Old school comms for school holidays at MediaCityUK

Tuesday 23 October 2012
BT OpenReach mascot
BT OpenReach mascot
The super-modern MediaCityUK will be experiencing a real blast from the past this weekend (27-28 October) when the University of Salford entertains families with 175 years of telecoms and computer technology, as part of Manchester Science Festival (27 October – 4 November).

The University’s MediaCityUK building will be taken over by gadgets – from retro computers to mobile phones and even all the way back to semaphore with lots of hands-on fun and expert demonstrations.

Youngsters more used to iPhones will be able to have a look at vintage ‘brick’ mobile phones and classic Mac computers to get an idea of how much digital technology has changed. They’ll also be able to meet and hear from engineers and young people who are working at the cutting-edge of communications technology to deliver the phones and computers of the future.

The Semaphore to Smartphone event is completely free and there’s no need to book. Anyone can drop in at any time between 10am and 4pm on Saturday and Sunday with activities and demonstrations throughout both days.

Also included in the event is North-3, a BBC outside broadcast truck restored to its 60s heyday, an amateur radio station, and a replica of a telephone exchange built to commemorate 100 years since the first one was installed.

There’s also a Digital Retro section at the event showing computers through the ages. Visitors can check out a range of vintage computers and software from the Dragon 32 and the Commodore 64 all the way to the Raspberry Pi.

Semaphore to Smartphone isn’t just about the past. Visitors will also be able to have a go at their own special effects in the University’s state-of-the art TV studios, and watch 4K superHD video that is four times better than current HD TV.

The University’s Professor Nigel Linge is behind Semaphore to Smartphone. “This is the first time we’ve held an event like this at MediaCityUK,” he said. “With all the technology on site and all the equipment we’re bringing along, we’re going to be having a lot of fun and we want as many people of all ages as possible to take part.”

For more information on events at Manchester Science Festival look up www.manchestersciencefestival.com

Follow the latest science and technology research, courses and other news from Salford at our dedicatedTwitter feed or on the College of Science and Technology Facebook page.