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“An excellent, fun and interesting visit - well worth it.”

The Centre for Computing History
Ranked #8 of 161 things to do in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Bedford, England
Level Contributor
450 reviews
285 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 736 helpful votes
“An excellent, fun and interesting visit - well worth it.”
Reviewed January 11, 2014

Situated on an industrial estate in Cambridge, the Centre is easy enough to find if you follow the directions given on the website. Parking is available immediately outside the building. We were greeted by a friendly and clearly enthusiastic member of staff who gave us a quick rundown of the Centre's offerings. Although this is obviously a relatively new venture, we were impressed with the wealth of exhibits and information on display. The number of machines that are 'up and running' is amazing and it was great fun to have a go on many of them!
However, it's not just about having a play. Take time to read the information and understand the awesome advances that have transpired in computing in such a short space of time. It was a trip down Memory Lane for us but this Centre works for all ages - children will be amazed at the simplicity of the original games that kicked off the sophisticated world they take for granted.
The staff will leave you alone but are more than willing to help or answer any questions you have. There are toilets available and coffee to buy at a very reasonable price. Also, a small retail area to buy the odd memento of your visit.
In summary, whether you're young or old, expert or novice, I'm sure you will enjoy this unique experience.
Recommended.

Visited January 2014
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1 Thank Somuchtosee01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Brilliant day out”
Reviewed January 6, 2014

OK, so it is a little out of the centre of Cambridge in a cold building on an undustrial estate, BUT if computing or retro gaming is your thing then you really need to visit this place. The staff/volunteers are friendly and really know their stuff, we had a little tour of the storage area which is just amazing. Loads of old tech downstairs to play with. There are some arcade machines, an 80s classroom and a larger display area with games consoles and a selection of very old office equipment. Some of the manuals for these would dwarf a modern pc.
We had a back-up plan in case we didn't stay too long but it wasn't needed.
They also make an excellent cuppa, in a mug for only 60p, bargain!

Visited January 2014
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Thank Angela C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Time warp computer museum in Cambridge.”
Reviewed January 5, 2014

I've been meaning to visit the Cambridge Museum of computing history since they moved to their new location in Cambridge ( near the Beehive Centre)

Walking through the door the first things I saw were an Apple ][, a ZX80, a few arcade cabinets, a Commodore PET and .. frankly... a few things in cabinets that I either still use or would have no problem using. A good start, but a little stinging for a girl to see examples of her technostuff in a museum.. ho hum.

We were made very welcome, no explanations needed for many of the exhibits as we'd either used them, owned them, or in a very few cases had involvement in their inception.

The wall of tapes was fun, we played 'I had/have that' and 'I knew/my brother knew the guy that wrote that'

Things in glass cases?? Sure, a few things were behind covers - but actually some of them were operating and usable. Many of the oh so familiar 'puters from the 70s to the 90s are out on desks, with monitors, keyboards and you can use them. I left a ZX81 printing random numbers, which is better than I used to do in WH Smiths.

Lots of oddities and things you won't have seen unless you worked with them.
Lots of exhibits showing developments and lineage.
A few prototypes, and a few rarities - like the Altair used in the IT Crowd - actually a fair bit of that stuff.

Many will be struck by the 80s classroom - full of BBC micros, but also a few Raspberry Pi setups. If you're a teacher then apparently they are set up for school trips.

I admit to being a little overwhelmed by the full collection, I have some things and skills to donate so saw the store room upstairs... there was a Philips G7000 - the first thing I programmed.. and Dragon 32s in boxes - my 1st 'puter.

We figured we'd be in and out in an hour.. no. We arrived around 11 and left shortly before they closed, we didn't really get to see or do all we could. OK if you're not into old 'puters then you won't spend all day there, but it's a very special place.

'puter geeks are likely to love it.

It was 3C outside, the large room was cold ( huge area), but the 80s classroom and front exhibit area were warm. If it's cold then we'd recommend warm clothes and thick socks.



We will be going back... probably with some Apple ][ discs to see if those programs I wrote back in 19ahemahem are still on there. what was it again to list the contents of an apple ][ drive? catalog? catalog <disc number>?

http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/

Visited January 2014
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1 Thank BeckyRachelTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bury St. Edmunds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“More than a trip down memory lane”
Reviewed January 4, 2014

Arriving at 10am on a cold, wet Saturday, the museum initially looked quite small and dark. Once inside, one of the staff welcomed us in and advised that the computers needed switching on. We were able to "have a play" with the Commodore, Apple and IBM computers as well as the Sega from 1995. We assumed that the "entrance lobby" was the museum but we were very pleasantly surprised to see the education suite with its range of BBC, RM and Raspberry Pi computers. The next room (the size of a warehouse) was well laid out with personal, industrial and military computers as well as a fantastic collection of games consoles. A large number of the computers were switched on and available for that "hands on" experience.
The first floor (you may need to ask before you venture upstairs) is where the new donations are tested and catalogued. It was great to see some of my donations had been identified and I was able to help with one of the "mystery" boxes for use with a Commodore.
Tea & coffee are available for a modest price and a small collection of IT related souvenirs are also available . Knowledgeable and helpful staff help make this a great facility. It will bring back memories for older adults and the education suite will help inspire children. (note to schools: they will come to you if its easier than visiting the museum)
Note: dress warmly in cold weather.
Recommended
@dcbcherrygate

Visited January 2014
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Thank DavidBradbury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burton upon Trent, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“An Excellent And Worthwhile Trip”
Reviewed December 30, 2013

Whilst only in its infancy, this Museum is a must visit if you happen to find yourself in the Cambridge area. The museum is separated into three areas; a 1980's classroom (kitted out with BBC Micros, Acorn Archimedes and even Raspberry Pis), an arcade/showcasey area with some arcade machines and particularly notable computers and consoles and the main exhibit hall with everything from games consoles through the ages, calculators, office workstations and information about computing heritage in Cambridge.

It was great fun going around and playing with all the machines and seeing how things had changed in such a short period of time. The centre was very much hands on experience, which I particularly enjoyed and I'm sure will enthuse and inspire children and adults alike. My favourite part was the 1980's classroom, where I was able to program all manner of cool things on some BBC Micros. That coupled with the Raspberry Pi's was a really nice way of getting people into the fun art of programming.

The staff were very pleasant and knowledgeable and the gift shop was a real highlight. There were plenty of cool things for the geek in everyone!

This museum works on many levels, and as such, I would recommend it to geeks like myself, gamers and families. Overall, I was very impressed. The only minor problem I had was that it was a bit cold in the main part of the museum, but apart from that, this really was a very enjoyable and fun trip. I will most definitely be returning the next time I go to Cambridge.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank ElectronicsGeek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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