Friday, 12th May, 2023

Weatherwise, this morning was quite dull and it started to rain. We used most of the morning to catch up on journal writing, research and admin tasks. Satoshi brought breakfast back to our accommodation after he had been to the gym.

Our first visit today was to the Cambridge Museum of Technology. The museum is located in a small complex of buildings which houses the pumps and other equipment which, until 1968, pumped sewage from Cambridge to a farm at Milton where it was used for fertilizer. The steam engines are still operational and are fired up four times a year. Luckily, almost all the exhibits were inside as it was rather cold and wet outside.

This is a display of light switches

Workers at the Pumping Station used this clock to "clock" on and off.

One of the boilers. Rubbish from Cambridge residents and businesses was used to create the steam required to run the pumps. At least one of the pumps was running 24 hours a day. This is a pretty impressive achievement considering the plant was used for 74 years!

Workers had to clean the ash out of the boilers. This was loaded onto carts which ran along a small railway track. The ash was used in the making of roads.

The printing shop was not open but we had a quick peek.

This meter used to record how much gas was used by King's College!

This machine was used to extract juice from fruit.

The museum had several pumps which one could operate.

The museum had an exhibition of old radios and televisions as part of the 100 year anniversary of the BBC.

It's been a while since television stations broadcast "test patterns". They were useful in helping one to adjust height and width to ensure a television was providing the best picture possible. I can remember when broadcasting stopped around midnight each day. The National Anthem would be played and then the test pattern was provided. Australia didn't get colour TV until 1975.

Gone are the days when radios, record players and TVs were lovely pieces of furniture!

As we were parked in a Tesco (supermarket) car park, we decided to try their "Meal Deal" for lunch. This enabled one to choose a main, a snack and a drink for £3.90. I chose a chicken club sandwich, a fruit box (apples and strawberries) and an orange drink. I supplemented this with a ham sandwich for £1.40. This is so much cheaper than we have seen before. It wasn't too bad really!

Our next stop was the Cambridge Centre for Computing History. It was quite difficult to find as it was hidden away behind some industrial buildings. As the name suggests, the museum has displays of computers and electronic games. As I have been around for most of the time period covered, I found it very interesting and it brought back a lot of memories.

"Granny's Garden" was one of the first computer "adventure" games to be used in classrooms.

Fortunately, computers don't take up this amount of space any more!

The answer to the question on the display is a definite yes!

This 39" diameter disk from 1959 could store 4MB of information (the equivalent of the text of 8 Harry Potter Books).

This 26" diameter disk from 1972 could hold 22MB of information (50 Harry Potter books).

The 14" disk from 1976 held 40MB (92 Harry Potter books); the 8" disk from 1984 held 55MB (126 Harry Potter books);  and the 5.25" diameter disk from 1996 could hold 1200MB (2764 Harry Potter books)

The 3.5" diameter disk from 2006 cold hold 500GB of information (1,152,073 Harry Potter books) and the 2016 3.5" disk could store 2000GB (2TB) of information (or 4, 608, 294 Harry Potter books)!

I had "Lemmings" on a computer years ago. It was a great game!

Before computers, one went to Arcades to play video games. "Space Invaders" was one of the first. I was quite good at it and was pleased to find that I could beat the current high score on this machine and that nobody bettered it in the hour or so before we left!!

My first computer (bought second-hand in 1987) looked exactly like this. It was like meeting an old friend!

After a visit to "Caffé Nero", we attended Evensong at King's College. The music was the introit "Occuli Omnium" by Charles Wood, the Responses by Matthew Martin (the current Director of Music at Gonville & Cauis College), the "Collegium Regale" canticles by Herbert Howells (which were written for the choir of King's) and the anthem "O Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem", (also by Herbert Howells). Once again, the singing was flawless. Unfortunately, for us, the Service was attended by "pupils, parents, staff and governors" of King's College School. The chaplain decided that he should explain each step of the Service as it went along. This added ten minutes to the length of the service and made us run late for Evensong at St John's! Fortunately, the porter admitted us and we were able to slip quietly into the chapel. This was the first time we had heard the St John's choir. We were very surprised to find that there are now girl and women choristers (as well as boys and men). The music was the responses by Radcliffe, the canticles from the "Fifth Service" by Tomkins and the anthem "My Shepherd is the Living Lord", also by Tomkins. The quality of the singing was excellent. I did notice a difference in the timbre of the female contralto voice in place of the male alto during a solo. It can't be said that it was better or worse, just different, in the same way that an apple is different from an orange despite them both being fruit.

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