Vintage Computer Festival – National Museum of Computing, Bletchley Park

I had a fantastic time at the Vintage Computer Festival, held at the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park.

I was up at 7am making a picnic to take along, as this was a geek day out for the combined forces of WIT and the Vision Software Engineers from work. I tried to apply my special BBC Micro Owl glitter tattoo, but my glue had nearly run out, so it didn’t quite work out. Time to make a new stencil and maybe some other geek tattoo stencils for glittery wonderfulness & am up for suggestions!

Anyway, for anyone who grew up with Dragons, Speccys, BBC Micros and a host of pooters I won’t list right now, VCF was an Aladdins’ cave of anything and everything retro computer, game-y, gadgety and geeky! I was quite overwhelmed with the vastness of the event and had a wonderful time wandering from room to room and marquee to tent to hut and back round again. Just one room would have been enough to keep me going most of the day, but faced with maybe 20 rooms, marquees and huts of wonderful retro geekness was amazingly awesome.

I also caught up with so many friends who had of course also turned up for day one of VCF and we had many excited chats about all the computers, games and kit we had seen and played. There were also a host of wonderful speakers and talks, such as Tony Sale on Colossus, Peter Onion on the Elliot 803, PixelH8 and OMD played (sadly I missed tix that ran out within a day) and Chris Searle, presenter of The Computer Programme, broadcast in the early 80s. Today I will unfortunately miss Sophie Wilson (geek heroine of mine) speak, but I’m hoping someone will blog this for me, pretty pleeeeasse, as I’m working today (day two).

My highlights are too many to mention, but include the amazing work of the Dragon peeps, the Retro Computer Museum Pong machine, Big Dog Interactive atomic clock top hat, the Cray modules in the Amiga 25th Anniversary marquee, Twitter on an Amstrad ZX Spectrum +3, a working version of the BBC Domesday Project and all the speakers who were amazing, seeing my friends having misty eyed moments on discovering pooters and games from their childhood, the wonder at all the passion and perseverance of people who had lovingly mended and reconditioned so many historical machines that have paved the way to technology we know today.

Well, there goes my Sunday, but here’s 40 minutes of VCF video squished into 10 fun packed minutes – apologies if I’ve missed any name checks!

Many huge thanks very much to all the organizations, clubs and enthusiasts, too many to mention, who put together Vintage Computer Fair and made it a fabulous, not to be missed event!

Not wishing to put any spanners in any works, but hoping the success of VCF might help us persuade the trustees to let us run at RetroBarCamp at The National Museum of Computing / Bletchley Park! :-D

I have a set of my favourite photos from the day, here!

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7 responses to “Vintage Computer Festival – National Museum of Computing, Bletchley Park

  1. Simon Meacham

    I was there too today, it was great wasn’t it?

  2. We had a great weekend – met plenty of customers and sold quite a bit of stock (at least the van was not overweight on the way home).

    Plenty of interest in the Sinclair computers too!!

  3. Simon Hewitt

    Glad you enjoyed the day!

    Simon Hewitt
    VCF Lead Organiser/Event Manager

  4. Fantastic day. Quite glad I got a snap of that “retro” phone http://twitpic.com/1y3fka

    Although it turns out, it’s a modern phone in a retro casing – see http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2007/12/motelona-1980s/

  5. Love this stuff.. I can’t believe that some DRAGON gurus exist!! I am more onto Vic-20 and Commodore 64 stuff but I do have a soft spot for underdog computers. unfortunately, living in norht american, I don’t get the change to grab DRAGONS.

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