An enjoyable trip to The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park, UK. Excellent presentations by the volunteers there explaining the history and operation of the codebreaking machinery including the BOMBE, Tunny, Heath Robinson and COLOSSUS. I’d very much recommend anyone visiting Bletchley Park walks the extra few paces to visit this separate museum in Block H.
There are working exhibits of so many of the computers important to computing in Britain, from mainframes through the explosion of personal computing from the late 70s.
A key purpose of the visit was to donate an old book and punched cards. I received these from a neighbour in 1986 while studying A-level computer science. The book dates from 1973 and relates to an ICL 1900 series Main Frame. The ICL 2966 in the museum is far more recent but is running as a 1900 and gives a feel of the scale of the machinery then used.
It was interesting to read, some 46 years since it was written. The reliance on core memory, but the basic still apply, largely hidden now by layers of abstraction enabled by the massive increase power packed into ever smaller more energy efficient packages. I am reminded of a time when it was unusual for people to encounter, let alone own, any computing device.
Introduction to computer systems
Technical Publication 4955 International Computers Limited 1972