Visiting the Information Age

logoAfter finally booking some much-needed annual leave I decided to wander up to the Science Museum to see their new “Information Age” display that was launched recently.

Seeing as I’ve always liked the retro side of technology as much as the newly-invented stuff this particular exhibit sounded right up my street. For more information on the museum itself and the new exhibits point your browser at the link below:

http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/visitmuseum/Plan_your_visit/exhibitions/information_age.aspx

The display is up on the 2nd floor, which gives you an excuse to go through the existing space, steam, and modern world sections along the way. If you go on the right day the large engine at the front of the museum gets spun up for a live demonstration, which although has nothing to do with IT is great to see from an engineering perspective.

The gallery

don't turn off the Internet!

don’t turn off the Internet!

Entering the exhbit you can take you pick from radio, TV, satellite and computing sections – all complete with some suitably vintage kit on display.

There’s plenty to read up on while walking around, you’ll need to leave for refreshments before you get through all of it that’s for sure!

Mobile phone users of a certain age will be able to get all nostalgic about their old handsets now mounted on the wall as museum pieces, as will owners of BBC Micros and similar 1980’s machines.

As a teaser here’s few picture highlights below but there’s a lot more to see. What struck me was that behind many of the great inventions was a solution held together with sticky tape, cable ties or in Google’s case, chipboard!

IMAG1560  MITS Altair 8800  20141107_125900
Tim Berners-Lee NEXT Cube, MITS Altair 8800, gold plated BBC Micro (?!)

google-rack  IMAG1555  IMAG1558
Google chipboard server rack, IBM System 360, Control Data 6600

Before you go…

After you leave the Information Age exhibit follow on into the Mathematics section for a few more vintage technology displays that would be at home in either display.

IMAG1567  IMAG1568
Premium Bonds’ ERNIE, Charles Babbage display

Lunch with a technological twist

Quite fittingly the nearest pizza restaurant to the station has taken a technological approach too. Browsing the menu and ordering food using a tablet was a first for me and rounded off the day nicely – if you’re in the area give them a try http://lovesfreshpasta.com

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