Computing museum starts tours after first long-term sponsor

Oracle and JD Edwards optimisation specialist InsightSoftware.com has become the first foundation sponsor of the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park, allowing the museum to stay open longer and run guided tours.

Oracle and JD Edwards optimisation specialist InsightSoftware.com has become the first foundation sponsor of the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park, allowing the museum to stay open longer and run guided tours.

The sponsorship, £12,500 a year for three years, will allow the museum to run guided tours on Thursdays and Fridays. The tours give visitors to the World War Two code-breaking centre an insight into the British contribution to the development of the IT industry.

InsightSoftware MD Paul Sutton said the sponsorship acknowledged the importance of software to the development of the computer industry. "As a successful software company, we are very pleased to offer our support to such a worthy cause," he said.

TNMOC trustee and director Kevin Murrell said he was extremely grateful to InsightSoftware for helping the museum - which receives no government money - to fulfil its potential. "It is so frustrating having world-class exhibits but not having the resources to give more access to them," he said.

Pilot tours had been full, he said. Murrell hopes other IT firms will follow InsightSoftware's lead.

The museum is also open for tours by special arrangement. Visitors trace Britain's role in the history of computing from 1945 to the present day. It covers the rebuild of Colossus, the world's first modern computer, the ongoing restoration of the 1950s Harwell Witch computer, mainframes of the 1960s-1980s, the development of microcomputers and handhelds from the 1980s to the present day, and the National Physical Laboratory's seminal paper on packet switching technology, which became the foundation of the internet.

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