Welcome to the Tony Sale Award website

The 2020 Tony Sale Award for Computer Conservation

It was with much regret that we had to cancel arrangements for the Tony Sale Award this year, due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

The Computer Conservation Society has now taken the decision to leave this for an additional year to ensure that any projects which might be eligible will have sufficient time to catch up, hopefully when the virus allows work to continue, as well as providing time to seek a new sponsor for the Award.

It is therefore hoped to publish the invitation in January 2022 with the aim of making an Award in November 2022.

About the Tony Sale Award

First established in 2012 in memory of computer conservation pioneer Tony Sale, who rebuilt Colossus, the World War II code-breaking computer. It was instigated and is managed by the Computer Conservation Society.

The five previous winners of the award show the growing breadth and depth of computer conservation.

  • The 2018 winner was the Center for Technology and Innovation (Techworks!) in Binghamton, New York, USA. The team has brought back to life flight simulators from the 1940s, ’60s and ’80s which allow the public to experience them and to grasp the pace of innovation and development of simulation technology.
  • The 2016 winner was the Heinz-Nixdorf MuseumsForum for its evocative and educational reconstruction showing how ENIAC, one of the first electronic computers, was programmed.
  • In 2014, there were joint winners: the IBM 1401 Demo Lab , a restoration of one of the most significant machines in computer history by the Computer History Museum in California, and Z1 Architecture and Algorithms, a virtual reconstruction of the 1930s Konrad Zuse mechanical computer, by the Free University of Berlin.
  • The inaugural award in 2012 was won by David Link of Germany for his computer art installation, Loveletters.

Projects may cover hardware and/or software and represent any period in computing history. Projects may be the work of individuals or a team.

The main judging criteria for the 2020 award are:

Originality: To what extent does the project demonstrate a novel approach to conservation or reconstruction?
Completeness:   Has the project achieved the initial goals set?
Ingenuity: What new techniques or processes were developed during the project?
Impact: What contribution has the work made to increasing the understanding of the history of computing?
Outreach: Is the result of the work visible to experts in the field and/or to the general public?
Publicity: To what extent has the work already been publicised or written up?

Tony Sale

Tony Sale and Colossus
The Tony Sale Award Trophy

The Tony Sale Award is presented in remembrance of the late Tony Sale, one of the two co-founders of the Computer Conservation Society which runs the award.

Tony Sale was an inspirational figure whose efforts to reconstruct a Second World War Colossus codebreaking machine pioneered much of the present day work of the Society.