded on a VHS tape.
Several video game consoles: these are a bit more modern (late 1990s/early 2000s). They all worked and we could play!
Sega console from 1983 (on the left) and Nintendo’s Family Computer (Famicom) — I think this one was a Japanese edition. We couldn’t touch them for obvious reasons… I’m not sure whether they still work anyway.
Pong console (by Atari) that came out in 1972! We couldn’t touch those either, probably because owning one now is like finding an Antique treasure 😛 .
What surprised me the most was not the fact that they had so many computers (although that’s still impressive) but that we were allowed to touch and encouraged to use most of them! They put coding manuals next to some computer so that we could start learning the basics!
I tried to play a racing game on this Atari… It was a disaster! But I’ll blame the console for it because the joystick didn’t respond properly. 😛
Played Mario Kart on NES… Still a disaster, but this time I’ll blame the awful graphics! I can’t believe people played those games, they really hurt my eyes and gave me a headache after a few minutes….
This is one is my favourite thing that I saw there: one of the very first computer games! All you have to do is write commands on the computer, such as “move up”, “go left”, “stand up” and the computer adds sentences and tells you the story. It sounds funny… BUT! We had no idea what to type in to make progress into the story. 😛 I think those games came with manuals of all the commands that could help you.
This is a very old analog calculator. We spent ages on it and still haven’t worked out how it works…
We had a really good time there, I find those museums so fascinating! Also, it’s apparently the only real museum like that in the UK — all the other ones are temporary exhibitions (like the one I went to in London, at the Science Museum).
But the best thing I’ve seen in Cambridge was THIS! It means “Sausage, my love” in French. I couldn’t stop laughing at it!