Cambridge, March 11, ’15 Redgate Software CEO Simon Galbraith yesterday threw down the gauntlet to companies of the Cambridge technology cluster and beyond, saying, “We’ll match any donation up to a total of £100,000, to fund development of the Centre for Computing History, here in Cambridge.”
“Every year, 1000s of kids from all over the country visit the Centre in Cambridge,” continued Galbraith, “and they are truly inspired to program. But that’s no way near enough. We want tens of thousands or better, hundreds of thousands of kids to come here and be inspired. And currently the museum is run on an absolute shoestring.”
On minimal funds, the Centre has emerged as a top visitor attraction on TripAdvisor, #9 in Cambridge after Kings College chapel and the Imperial War Museum at Duxford, garnering nearly 200 reviews rating it ‘Excellent.’ Curator Jason Fitzpatrick started it in his attic, “And we’ve grown five-fold in the last few years, thanks to individual donations and an army of geek volunteers. But to be a truly national museum we need to invest.”
The Cambridge Centre for Computing, currently based in Coldham’s Lane, this month reached a milestone, by taking its first ever £1000 day in ticket receipts. But its ambition to become one of Britain’s leading museums and to properly represent the contribution that Britain and especially Cambridge have made in the history of computing depends on a new round of funding.
Galbraith agrees, “To grow it, and grow the future of our industry, we have to invest. So we’re saying to the big beasts of Cambridge technology – ARM, CSR, Raspberry Pi, Google, Cambridge University even, all much bigger than we are and not short of a penny, well we’ll double your money. Schoolchildren from all over get to write their first game here. They get to play classic games from the early years, like ‘Gauntlet’ (Atari, 1985). These are the young software engineers who will write the future.
“We’re throwing down that gauntlet. This year, it’s 200 years since the first programmer Ada Lovelace, who programmed Babbage’s difference engine, was born. Let’s celebrate Britain’s computing pioneers by inspiring our future computing stars. For every pound donated to the Centre for Computing History in the next 30 days, Redgate Software will match it.”
About Redgate Software
Redgate is a relatively tiny little company based in Cambridge, who make ingeniously simple software used by IT professionals worldwide. They only employ less than 300 staff, compared with the thousands at the real Cambridge gorillas like ARM and for that matter the University. Redgate's philosophy is to design highly usable, reliable tools which elegantly solve the problems that developers and database administrators face every day. They see the importance of ensuring that new generations of smart geeks are coming on and imagining a cooler future and are challenging their fellow Cambridge technology companies to help inspire that future.
About the Centre for Computing History
The Centre for Computing History is an educational charity and non-profit company established in 2006 to celebrate the history of computing and increase understanding of the social, historical and cultural impact of the Information Age. It has one of the finest collections of vintage, working computers and related artefacts in Europe. With over 20,000 items and a website that currently attracts 20,000 visitors a month the Centre enjoys a robust reputation as an international educational resource.
Opening its doors to the public earlier this year, this new exhibition is gradually emerging as an important destination attraction in the heart of Cambridge. Aimed at everyone from children to academics, an inventive multimedia approach allows visitors to interact with many key machines, providing a hugely entertaining and informative experience.
The Centre for Computing History is curated by Jason Fitzpatrick and is a UK registered charity (Registration Number 1130071). Cambridge-based entrepreneur and co-founder of Acorn Computers, Dr Hermann Hauser is one of the museum’s patrons.