The Centre for Computing History in association with MakeSpace is proud to announce a new and exciting event for anyone who likes to make and do stuff! Whether you're an electronics guru, software hacker, videographer, photographer, musician, ideas person, writer, blogger, tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor or just enthusiastic geek, you'll love this event. It's a chance to get together and socialise with other like-minded types in a creative and electric atmosphere with the one aim of helping create items, exhibits, displays and media for the museum ... read on for the exciting details ...
Title : Hackers Delight - The Weekender

Date : Starts Friday Evening 5th August through to 7th August!
Location : Haverhill Days-Inn Hotel
Sponsored by Days-Inn Haverhill
View Website Here >>>
We will have the run of the public area of the hotel which includes two function rooms, the main reception and possibly several other rooms. Hotel staff will be available to help and are very enthusiastic about the event. It's a nice new building with good facilities. Checkout the pictures on their website.
Places Available : Strictly Limited to 60 Places (23 Places Left)
Idea : A get together of like-minded geeks, techs, nerds, coders, electronics wizards, writers, photographers, videographers, bloggers and general enthusiasts.
Why : To have fun, socialise, enjoy the good company of others but most importantly ... do stuff ... actual stuff that benefits the museum, creates a community and gives everyone a sense of playing an important part in the creation of a museum.
Format : 2 full days of tech at the hotel - lots of tables set-up for lots of projects. Projects will be listed on the website and people can sign-up to a specific project(s) - Email addresses will be shared between people on a project for pre-planning. Evenings will involve good food and drink, maybe a big screen film and general fun! - We hope the feel of the event will be similar to the old demoscene events of the early nineties ...
Tours of the museum as it currently stands in Haverhill will be run throughout the two days in small groups. The museum is only 5 minutes from the Hotel.
Costs :
The official agenda commences at 10am on Saturday and finishes at 3pm on the Sunday. The ALL INCLUSIVE price includes:

Bed and continental breakfast
2 full days of tech
Unlimited tea and coffee
Buffet lunch on Saturday and Sunday
Fish and chip supper on Saturday evening
Surprise goody bag!
TO BOOK CALL 01440 709794 or 07976 774905
Twin room with two people sharing is £75 per person   [ BOOK ONLINE NOW ]
Double room is £150 for two people [ BOOK ONLINE NOW ]
Single occupancy room is £95 per person   [ BOOK ONLINE NOW ]

Rather Get Cracking on the Friday Evening?
There is also the option to arrive on the Friday night and the price includes all of the official agenda plus the additional overnight stay with bed and continental breakfast included:

Twin room with two people sharing is £95 per person    FULLY BOOKED ]
Double room is £190 for two people [ FULLY BOOKED ]
Single occupancy room is £125 per person    [ FULLY BOOKED ]
If you'd rather not stay at the hotel ...
(which would be a shame as you'll miss the ambience!)
the entry fee is £40 per person for both full days and the Friday evening if you would like to. Food for the main 2 days is also included.   [ BOOK ONLINE NOW ]

TO BOOK CALL 01440 709794 or 07976 774905

All fees payable in advance and are non-refundable.

All you need over and above this is money for some evening drinks!

Chippys Food and Drink : The hotel has a licensed bar open all day. Two buffet lunches and one evening meal are included in the price. Unlimited tea and coffee is also available throughout the two day event! The Saturday evening meal will be a generous fish & chips, chicken & chips, burger & chips, kebab & chips, basically something with chips! ... Click Here to see Full Menu!
Cambridge Transport : The awesome guys at MakeSpace have very kindly offered a FREE coach service from Cambridge to the hotel on the Friday evening and back to Cambridge on the Sunday afternoon.

Features :
80's Chillout Room - TV, video, sofa, music etc etc 80's style!
A place to take a break, eat some munch and watch some 80's TV ...

Retro Arcade - A few arcade cabs and retro computers set-up for your enjoyment! Space Invaders, Pacman, Donkey Kong etc etc...

FREE Goodie Bag for all participants
Our sponsors; Red Gate Software, ARM and Microsoft Research have all kindly sponsored a 'Goodie Bag' for all participants. We want the contents to be a surprise and will only say that one of the items is a cool and fun USB gadget ... Oooohh ... the mystery!

(Not Final or Exhaustive)
Each of the following projects will need a project leader who will co-ordinate and communicate with people who sign-up to the project. The list is not final or exhaustive, and it may be that if a group wants to work on a specific project of thier own conception (as long as it benefits the museum), we will add it to the list.

BBC Micros for Learning
The museum will be embarking on a project for schools involving taking a number of beebs to schools and teaching BASIC programming skills. These beebs need cleaning, testing, fixing and modifying to have a 3.5" floppy drive fitted internally. We have one model already made as an example. Solid-state alternatives to a floppy would be accepted as long as the students can save their code to it. We also need to make a number of RGB to SCART leads so that the beebs can be used with standard LCD TV's. (For easier transporting!)
We have the beebs in various states of working and condition, we also have suitable floppy drives.
Confirmed Participants : Lewis Williams, Matt Folwell, Tom Stuart
Binary Demo Unit
A great item to have in the museum would be a 'big' box that demonstrates how binary works. It needs big LEDs and big switches, maybe a couple of 7 seg displays to show the decimal / hexidecimal equivalents. Could be done with simple logic chips or maybe bung a micro-controller in the middle for extra zing! maybe have a demo mode that counts automatically? Maybe you have an idea for a feature? Must be educational.
We have a suitable box, some LEDs and switches etc. Front panel needs drilling... how do we create a professional looking front panel?

Confirmed Participants : Nick Folwell
Robot Arm - (This project is now fully booked)
Kids love interacting with computers that make 'real world' things happen. We have an 'Alfred' robotic arm at the museum that has never been tested. Perhaps a group could get this working with a host computer and create an interactive exhibit? More info about Alfred >>>
We have the robot arm but no knowledge of its working condition. Could be a really good challenge to get working!

Confirmed Participants : Julian Mallett, Ollie Armstrong, Paul McGerty, Lawrence Archard, Simon Ford
Computing History Timeline
We have a timeline of events in computing history on our website. We also have a huge pile of computer magazines that we can take events from to add to the timeline. The fantastic thing about doing this is that the data gets re-used from the main timeline so, for example, events relating to IBM show up on the IBM specific timeline on the IBM page. The events can even be product specific so, events relating to the Commodore 64 would be picked out and shown on the C64 page.
Our timeline is used by many schools and researchers and we aim to make our timeline the most detailed on the web. Your part in helping create the timeline is invaluable. We have the magazines, a scanner and some questionable OCR software ...
We desparately need better pictures of each of the computers and items on the website. We can set-up an infinity curve and supply some basic lighting. If you take great pictures, we can show you how to upload them to the website. Wouldn't it be great if rather than just having one picture of a computer on the website, we uploaded a few showing better detail, internal pics, connections etc?
We have some basic photography equipment. If you have a camera and know how too take a good picture, it would help us immensely!

Confirmed Participants : Lesley Harvey-Smith, Steve Byrant

Domesday System - (This project is now fully booked)
Tim & Alasdair have done a huge amount of work unpicking the data from the BBC Domesday System. We need to put a sexy front end on our demo website ready for its launch hopefully sometime soon. Can you code-up a slick front end? Can you create a great look to it? Perhaps you can get some mash-ups working to bring the 25 year old data up-to-date?
Bring your laptop, scripting and graphics skills and we will supply Tim & Alasdair to guide you through the murky depths of Domesday data!

We also have 3 other untested Domesday Systems and a number of untested parts - Can you help us put together, test and preserve these important machines?
Confirmed Participants : Alasdair Kergon, Ben O'Steen, Leila Johnston, Haydn Jones
PDP-11 Demo System - (This project is now fully booked)
We have a PDP-11 or two and some spares ... We haven't tested them so your mission is to test and get working a PDP-11 system running maybe RT11 with some application that demonstrates the machine. Maybe a MUD game so we can have a few terminals hanging off it?
We have machines and spares ... do you have the knowledge and the willpower?

Confirmed Participants : Tim Porter, Conny Brunnkvist, Andrew Peters, Graham Lee
Laser Asteroids (This project is now fully booked)
We have an original Asteroids arcade machine. We also have a relatively high power laser. Both use X-Y and blanking signals, but at different levels and possibly inverted. Wouldn't it be awesome to create the worlds largest original asteroids game? We have a 1Kw sound system that could be used to pump that ground shaking bass sound through too!
We have the laser, the asteroids cab and the sound system. Do you have the analogue electronics skills to join them altogether? This could get us in the Guinness Book of Records!!

Confirmed Participants : Charlie Robson, Jason Fitzpatrick, Richard Pettitt, Andrew Rea
We are producing a number of interviews with important people in computing history. We need 'theme music' to introduce each episode. We also need backing music for machine demos and event videos etc.
Are you a musician? Can you create themic tunes perhaps with a computing or retro feel?

Commodore DTV 64 Hack / Multicarts
We have a Bull-Nose Commodore 64 hollowed out with a DTV joystick board bodged inside! It's a great means of having playable games on C64 without the need for tapes and disks. However the games on it are a bit poo. Apparently these can be flashed with other (better) games?? Do you know how? If so, lets do it. We also have kits for a couple of other multicarts including the VIC20 that need assemling.
We have the hardware, do you have the means of flashing new images and assembling electronic kits?

Confirmed Participants : Andy Taylor, Phill Harvey-Smith

Video Production
How about we set-aside a room for brief interviews about computers and how they have changed our lives. We could put it altogether during the event as a historic document of personal views on computers and their infiltration of our everyday lives in 2011. The video would be released on YouTube and on the museum website.

We have the camera and video editing gear - want to be a part of the video?

Confirmed Participants : Saphron Proudfoot, Angela Makepeace

Web Buzz / Marketing
The Museums' main form of marketing is online. Can you help us create a web-buzz about our planned move to Cambridge? If you a blogger, facebooker, twitterer or forum dude, you can help us create an online buzz for the museum.
We will have web access, you just need to help spread the word about our exciting projects far and wide ...

Confirmed Participants : Shane Preece
Who knows anything about M-Bed devices? They are a great rapid prototyping system based around an ARM processor and a DIL package. They could be great for demonstrating computing fundamentals. If you have an idea for a project based around them, lets hear it!
We may be able to lay our hands on a couple of these devices and the expertise to show us how to make the most of them ... maybe ...

Confirmed Participants : Tim Thornton, Matthew Spall

Fignition - Computerised Noughts & Crosses
Ever heard of Fignition? It's an educational DIY computer kit based around an AMTEL AVR microcontroller that can be programmed in Forth!
Brains behind the idea, Julian Skidmore, will be attending the event and demonstrating the Fignition by creating a 'noughts and crosses' game.
For more information see : Fignition
Confirmed Participants : Julian Skidmore

Other Projects
This list is not exhaustive. We are looking for around 15 projects that can be started and ideally finished within the two days of the event. They can be collaborative projects that involve multiple skills and need not be tech oriented. In fact, we need non-tech projects giving everyone a chance to be involved. If you have an idea for a project please email me your thoughts. They need to be projects that help the museum in some way and ideally with zero to low costs!

Confirmed Participants : Paul Badcock, Robert Bricheno, Kathryn Light, Ross Woodall, Steve Curl

Email us your thoughts :
The Evening
So after a hard days work you'll need to unwind!
Good beer and fine wines will be available for the bar. Perhaps a great film on a big screen? Some music (vinyl of course), some gaming, some good socialising and take-away food in a relaxed atmosphere.
This will be a special event ... there might even be girls there ...


Comments from people who have seen this page :

"I am so bang up for it. I just can't decide which project to work on tho! Laser asteroids has me glad that I have a desk to hide my lower body under. Multicarting, binary boxing, oh man - so much to choose from..!"


Join our mailing list !!! - It's in the left hand panel below the menu further up this page :-)

Provisional Running Order :
Friday Evening (Optional) : Leave work, pickup clean pants from home, arrive anytime in the evening and enjoy a relaxed drink and chat with other intrepid hackers. Go to bed at an unreasonable hour ready for an early start in the morning.
Saturday : Breakfast 9am sharp - Be there or don't get any!
10am - Brief introduction to the days events - 15mins
10.15am - Hacking Begins
1.00pm - Lunch
2.00pm - Hacking Continues
6.00pm - Round-Up - A chance to see everyone elses work.
7.00pm - Chillout, Food & A Film...
Rest of the evening - chatting, drinks, a bit of gaming perhaps, or just hack away into the night ...
Sunday : Breakfast 9am
10am - Brief introduction to the days events - 15mins
10.15am - Hacking Begins
1.00pm - Buffet Lunch
2.00pm - Finish Hacking ready to present.
2.30pm - Round-Up - What have we acheived?
3:00pm - Brief thanks and presentation - 15mins
3.15pm - End
Rest of the afternoon/evening - clearing up, packing up,
driving home all sad that its over ...


Discussion & Planning Boards

Help support the museum by buying from the museum shop

View all items

Founding Sponsors
redgate Google ARM Real VNC Microsoft Research
Heritage Lottery Funded
Heritage Lottery Fund
Accredited Museum