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“Very interactive!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Centre for Computing History

The Centre for Computing History
Rene Court | Coldhams Road, Cambridge CB1 3EW, England
0844 357 5100
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Ranked #3 of 100 Attractions in Cambridge
Type: Museums
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Saffron Walden, United Kingdom
1 review
“Very interactive!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2014

Took two 9 year old boys along to see a museum with a difference. The staff encourage you to play as many of the computers games as you can. The exhibits are well laid out and full of interesting old tech. We were delighted to have found this place. It is well worth a visit.

Visited April 2014
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180 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Right up your alley if you are into computers”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2014

Walked there on foot, no problem to find when using the map on tripadvisor. Impressive collection, and lots of hands-on fun to be had, both with programming in basic with help from 80's student handbooks, playing with old enterprise software, and many games from all ages on display. Interesting mainframes, the worlds first "luggeable" computer and a military computer from the 90's. What more can you ask for?

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntingdon, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Worth a look, especially if you like computer games”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2014

My husband and I visited on a Friday morning when we had the place, and the very helpful volunteers, to ourselves. From the attraction's web site, I had formed an impression of the sort of exhibits there would be, but you have to visit to truly appreciate the quantity and wide range of equipment on display.
The collection and it's curation is obviously very much a work in progress, with donations constantly being made and lots of space still to be filled.
There is a wide range of computing and related equipment on display, including some original digital cameras and "mobile" phones, although not everything is switched on. This is understandable as the power bill would be enormous and three phase power is not available for some of the bigger kit.
Apart from oldies like myself who remember various pieces of the equipment on display being used when new, the main audience for this facility in it's current state is those members of the younger generation who enjoy a wide range of computer games, which they can play to their heart's content. Those wishing to learn the, until recently, outmoded practice of writing computer programs (although now required by the present government, which means their services are now in demand) can also spend some very productive time here.
As mentioned by others, my main complaint would be that the majority of items displayed are not given any context, so today's youth, used to having massive computing power in the palm of their hand, are not given a way of appreciating the effort of feeding in punched cards or constantly changing tapes and printer paper and huge pieces of equipment which took all night to produce a month's accounts.
Also, be sure to take a jacket if you feel the cold, as there is no heating in the main room.

Visited April 2014
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Canberra, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Brilliant hands on experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2014

Was an complete adventure to find this museum, not sure what we would find tucked in an industrial area. But wow, what a fantastic concept. Our holiday from Australia was made all the better for visiting this museum, our first stop in Cambridge!

We loved checking out all the exhibits, it took me right back to see my first Atari with wood effect and all! The kids 8 and 5 absolutely loved trying all the games and would have played all day but we had to stop for lunch. The proposed cafe idea is a really good one.

The lady there was extremely welcoming and interesting. A great day out!

Visited April 2014
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5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Fun for all ages”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2014 via mobile

I managed to talk my wife into trying The centre of computer history during the Easter break. We had my wife's sister's children aged 7 and 9 over from Austria. We needed something engaging that didn't have a language barrier to understanding. This was perfect. I am now 31 and all my old games consoles such as the Commodore and Amiga 500 were there to play as well as ones I always wanted to own like the Sega mega-drive, Playstation 2 PS2 and the Nintendo SNES. I found it so absorbing but I was happier that my young guests and wife were as engaged in playing as well. There are some classic arcade games machines too. You need a few 50p's but I enjoyed getting beaten at Streetfighter by a 7year old. There is an education area which wouldn't stretch to a class of 32 but groups of 10-15 sharing could learn how to do basic programming and they have some Raspberry Pi's tiny cheap revolutionary computers on a circuit board which can be connected to monitors, mouse and keyboard. There is a guide to use it an staff are very knowledgable if you ask. When you arrive it looks dull and disappointing through the glass the old inactive computers are seemingly all that is there but go through to the huge back area and the magic happens. An early games Aladdins cave. I would imagine it could be cold so takeethereal others. There are loads of inactive exhibits and information plaque's Showing you the history of computers, laptops and printers etc. There are still lots of other computer relics visible so this centre will continue to evolve and improve over time. It was £20 well spent entertaining ourselves but I found it particularly nostalgic and above all FUN!

Visited April 2014
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