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Bletchley Park hopes for UK computing museum

Bletchley Park, scene of heroic wartime ingenuity and code-cracking brilliance, is hoping for a new lease of life as the home of the National Museum of Computing.

Given the requisite financial backing, the museum will illustrate the history of computing through the medium of working models of historically important machines. Visitors will be able to surf the net using a machine from 1976, for instance. There is no word on the availability of Spectrum 48Ks.

Given its history, Bletchley seems an apposite spot to recognise the role pipe-smoking, tweed suited British oddballs played in bringing computing to the world. After all, there is a fairly cogent argument that suggests that World War II code breakers built the first 'computers'.

The museum will be set up in partnership with the Bletchley Park Trust and hopes to offer visitors a journey through the history of early computers. However, it's not a done deal and this worthy cause's founders need sponsorship to show off more machines from its extensive collection.

The museum's centrepiece is the rebuilt Colossus computer that broke high-level German communications during the Second World War.

"I cannot think of a better place than Bletchley to put the museum," Andy Clark, one of the founders of the Trust trying to establish the museum, told the BBC. "It's a key part of the modern history of the computer."

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