Vintage Computer Festival – Bletchley Park.

Set in the beautiful mansion and gardens of  Bletchley Park, it was the perfect venue to hold the first Vintage Computer Festival mixing early 8-bit/16-bit computers with even older technology going back to the 1920’s.

Station X.

I arrived very early before most of the general public and headed on in to find the RCM chaps as they gave their systems one final check before the doors opened.

Andy, Richard and Karl from the Retro Computer Museum.

As i wandered around the various rooms, catching up & chatting with a few familiar folk, it was just so amazing to see so many computers, consoles and homebrew devices on display.

Richard’s DIY made Acorn Atom

DIY Sinclair/Science of Cambridge MK14.

..and some rather oddballs! like this 1980’s ZX Spectrum, running a homebrew Twitter client! – a very popular item throughout the festival, with scores of people using it to post twitter updates.

Guitar Hero… Commodore 64 style :-)

..and the truly beautiful, like this 1940 Digital Clock

The festival was opened by the Chris Serle who co-hosted the classic ‘The Computer Programme’ which aired on the BBC back in the early eighties.

Heading on over to the main marque where it was practically all Commodore (my kind of place!) and had every model of Amiga on display as well as plenty of items to buy to pimp your Amiga.

At around lunchtime, the eagerly anticipated launch of the new Amiga X1000, although after chatting with bit with fellow Amiga fans, it did receive mixed reviews.

Throughout the course of the afternoon I spent most of my time hanging out with the RCM chaps playing everything from Chuckie Egg to Soul Caliber. At the end of day one, I’d clocked up 100’s of photos & quite a bit of video. By 5pm, day one was over and although extremely tired, could wait for day two to start.

On the second day, I spent a few hours wandering around the Bletchey Park museum, attending various lectures (the one with Sophie Wilson was just brilliant) and got to see some  awesome technology. Eager to get back to the main events, i’ve mentally noted that i must revisit Bletchley Park museum to give the exhibitions the time they truly deserve.

Colossus

This hard drive was about the same size of a modern washing machine and they had about x20 of them.

Over the next few days I’ll post photo/video links for those that wish to see more but here’s a few that I’m particular pleased with.

Karl, Dave, myself, Andy, Jimbob and Richard.

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2 responses to “Vintage Computer Festival – Bletchley Park.

  1. Such diverse collection of vintage computers and gadgets. I was there on Day One but unfortunately never made it on Day Two. One whole day was not enough roaming from one roomful of computers and equipment to another. One mistake I made was not being able to take photos. Thanks for sharing yours.

    Henry Ione
    Real World Computer Science

  2. Hello Henry, thanks for posting.

    It certainly was a brilliant weekend and I’d agree, even though i was there for the full two days, there still wasn’t not enough time to see everything. We’re planning on heading down to the museum again one weekend and as always will have camera to hand.

    Kind regards

    StiGGy

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