Acorn kit found running Science MuseumPublished: 4th Jun 2006, 17:43:27 | Permalink | Printable
Time to introduce them to MOS 1.2's descendants?It's a major tourist attraction for people visiting London. Hosting some 300,000 items, it saw 2 million people through its doors in 2005. But few will know that backstage, it's run by some rather humble British technology.
The Science Museum's Space Gallery, located on the ground floor of the building, shows off satellites and rockets to explain the development of space flight and exploration. And, as seen in a photo recently taken by one of the museum's staff, it's run with the help of some old fashioned Acorn BBC B microcomputers.
A news mole who reported the find said: "Just come across this photo of a back room at the Science Museum and spotted several BBC micros."
The picture was taken by Dave Patten, who heads up the new media department of the Science Museum. The institution is looking for people to overhaul its exhibitions with more modern technology, such as Macromedia Flash - which means the above photo could be the last we see of Acorn hardware running one of the museum's top galleries.
Dave said: "At the moment I am particularly interested in interactive webcasting, VJing software, electronic voting systems, visitor feedback systems, SMS, MMS, generative art, content management systems, electronic signage, electronic graffiti and handheld technologies."
Which could perhaps be solved by a little ARM9 powered system called the A9. Its developers, AdvantageSix, hope to get their kit into next-generation museum exhibitions, and similar environments, by hooking up mobile phones to interactive displays and so on.
• Acorn co-founder Andy Hopper has been interviewed by New Scientist magazine. He started off managing two dozen Acorn engineers, and is now running the computer laboratory at Cambridge University.
Backstage at the Science Museum
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