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Pop-up retro computing museum

12 March 2024

A photograph of the Dragon 32 retro gaming console
Attendees will be able to play chess on the Welsh manufactured Dragon 32 computer at the event on Wednesday 13 March 2024 at Cardiff University’s School of Computer Science and Informatics

Retro computing equipment and related historical tech from the 1960s to the present day will be showcased at a pop-up museum at Cardiff University.

The ‘living’ museum will feature fully operational computers, hardware and software from across the decades.

The University’s legacy computer network together with historical and current research hardware will also be exhibited.

The event’s organiser Laurence Semmens, a teaching associate at the School of Computer Science and Informatics, said: “The centrepiece of the entire exhibition will be our selection of hardware from the Atlas supercomputer.

“The Atlas was one of the world’s first supercomputers in use from 1962, when it was claimed to be the most powerful computer in the world, right the way up to 1972.”

A photograph of hardware from the Atlas supercomputer
Hardware from the Atlas supercomputer - thought to be the world’s most powerful computer when released in 1962

PhD student Matthew Moloughney will also be demonstrating programming concepts used as part of his postgraduate research at the museum.

Attendees will be able to participate in retro gaming on consoles including the Wales-manufactured Dragon 32, the Commodore 64, SEGA Mega Drive, Super Nintendo Entertainment System as well as Windows-based PC games.

Mr Semmens added: “We hear a lot about retro gaming when people share their experiences of nostalgic having rediscovered games often from their childhoods.

“Our museum is also a rare opportunity to look at the machines that instead powered our workplaces, educational institutions and homes, and the underlying hardware that has evolved into the ubiquitous technology we are all familiar with today.”

The museum is open to the public on Wednesday 13 March 2024 at Cardiff University’s School of Computer Science and Informatics in room 0.34 of the Abacws building.

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