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Acorn BBC Domesday System Working at Museum


Up and running and on display at the Centre for Computing History is the BBC Domesday System. The BBC Domesday Project was a partnership between Acorn Computers Ltd, Philips, Logica and the BBC to mark the 900th anniversary of the original Domesday Book, an 11th century census of England.

Although the Centre for Computing History already had a complete system in its collection it was sadly non-functioning. A recent donation from Carl Elkins of another near complete non-functioning system allowed volunteers to swap parts, fault find and tease a system back to life.

Acorn BBC Domesday System

Thanks to Carl we also now have a larger number of interactive laserdiscs on a wide range of subjects including robotics, business systems and pre-school learning. We even have the original BBC Domesday System promotional disc which we will be digitising and putting online very soon.
 
As well as the standard National and Community discs we also have the Ecodisc and Countryside disc but we are curretly seeking other discs to complete the exhibit.
 
The data on these discs was compiled between 1984 and 1986 and published in 1986. It included a new 'survey' of the United Kingdom, in which people, mostly school children, wrote about geography, history or social issues in their local area or just about their daily lives. This was linked with maps, and many colour photos, statistical data, video and 'virtual walks'. Over 1 million people participated in the project. The project also incorporated professionally-prepared video footage, virtual reality tours of major landmarks and other prepared datasets such as the 1981 census.
 
Preservation
Acorn BBC Domesday SystemThe Domesday System was part of the BBC Computer Literacy Project and is an important record of British life in the mid-eighties. The Centre for Computing history will be looking to collaborate with other organisations in order to preserve this information and make it available to th general public if possible. However, the scope of the presevation project may be limited by copyright issues.
 
Volunteers
Projects like this are made possible by the hard work and commitment of our volunteers. The museum regularly holds 'Volunteer Sundays' where like-minded enthusiasts, engineers and programmers get together at the museum for a productive day of tinkering and fixing of retro computers as well as helping create new interactive exhibits. If you would like to be involved, please contact our volunteer co-ordinator : Andy Taylor : andyt@computinghistory.org.uk
  

Date : 20-04-2010

 
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