Britain's National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park is raising funds by offering users the chance to "sponsor a valve" in its rebuild of Colossus, which it describes as "the world's first electronic, programmable computer". In effect, sponsors are buying pixels on a virtual Colossus: an approach pioneered by the once-famous Million Dollar Home Page.
The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) is charging £0.10 per pixel with a minimum donation of £10. However, a decent valve-covering 40 x 40-pixel block -- big enough for a logo or your Twitter icon -- will cost £160. TNMOC says that "larger donations from corporates and benefactors will be acknowledged within the gallery".
Sponsors can pick their pixels at Colossusonline.org.
TNMOC's ambitions are somewhat more modest than Alex Tew's Million Dollar Home Page. The museum is hoping to raise £150,000, though it's only offering £100,000 worth of pixels.
The funds will be used to create a completely new gallery for Colossus in Block H. This is where Colossus No 9 stood during World War II, and where the rebuild took place.
TNMOC is an independent charity and is not lottery-funded, so it really does need the money.
The late Tony Sale, who led the rebuilding of the Colossus computer. Photo credit: The National Museum of Computing