Exidy Sorcerer

We've had a fantastic donation to the museum this week. The Exidy Sorcerer dates back to 1978 and is quite a hard to find machine. It uses modified 8-Track tape cartridges as ROM cartridges! Very ingeneous! Also with the machine was a load of documentation and software. A great addition to the museums collection.

See : Exidy Sorcerer

Sorting Bits for T3 Magazine

Just been getting together a number of vintage computer and classic gadgets for an article T3 magazine is running. They're being packed off to be photographed. Sounds like it'll be a good article along the lines of '50 gadgets that have changed our lives' ... looking forward to reading it. The computer museum should get a plug too !!

Pick-Up Shoot for Syntax Era / Micro Men

Spent today in London at Alphaville2 studios at the final 'pick-up' shoot for the Syntax Era film.
For some reason to do with the BBC considering the Syntax Era title difficult for people to understand they have in thier wisdom changed the title to Micro Men. Personally I much prefer the Syntax Era title. It was clever and invoked a direct feeling of the times. Well, it did for me anyway!
The BBC have just released a temporary trailer which you can see by clicking the image below ...

I took a BBC Micro, Spectrum and Acorn Atom which were all needed to shoot close-ups of the screens and the machines themselves. You know the kind of thing - close ups of the low resolution graphics on the screen showing every scan line that makes up the text ... 
A couple of the shots had already been shot, but becuase there was a problem with camera on the first shoot they had to be re-shot.
It's amazing to see the amount of time and effort that goes into getting one very brief shot! Getting the lighting right, matching it to the original footage, ensuring the machines are spotless and so on ... all very time consuming.
I had a chance to see some short scenes from the film and I have to say that it looks really good. Extremely good! It has a great moody feel to the lighting but it has a light hearted feel to the script and they balance very well. It picks up the feel of the era very well indeed. My hat is off to Saul and the team that are putting it together.
I will be very proud to have been a part of it ...

An Interview with Steve Furber

I have spent the last two days in and around Manchester collecting donations for the Center for Computing History. As usual I met some great people and picked up some really interesting items, but I have to say the highlight of the trip was meeting with Steve Furber. For those of you who dont know, Steve is one of the key people (along with Sophie Wilson) responsible for designing the legendary BBC Microcomputer for Acorn in the early eighties.
He is now the Professor of Computer Engineering at Manchester University and was awarded a CBE in 2008.
Since I was collecting computers for the museum I made the trip in a fairly large van. Here's a tip for anyone wanting to take a large van to Manchester University. Don't !
The van was 2.7m tall and the only parking available was an NCP car park with a height restriction of 2.1m !!! I drove around the vicinity for the best part of an hour before finally giving in and calling Steve for help !!! He was very helpful indeed and came out to get in the van and help find a place to park. We then spent the next 10 minutes doing u-turns in the middle of Manchester and bumping the van up curbs just to find a place to park :-) Great fun ...
We finally got back to his office, set up the cameras and conducted the interview.
I'd like to publically thank Steve for his help. Thanks Steve !
The interview will be available to see on the Computing History website very soon ...