first computer


reel to reel1

reel to reel2


things discy

Top to bottom:


1. The Archive's first computer. A secondhand Atari, with a sweet external hard drive, as big as the computer itself. In the days before a computer was an essential in an Archive, and before PCs and Macs squeezed Atari out of the home and office computer race. A beautiful machine.


2. A domestic reel to reel tape recorder, part of the collection of playback technologies, built up by the early Archive to read formats slipping into obsolescence: 8 and 16mm film projectors; Acorn and Amstrad computers; BetaMax and VHS videotape players; floppy disk drives (see picture below). Acquired in the heady days before the Internet, when the future was analogue, and an archive had to have some way to read new materials coming in to it.


3. A Peto Scott reel to reel tape recorder. Out of an attic, found by word of mouth, and cheap at the time.


4. A floppy disk drive pre-usb. Amstrad? Built like a tank.


 Things have a beauty of their own, and don't need any narration. But they do have stories. These, and many others, are coming out of their places of storage to be counted. Some will become part of the Archive museum collections; some will be dispersed to new homes; some will remain in rare use. Each has the interesting scent of a Time. Some have been touched and used by the greats in our field.