The Centre For Computing HistoryCurrently Closed
- Address: Rene Court | Coldhams Road, Cambridge CB1 3EW, England, United Kingdom
- Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details
- Phone: +44-1223214446
- Ticket Price: 7 GBP
- Time Required: 01:00 Hrs
- Tags: Family And Kids, Specialty Museums
Can you believe that there will be a generation of people who have no idea what a cassette player looks like? Or even a cassette, for that matter. Gone are the days of personalized, handwritten letters that took days to deliver, gone are the days of developing film in order to print out pictures and, to be more up to date, gone are the days of dial up internet! In an Isaac Asimov-esque future, one will step into a museum and survey, with great amusement, the ancient relics that will be the home computer and corded telephones. Toensurewe don’t forget the details of this phenomenally fast paced day and age is the Centre for Computing History.
Created in 2007, the centre is a registered educational charity and is funded by a combination of sponsors which consist of local business and authorities as well as private individuals. Venture capitalist and entrepreneur Hermann Hauser became patron of the museum in 2011. The centre was established as a pioneering educational charity to tell the story of the ‘Information Age’ and those who created it, thrived in it and those who were left in the dust. Since this is a relatively new topic, the Centre’s subject matter is quite refreshing.
The museum houses vintage computers and comptometers, games consoles, software and an extensive collection of magazine articles and other written material that documents the growth of this age. It’s said that as every minute passes by, information is being put out at double the current rate, which implies that there is more information out over the internet than our minds will ever be able to process! Who are the people behind this accelerated age of public knowledge? It’s here you’ll find out. In a very short space of time, this information industry has created multi billionaires out of some, paupers out of others and Farmville addicts out of the rest of us! It’s in this centre you’ll learn about the people, inventions and machines that have played key roles in this on-going story.Definitely a modern day must-see soon-to-be museum hidden in Cambridge. Also, visit the popular attractions in the city by following Cambridge itinerary 1 day.
- If you love video games, you’ll love this centre as they have fully functioning models of old gaming hardware, which you can actually play on.
- Expect to see Pacman arcade machines, space invaders, BBC computers for old skool coding.
- Getting there: The museum is at Rene Court in Coldhams Road, Cambridge, CB1 3EW, very close to the Beehive Shopping Centre. From the Beehive Centre, take the 3rd exit off the roundabout into Coldhams Road and go over the railway bridge. Immediately after the bridge there is a very sharp, left hand turn that doubles-back on yourself. Take that turn into the commercial estate and follow the road to your right. Just before the railway crossing, turn into Rene Court on the right and you will see the Centre there.
- For Kids: £5.00
- Babies,5 years and under: Entry is free.
- Family up to 4 people: £20.00
- None nearby.
- Wrestlers Pub (Thai)
- Moghul Tandoori (Mughlai)
- Pipasha Restaurant (Indian, Bangladeshi)
- The Weeping Ash (International)
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55.66% of people who visit Cambridge include The Centre For Computing History in their plan
2 PM - 3 PM
43.24% of people start their The Centre For Computing History visit around 2 PM - 3 PM
People usually take around 1 Hr to see The Centre For Computing History
94.01% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting The Centre For Computing History
Worth a visit - fairly large collection of retro home computing and video game consoles with an original arcade space Invaders and centipede. Great nostalgia for a teenager of the 80s such as me. Bit shocking to realise that the Apple Mac I did my degree thesis on in 91 is now considered a museum piece! They have a Sinclair c5 'car' as well, and in fact most of what Sinclair produced alongside most of the big name early home machines.
This centre is a must if you are going to Cambridge and a fan of technology. There were old computers and old gaming consoles (which you could use and try out). At the entrance, there is a small souvenir stall where you could buy something as a memory. Yes, they do have toilets and easy parking, and tiny snack shop. One cool thing was that at the end there was a playstation vr set that you could play with (for a whole level) for £2. The only problem is that the main room is really cold, but that didn't really bother me.
As someone very interested in computers and their history, this place is amazing. Not only do they have a wide selection of old and rare systems on display, the majority of them are fully operational and set up for anyone to use them. I have never found a museum more hands-on. There are a few reviews on here stating it doesn't deserve 5 stars and although I disagree, I understand why they say it. It's very much a museum for retro enthusiasts, and to someone with no interest in old computers it might seem pointless. But for anyone interested in these pieces of computing history, it is a treasure trove. The only downside I could see is the limited parking, though I did go when they had a meeting of Acorn computer enthusiasts on site, so that might be why I had to park on next door's car park.
This museum has a wide collection of old computers that are functioning and usable. This is no doubt a nostalgic joy for those who are familiar with these machines. I would say however that the displays lack context and explanation. Who were these computers aimed at? What makes one different from another? What did the rest of the market look like when this one was released? There were many isolated facts but not much story. As examples: There were a few notes dotted around about Bill Gates and Paul Allen's programming language BASIC. This could've made a whole display, explaining Bill Gates's background, the landscape at the time that meant BASIC was useful, Gates' open letter about pirated software, and where BASIC went from there. There was a poster with a tagline 'Where did all the women go?' which would've been an interesting topic to be explored in a display but there was only 2 of these posters (that I could find) and neither attempted to answer the question, they just mentioned prominent female computer scientists. Talked about the invention of the computer mouse a few times but never really about the evolution of the mouse, why it came to be, when 'right click' became a thing, when the trackpad was invented. I think this could've been strung together to be a more engaging story. I also feel that it could've dug into a few things in more detail. There was a display about the internet ('The Connected World') that didn't explain exactly what the difference between 'the internet' and the 'World Wide Web' is. Overall, would recommend for those who miss their old computers or perhaps those with kids (there are some fun displays and lots of arcade games that will entertain). Personally, I was hoping for something more informative and engaging.
Excellent day there today - went to the Game On talk and the kids (and me to be honest!) played some classic computer games. Lots of interesting items from the last 4 decades and great staff