Software gallery opens at TNMOC

The new Software Gallery at The National Museum of Computing in Bletchley Park, 12th June 2013.'Photo by John Robertson.

The new Software Gallery at The National Museum of Computing in Bletchley Park, 12th June 2013.'Photo by John Robertson.

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The history of computers is well covered at The National Museum of Computing, but now so is the development of the software.

A new gallery opened on Wednesday, tracing the development of computing software from its beginnings on huge computers to its presence in everyday household items. The Software Gallery complements the unrivalled collection of seven decades of working hardware on display at the Museum.

The gallery, sponsored by Insightsoftware.com, was formally opened by Sir Charles Dunstone, Chairman of The Carphone Warehouse Group and TalkTalk Group.

He said: “This is my first visit to The National Museum of Computing and I have been astonished at the amazing displays of working vintage computers.

“The Museum dramatically demonstrates the pace of change in computing since Colossus, the world’s first electronic computer, a British first which has been such a well-kept secret and which the Museum displays so well as a working rebuild. Since then hardware and software have combined to give consumers access to so much information in a way that could not have been conceived of even a few years ago.

“I was particularly impressed to see the enthusiasm and wonder of a party of school pupils learning about their computer heritage as I toured the new Gallery and the Museum.”

The Gallery has been created by an assembly of TNMOC volunteers led by Jill Clarke and Bob Jones and has been entirely sponsored by Insightsoftware.com, flexible ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) reporting software provider.

Matt Crotty, Chairman of Insightsoftware.com, the Gallery sponsors, and also a TNMOC trustee, said: “The new Software Gallery tackles a very wide-ranging and difficult subject area with creativity and flair. We are delighted with the result and very pleased that so many of our customers have been eager to come to see it.”

Jill Clarke, TNMOC Volunteer whose brainchild the Software Gallery was, said: “Our Museum has some of the most amazing working hardware on display, but as a software engineer, I felt we were missing a huge part of the computing heritage story: the development of software. It’s been hard work but great fun compiling the Gallery and we look forward to receiving feedback from our ever-growing number of visitors.”

Tim Reynolds, Chairman of TNMOC, said “It is a privilege to be Chairman of an organisation with such dynamic staff and volunteers. We have lots of great ideas and realistic plans to develop the Museum further as one of the top computing museums in the world. I urge the IT industry to follow the generous example set by Insightsoftware.com to support us in that aim.”