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Lost: One voice, at Beeb@30

If found, please return via the good folks at this blog.

At one point today, around 30 people from my 500-odd strong twitter feed were in the main atrium at the ARM building in Cambridge, among the limited number gathered to celebrate the 30th birthday of the BBC Micro. Yours truly, and my husband, known online as Felicemaggie (under which name he has a twitter feed) were there as volunteer event crew members, and in my case, as an interested writerly type with an itch to document the day in detail.

A panel consisting of Christopher Curry, Professor Stephen Furber, Dr Hermann Hauser, Professor Andrew Hopper, Nick Toop, Chris Turner, Dr Sophie Wilson and moderated by Chris Serle (who presented the BBC’s The Computer Programme back in the day) spent the morning answering questions. A talk by Eben Upton, of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, followed lunch, then Richard Gellman from the Retro Computing Museum and Alan O’Donohoe, the founder of Hack to The Future, gave presentations in the lecture theatre to a select number of 40 individuals who rolled up to yours truly for their entry tickets.

Meantime the rest of the guests were rocking on down to a superb selection of music and supping on the Echo Falls wine provided to toast both the first 30 years of the BBC Micro and the first (currently airborne from the factory) shipment of Raspberry Pi machines, UK arrival date mid-week.

I managed to introduce myself to a number of my Twitter feed thanks to a morning spent on the Admissions desk handing out nametags and, therefore, putting faces to names. At lunch I finally cornered Bill Thompson (a geek, film fan, hack and pundit) who has been known to write intelligent articles for BBC Technology pages, and received a very whiskery hug for my troubles as well as the pleasure of sharing a glass of wine with him (he thinks this is better described as what his iPhone suggested as an autocorrect: ‘a glad of wine’, which you may well agree with.)

By around 4pm the last band were playing to the crew who were beginning the tearing down process, and although they were good, the settings were loud thanks to the live drums. Many people had found quieter areas to sit and talk with fellow BBC Micro users, developers, designers, and programmers and there was a sense of a successful day winding slowly down.

More details will follow in coming blogs, for those who crave the information about such things. My head is currently buzzing with detail. At my feet lie a copy of the ticket holders’ list, the running order and the official programme. Said extremities are presently propped on my footstool and throbbing almost visibly, having been stood upon more or less continuously between 9am and 6pm today. And I’m enjoying a(nother) glass of wine and heading towards supper in due course, followed by bed shortly after that, which will help to shake down the amazing memories of today into some kind of order.

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