A day at MOSI (now the Science and Industry Museum, still in Manchester UK)

On Tuesday @Revaldinho and I spent a day at the museum. The highlight for retrocomputists is surely the Baby rebuild, which is demonstrated regularly although we didn’t see that this time:

Baby was the ‘small scale experimental machine’ built to test and develop the Kilburn-Williams tube, the CRT-based random access memory which was briefly the best solution for that, until cores came along.

Just a few photos from me, mainly of the Baby exhibit - click through for the album:

But let’s have this too, a Beeb, a One Per Desk (ICL’s QL-based workstation for managers and reps), and (encased in Lucite) Ferranti’s F100-L microprocessor, one of the reasons for our visit (first 16 bit micro from Europe.)

The main aim of the visit and the majority of our time was spent underground in the research room, where the helpful and friendly archivists delivered trolley-loads of 1980s marketing materials and 1970s technical manuals relating to Ferranti’s various offerings - we were interested in the FM1600 minicomputer series, the F100-L microprocessor, and the famous ULA product line as seen in Sinclair, Acorn, and Amstrad computers.

In a previous visit to MOSI we had a look at a small gallery with some microcomputer and computer bits, and also Hartree’s Differential Analyser, an analogue computer from 1935. Our visit was in 2015, it seems - click through for the photo albums:

Here’s a video of a modern rebuild in authentic Meccano:


Groovy! Wish I had something like that nearby.

Maybe you do - check out Fabrice Lété’s big map of the world’s computer museums.