Revive-a-Beeb event

September 18, 2015 | 01:02
Any color you like as long as its beige...ish
Any color you like as long as its beige...ish
It was all hands to the pump recently at The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) at Bletchley Park in the UK when a team of 20 crack computers repairers set about restoring a mountain of donated 1980s BBC micros. By the end of the day, 36 of these old workhorses had been restored and were ready for use in the TNMOC classrooms by visiting student groups learning to code as well as by visitors to play retro games and learn (or revive) BASIC programming skills.

The enthusiast restorers, both male and female, ranging in age from a teenager to seniors came from as far away as Wales, Essex and Surrey and used their expertise to help the next generation of would-be coders. They were responding to an appeal in June by the Museum for volunteers to help bring donated BBC Micros in storage back to life.

Owen Grover, TNMOC’s Technical Support Officer who organised the day, was delighted with the result: “The atmosphere was great and the results far exceeded our expectations. As anticipated, the most common fault we encountered in these incredibly robust 1980’s machines was failed power supplies.

“But we also found that many of the machines that had been donated to TNMOC over the years had been ‘enhanced’ by their original owners, something that was very popular in the early days of computing when machine innards were much more accessible. So we had to remove added ROM chips and external jacks fitted for better speakers and headphones to make the machines more reliable for their second life in the TNMOC Classroom.” For authenticity I hope they plan to use original CRT monitors.
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