The UK's cathedrals of geekdom are set to reopen in May as The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) celebrated the successful conclusion of its retro-themed Microlympics.
By all accounts, the Microlympics event (which had various age groups play a variety of retro games on a BBC emulator) was a great success for TNMOC as scores were notched up in classic games like Elite and Revs (both of which demonstrated this hack is as awful now as he was then at anything that didn't involve solving Scott Adams' or Infocom's puzzles).
TNMOC director Jacqui Garrad was delighted with the response, which spanned multiple age groups and genders. She reckoned that most players were UK-based, which was understandable since the BBC computer did not set the US alight back in the day.
Garrad told The Register that another event was planned for later in the year because "there are so many games!" Feedback would be taken on board, and she noted that "Revs wasn't the easiest game to play," which remains our excuse for the piss-poor performance of this particular member of Team Vulture.
The next Microlympics is tentatively planned for the summer in order to give the team a breather; dealing with the collation of screenshots and scores from enthusiastic participants presented a challenge.
Breathing space may also be needed to prepare for the long-awaited reopening.
"The museum's ambition," said Garrard, "is to open on Friday, the 28th of May."
The date is highly dependent on UK government guidelines (as will be the reopening itself), but is at least a glimmer of light at the end of a very long tunnel.
A spokesperson for another shuttered temple of IT nerdery, the Centre of Computing History, told El Reg: "We're working towards the government's projected opening date for museums and galleries of 17 May," although could not guarantee that a reopening would occur exactly on that date. "It's all subject to change right now."
Either way, the prospect of both institutions getting through the last year and potentially able to welcome visitors in the coming months makes our grinchy hearts swell just a little bit. We might have to pick up one of TNMOC's framed PCBs or another Icon of Beige from the Centre for Computing History to celebrate. ®