Winter 1966 in Computer Weekly

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50 Years Ago... from the pages of Computer Weekly

compiled by TNMOC Volunteer Archivist, Brian Aldous

A selection of stories from Computer Weekly in the winter of 1966.The full archive of Computer Weekly can be seen at TNMOC, where there are special rolling displays of front pages from 25 and 40 years ago. This article appears in the latest issue of Resurrection, the newsletter of the Computer Conservation Society.

Biggest UK university machine A joint computer centre, equipped with an IBM 360/67, is to be set up this year by the Universities of Newcastle upon Tyne and Durham. It will be the most powerful university centre in the UK and among the most advanced in the world. (CW021 p1)

Elliott-Automation take over GEC computer company The computer and automation subsidiary of the General Electric Co is to be taken over by Elliott-Automation. (CW023 p1)

French high speed OCR development: An optical character reader being developed at the data processing research laboratory of the Blaise Pascal Institute, Paris, is expected to be scanning print in varying sizes and styles at the rate of 5 to 10 cps by next March. (CW022 p5)

Low-cost memory module A high performance, low-cost memory module that could be adapted for most computers has been developed by Computer Technology Ltd, of Hemel Hempstead, the UK’s newest computer manufacturer. The module is claimed to have the same performance as similar American units. (CW023 p16)

NPL research on DCN system Work on the design of a digital communication network (DCN) to handle traffic for the real time, remote use of computers has been going ahead for a year at the National Physical Laboratory. (CW023 p1)

Big machine for NATO coding Tenders are now being examined by the Ministry of Defence for a large computer for a new centre to be opened in the late 1960s at Hullavington, Wiltshire. The establishment will be known as the Defence Codification Data Centre and will deal with the classifying of items of NATO equipment. (CW011 p1)

D-I-Y Machine Cuts Costs A Do-It-Yourself computer for teaching the theory and techniques of computing was demonstrated at the Trainex 66 exhibition in London last week. Assembled from standard logic elements, power supplies and mounting units supplied by Mel Equipment Co, it can cost as little as £200. (CW011 p7)

Retrieval system for real-time inquiries Real-time inquiries for information are becoming an increasing concern for computer departments. To meet this need ICT has developed a general purpose retrieval system known as ICT 1900 FIND — File Interrogation of Nineteen hundred Data. (CW012 p1)

Hoover plan to create Data Bank Around the 360/40 system, now undergoing emulation trials at their Perivale, Middlesex, headquarters, Hoover plans to build up a data bank to provide the company’s management with direct online access to information on all aspects of the firm’s production and stock position, and data on sales, personnel and purchasing across the country. (CW012 p12)

S-Two as multi-access control The multi-access system planned at the Atlas Computer Laboratory, Chilton, Berkshire, will use an S-Two computer as console controller for the Atlas machine and a Data Products 16-million character disc store. The system will have 12 to 16 consoles in the laboratory and possibly others at remote locations. (CW013-014 p1)

Elliott System to aid Concorde Take-off The two prototypes of the Concorde airliner will have a take-off director comprising an analogue computer supplied by Elliott Automation. Correlating eight variables, it will give the pilot a single reading to aid him during take-off and initial climb. (CW013-014 p1)

Lack of tools hits N/C project A new threat to the development of numerical control software faces the National Engineering Laboratory at East Kilbride. It jeopardises an £800,000 investment in an American-built Univac 1108, and could lead to this country being dependent on advanced applications on American machine tools for many more years. (CW015 p1)

Leo 360 at new London boroughs’ EDP centre A second computer centre has been opened in Hackney to be used by a consortium of the Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Harringay Boroughs of Greater London. It has an EELM Leo 360 computer which will initially handle the financial work of the three boroughs. (CW015 p1)

Good start to new year for ICT First orders announced by ICT for 1967 are worth £700,000 and stretch from London to Australia. At home a 1904 has been ordered by Sainsbury's, the multiple grocers, and in Australia two 1903s are to go to a trading and property company, one of the largest in the country. (CW016 p1)

PDP 10 medium range launched With the introduction of the PDP 10 range of computers the Digital Equipment Corporation is making a come-back in the medium-sized machine market. First deliveries are expected next September according to Digital Equipment's UK company at Reading. (CW016 p11)

NCC wins support of industry Two months after membership conditions were announced last November, the National Computing Centre claims to represent the major part of the nation's computer interests and reports that applications for membership continue to flow in. (CW017 p1)

Real Time Flight Tests on C-5A Freighter An automatic data reduction station (ADRS) for the flight testing of the Lockheed C-5A military freighter will have both real-time and off-line operation modes, and PCM data word rates up to 250,000 words a second and digitised FM data word rates up to 55,000 a second. (CW017 p5)

First UK CDC 3300 goes into action – Engineers plan wide range of Operations The first CDC 3300 computer in the UK went quietly into operation in London last week after an on-schedule delivery and installation at the Victoria offices of engineering consultants Freeman, Fox, Wilbur Smith and Associates. (CW017 p12)

Co-operation on ‘Mac’ project A project to produce software for the EELM 4-75 multi-access system, to be installed at Edinburgh Regional Computing Centre in 1968, is under way at Edinburgh University. (CW018 p1)

Simulator System aids research into ATC At an experimental centre to be inaugurated today, Thursday, at Bretigny airfield, 16 miles south-east of Paris, an air traffic control simulator based on a digital computer will be used for research into air traffic conditions over seven European countries. (CW018 p12)

SPL 1401 simulator for ICT 1900s A simulator which enables IBM 1401 programs to be run directly on ICT 1900 machines has been developed for ICT by Systems Programming Ltd. It will provide ICT with a valuable sales aid in the growing replacement market. (CW019 p1)

Elliott software cuts costs of automation A practical solution to the problem of a comprehensive framework for the implementation of on-line industrial control systems has been achieved by Elliott-Automation. Their answer is APEX, a range of software that enables the control engineer to work directly from familiar instrument flow sheet data. (CW020 p1)

Elliott System to guide EUROPA Flight systems incorporating Elliott MCS 920M micro miniature digital computers will guide Europa, the international satellite launching rocket planned by the European Launcher Development Oganisation. Seven MCS 920Ms are to be supplied initially. (CW021 p3)

Burroughs launch big machine in UK A new large scale computer has entered the market in the UK with the introduction of the Burroughs B5500. This follows the successful launching in Britain less than a year ago of the medium-size B2500-3500 Series. (CW021 p12)

Elliott-Automation Win Contract for Test System A contract, worth nearly £1 million, has been awarded to Elliott-Automation for automated electronic test equipment, based on the 900 Series computer, for the RAF HS801 aircraft programme. (CW022 p1)

ICT 1902-1004 On-Line Link Up at Luton The first ICT 1902 to be linked on- and off-line to a 1004 has been put into operation by Luton Corporation. The machine, which has 16K of store and six tape units, is linked via a 7201 data link which converts 1004 code to 1900 code. (CW022 p2)

More power on 1900 processors More power has been brought to ICT’s 1900 computers by the introduction of eight new central processors. Known as the E and F range, they are applicable to the 1904 to 1907 models, the F range incorporating a faster core store than the E range. (CW022 p12)

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