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ITP Insight Event: Visit to The National Museum of Computing

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Event Description

The fascinating history of modern computing!

We’re delighted to bring our members the opportunity to join us for an exciting new Insight Visit to The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) sitting in the grounds of Bletchley Park, a completely independent institution that brings the history of computing to life.

TNMOC is home to the world’s largest collection of working historic computers. We’ll be accompanied by one of TMONC’s friendly and knowledgeable Museum Guides you’ll see many of our iconic machines in operation; our Guide will illuminate the machine’s design, history and operation.  We’ll get to see Colossus and Strowger!

Flowers to Fibre – a pop up exhibition

Tommy Flowers and his successors at the GPO and BT started work in 1947 to make the existing copper voice network a faster and more reliable vehicle for the digital services we enjoy today.  They turned their research into the core principles of technology underpinning telecoms, including fibre, they also build the world’s first digital telephone exchanges in Britian.

A journey taking us through an often over looked story, from first pilots of the prototype digital exchanges to the planned national switch from copper to fibre after 2025. It shines a light on the stories of those involved too.

From the early electro-mechanical code breaking machines of WWII and the world's first entirely digital semi-programmable computer, discovering how technology evolved from valves and early semiconductors to the modern microprocessors we use today. You will uncover the development of large mainframes, supercomputers and scientific mini-computers, responsible for process control from office-based systems to airspace! The tour will conclude by exploring the rise of personal computing, mobile computing and the advent of the internet and smart devices, bringing you up-to-date by examining how this technology has revolutionised the way we now interact with machines and each other.

The Flowers to Fibre exhibition is a hands-on, interactive experience including:-

  • A working example of early Strowger electro-mechanical telephone exchange equipment, that dominated the national phone network and visitors can use to make phone calls.

  • Rare examples of components from the early modern exchanges, a prototype of System X digital telephone switching system, and ADSL pilot equipment from the dawn of Britain’s broadband.

  • The chance to experience “dial-up internet” today with the technology of the past – a 1990s’ PC/modem.

  • Press material from coverage of the GPO’s very first, ground-breaking digital-exchange pilot.

  • The chance for those involved in development of Britain’s high-speed phone network to record their stories as part of a new TNMOC archive project.

Tea & coffee provided, sandwiches can be purchased from the Museum shop.

Timings – 10 am – 2.00pm – 9th May

Entrance to the museum and a guided tour would usually cost £20.00 however we have managed to secure a 50% discount for ITP members.  Therefore, there will be a £10.00 cost to attend this visit.