Raspberry Pi fans rejoice! The foundation's Cambridge outlet has tentatively opened its doors once more, although is sadly shorn of its trademark interactive displays.
The reopening comes as neighbouring Apple flung open the doors of the majority of its UK stores this week, although far be it from us to point out that one could pick up a cluster of 10 8GB Raspberry Pis and a good few bottles of one's fave alcoholic beverage for the price of a new Mac mini.
The Pi shop features a one way system to allow the faithful to admire the displays, but no more than seven punters are permitted inside at a time and face masks are also being handed out on premise.
Those struggling to get hold of the 8GB Raspberry Pi online will find the thing in-store, according to the trading arm of the Foundation's Ashley Whittaker who told eager beavers: "We are *fully* stocked. All of the stock."
The Register checked with the team today and were told that 150 units were lurking on the shelves at the moment.
The stock also includes the recently launched High Quality Camera, which enjoys 12.3 megapixels of Sony imaging smarts and interchangeable lenses for a snip under £50 (although you'll need to spank another £25 if you want a lens.)
Custom, we understand, has been relatively brisk, although shoppers are turning up with a purchase in mind rather than to browse or paw at the now-removed interactive areas. Screens showing off what can be done with the diminutive computer will be arriving shortly but plans are afoot to reintroduce the original displays in the medium term "with appropriate hygiene measures."
The whole "hands on" thing remains a challenge for other Cambridge nerd-hubs, such as The Centre for Computing History. CEO and Founder, Jason Fitzpatrick, explained to El Reg that simply putting in a one-way system and keeping people 2 metres apart would undermine the experience a little. After all, one of the attractions of the place is getting hands on working hardware from yesteryear.
While there is every chance the museum will remain closed for a good few months yet, its volunteers have amused themselves with activities such as scanning and indexing decades-old editions of Popular Computing Weekly.
The gang has also uploaded a copy of software house US Gold's "Another Successful Year" book from 1986, which is worth a nostalgic peruse over a quiet lunchtime.
We've scanned the 1986 U.S. Gold "Another Successful Year" book from our archive for your viewing pleasure.— Computing History (@computermuseum) June 18, 2020
We believe this was for employee eyes only. So why not have a flick through? 👀https://t.co/60MnxTHJSx#RetroGaming #RetroComputing #MuseumFromHome #MuseumsUnlocked pic.twitter.com/yUKk35vzRi
The museum continues to inch toward its relatively modest £36,000 goal to help it get through the pandemic, and if you can't spend that fiver on going to the pub today (because they remain closed) then perhaps popping it their way might be in order. This hack, at least, owes a large chunk of his IT career to the machinery preserved within the shuttered walls.
While sponsorship opportunities also exist, we note that the museum is on the hunt for elderly tech to be diverted from landfill or dust-laden gadget drawers and into its archives while it, like the rest of us, awaits the lifting of restrictions. ®