Developing this site

I haven’t had time to develop this site as much as I have wanted to, but it is slowly getting there. The plan is still to establish a resource that ICT students can use to help study the History of ICT. We’ve gathered together some of the memories of fellow teachers and I’m still keen to gather more.

The entire site is to be developed for fellow teachers and interested individuals to make use of. Thus all the content will be listed under a creative commons share-alike licence:

Creative Commons Licence
ICTHistory.co.uk is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

However, what I believe is really needed is some content about specific computers. When I originally started the site, I put together some links and resources for some of the early computers. What I now plan to do is put together specific pages for the following computers that I consider to be key to the development of computers today. Clearly even producing such a list has the potential to spark debate, but that is no bad thing.

What I plan to do is update this site with a section for each of the following. With each section will be a collection of games to test understanding of the information together with, if appropriate, a worksheet. That means the site can indeed be used for cover lessons too. I want the site to be a place where students can explore and discover some of the fun of early computing.

How much do you know about the History of the Amiga?
Play Walk the Plank to find out…

The list [of significant ‘home’ computers]:

MITS Altair 8800
Commodore PET 2001
Apple II
Acorn Atom
Sinclair ZX80
Sinclair ZX81
Commodore VIC-20
BBC Micro Model A / Model B
Commodore 64
Sinclair ZX Spectrum
Dragon 32
Apple Lisa
Oric 1 [Thanks to @thegreatgar for suggestion]
Acorn Electron
Apple Macintosh
Amstrad CPC-464
Atari ST
Commodore Amiga
Amstrad PCW
Acorn Archimedes

Is that a fair summary and appropriate list to be making progress with?

Written by in: Main site |

Vintage computers inspire next generation of scientists

Spectrum running Twitter

From: BBC News

More than 2000 retro-computing fans descended on Bletchley Park last weekend as The National Museum of Computing hosted Britain’s first Vintage Computer Festival.

Bletchley Park is best remembered as the main centre of Britain’s World War II code-breaking efforts, in which pioneering electronic, digital computers played a vital role.

More details also available at http://www.tnmoc.org/vcf-gb.aspx. Hopefully this will become an annual event.


A further report also appeared on TheRegister.co.uk:

The Year 2000 (from 1980 - zx81)

Photo Diary Britain’s first Vintage Computing Festival took place over the weekend at Bletchley Park, which was the perfect excuse to visit the National Museum of Computing, a recent addition to the Park site. All three are a tribute to the passion of volunteers – the state has only very recently saw fit to give any money to the historic site, and the Museum is a private venture.

The National Museum of Computing shows what can be achieved with enthusiasm and dedication. It’s nothing short of a scandal that while millions were spent on public relations consultants, or huge white elephants of arts centres, no money could be found for preserving the UK’s computing history.

Or perhaps it’s a blessing in disguise. It’s better placed to survive the cuts, it’s better to have knowledgeable enthusiasts in charge, rather than some leisure marketing consultant, and funds go on valuable exhibits, not funding applications.

Written by in: Main site,Memories |

Request for your computer memories!

As you can see from earlier posts this site has a number of aims but its primary focus was to provide an opportunity for students to complete ICT historical research. My feeling was that quite often students are left cover work that is either mundane in the extreme or simply not particularly interesting.

ZX Spectrum 48kb

With this site we’re trying to gather memories of current teachers or other individuals about their use of computers when they were younger. This could be the use of BBCs at school or programming the ZX Spectrum 48kb. This was real programming and students today simply don’t have such opportunities.

The hope is that we can build up a bank of personal reflections that students can then use for research into the history of ICT.

If you’re willing please contact me via Twitter @andyfield. Full ‘ICT histories’ (not the best term – I agree) can be submitting the form below. If you’re willing I’ll then turn them into posts that students can use for their research:

(Had to remove the contact form due to spam but please do contact me via Twitter)

If you have any questions, do leave a comment. Comments will be added to the bottom of this post, whereas ICT memories will be used to form new posts.

Written by in: Main site,Memories | Tags:

Development of this site…

I just wanted to share my plans for the development of this site. I’ve been very pleased to collect the memories and thoughts of a number of colleagues about their ‘history of ICT’. These mini-histories are great to read just on their own. However, my real aim with the site is to use such memories as a source for students to make use of.

One of my aims was to create a site that ICT teachers can use for cover. Yet I never really imagined this as a collection of worksheets or PowerPoint-based tasks. Instead I want to provide opportunities for students to look at the history of technology to support their own future learning.

With additional ‘mini-histories’ I hope to be able to setup student research and discovery tasks e.g. why are all these teachers talking about something called a Spectrum? What was the Spectrum? What on earth is 48kb? I believe that if students could be set research tasks like this when they have cover lessons it would be a far more productive use of their time.

Additionally, the site could of course be used for standard lessons too – but knowing the challenges of setting cover with little or no notice, having a ready-prepared website to send students to, knowing they have the potential to change their opinions and viewpoints about ICT, would be a positive step.

Written by in: Main site |

Dynamic display of games

I’ve now changed the way that games are displayed on the site – rather than games needing an individual page for each I’ve setup a dynamic system that allows many more games to appear.

For example, I uploaded an Amiga and a BBC game – but now there are multiple versions of the games. Just click on the icon below to play:

History of the Amiga:

Walk the Plank Penalty Shootout Hoopshoot En Garde Fling the Teacher Beat 'da Bomb

History of the BBC Micro:

Walk the Plank Penalty Shootout Hoopshoot En Garde Fling the Teacher Beat 'da Bomb

Thus future games – as I or students create them – can rapidly be rolled out as the different available games. As I add new games – such as ‘On Target?’ and ‘Hole in One’ – they will be dynamically picked up by the system.

It all works in quite a straightforward way. The games page url just includes the ‘game type’ + ‘topic data’ details. This is pulled into the main .html via javascript and dynamically loaded all on the same page. Thus the moment a new topic (i.e. set of questions) has been uploaded all the possible games are instantly available.

Written by in: Games,Main site |

Full index of posts

Listing of all our posts

Does this work?

Written by in: Main site |

Welcome to ICThistory.co.uk


This site has been created to provide both a glimpse into the history of computers but also provide some interesting and engaging ways to learn about the development of such devices.

It isn’t just about the technical details – but also about engaging learning games to support your study of the history of ICT.

Written by in: Main site | Tags: ,

Games  (3)

Links & Resources  (5)

Memories  (10)

There are 23 posts in 5 categories with 24 comments.

Simple Archive by Sterling Adventures

Powered by WordPress | Theme: Aeros 2.0 by TheBuckmaker.com