No, no, not that I’m back here and posting again.
Something much bigger than that.
Gamers, geeks and retrofans who enjoyed the original Vintage Computer Festival GB held in association with the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park in 2010 will be thrilled to hear that a new festival, Silicon Dreams, is scheduled to take place in Leicestershire over the weekend of 5-7 July. I suspect, given my previous knowledge of these events (read ‘regular gatecrasher and chaos-causer’) that it will appeal to many of those who attended PlayExpo in Manchester last year too. Organised by the same team which brought you the Bletchley Park extravaganza (and Beeb@30) this weekend promises to be an unmissable mix of gaming, talks, presentations, music and all round geekery. Silicon Dreams is billed as a celebration of the silicon chip and is really two festivals in one, as it will also incorporate the Vintage Computer Festival GB 2013. *Wild cheers at the thought of another weekend like that! Sensory overload, anyone?*
The event is being held at the already-awesome Snibston Discovery Museum in Coalville, Leicestershire, which is a day out in itself without the added distraction of retro gear in all its finery.
Those familiar with the Retro Computer Museum‘s open days, also held at Snibston, will see a few recognisable faces, as the RCM guys are involved, as well as the Centre for Computing History. I hear tell representatives of the RISC-OS team will be there too and I have high hopes that some of the retro industry’s finest will be tempted to put in an appearance after the success of the previous events they attended.
The three-day weekend (I like that threat. Very, very much!) is hoping to benefit not only the Centre for Computing History and Retro Computer Museum, who are loaning their kit for the weekend, but also the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Expect more of the kind of thing shown in the photo, which is a genuine ZX Spectrum running a Twitter feed. And yes, it worked. Because I tried it. Several times!
Around 2,500 people attended the original VCF-GB three years ago. It is hoped that Snibston’s existing attractions, as well as its location, will encourage even more people to come to experience Silicon Dreams. For those wanting to bring families, there are a variety of things to do besides attending Silicon Dreams. The museum, on the site of an old colliery, features an interactive gallery, an outdoor playground, a train ride guided tour and a country park to walk the dog. Combined with a large display covering the history of fashion, plus technology in all its forms from waterwheels and steam engines to the Sinclair C-5 and beyond, there really is something for everyone.
If you would like more details, or want to get involved, the organisers, Chimera Events, would love to hear from you. Just be sure to mention that you read about it here first.