Thursday 4 July 2013

For technology nostalgics who think kids these days are spoiled by computer games that don’t look like Lego blocks and phones that don’t weigh a ton, an event this week run by the University of Salford gives them the chance to relive ‘the good old days

Academics will be showing an extensive collection of vintage computers and other telecommunications devices at the University’s MediaCityUK building in Salford for people of all ages to play with and learn more about the history of technology that has led us to the modern, digital age.

Visitors to the free event can relive the glory days of programming Commodore 64s or ZX Spectrums and can play some old-school computer games. Coming bang up to date, they can also see how the Raspberry Pi is helping teach a new generation of children how to write computer programmes.

There will be a demonstration of an early electrical telegraph and an exhibition of mobile phones from the brick-like handsets of the 1980s, through to today’s touch-screen smartphones. The University’s MediaCityUK facilities, including its green screen TV studio showcasing some impressive digital special effects, will also be open to the public.

All of the fun and games have a serious purpose behind them as the scientists are keen for people to learn about how developments in technology have influenced our culture and the way in which we interact.

Professor Nigel Linge from the School of Computing, Science & Engineering is part of the team organising the event. “Some of the equipment we have assembled isn’t available to use anywhere else,” he said. “So it really is one of the last chances people will have to get hands-on experience of some of the earliest computer and telephone technology.”

Digital Retro takes place at the University of Salford, MediaCityUK, Salford, M50 2HE, on Friday 5 and Saturday 6 July, 10.00am-4.00pm.

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