Computing in 1974 from Computer Weekly

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

compiled by TNMOC Volunteer Archivist, Brian Aldous

A selection of stories from Computer Weekly from 1974. 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.

TV data service nearer: An up-to-the-minute news and information service, based on the Oracle data transmission system using modified domestic TV receivers, is planned by the IBA and the Home Secretary has approved the introduction of both Oracle and the BBC’s Ceefax system for a two-year experimental period. (CW 412 p6)

On-line system for daily paper: An on-line system for Birmingham Post and Mail is to be supplied by ICL, in direct competition with IBM. The £0.5m contract is, initially, for two 44k 1901Ts to be implemented in two stages, data-entry and photocomposition. (CW 412 p17)

Leicester gets city traffic flow control: Based on dual Honeywell 316s each with 32K words of core store and 360K words disc back-up, Plessey Traffic and Instrumentation has installed the first of the new British wide area traffic control schemes in the UK City of Leicester. (CW 415 p7)

Users line-up for ICL’s New Range: Universities, commercial and Government installations expressing strong interest in the 2970 and 2980, both due for launch in October. (CW 409 p1)

Farnborough: As the first International air show at Farnborough opened, GEC-Marconi Electronics’ avionics systems subsidiary, Marconi-Elliott, is expecting to get £5m of business for its GEC 920M based Navwas digital navigation and attack system out orders placed for the Anglo-French Jaguar which was announced last week. (CW 409 p1)

Myriad for Midlands Network as the first phase of a supervisory and control system for the operation of the Midlands Electricity Board’s Birmingham area distribution network has been established, based on a 16K Marconi Myriad. (CW 409 p21)

Terminal gives new hope to blind: Monash University in Melbourne has developed a general purpose Braille remote computer terminal which prints Braille. (CW 410 Int. Ed. p1)

Double move to block Fednet plan: Following the Congressional veto of funds, and the subsequent shelving of plans, for the US General Services Administration’s Fednet data communications network, the US Senate has now approved moves to prevent the GSA continuing to work on the project. (CW 410 Int. Ed. p7)

Rolls Royce to use NAG library: Following moves to widen the distribution of the NAG library to commercial interests, Rolls Royce is said to be considering a purchase. (CW 410 p40)

IBM introduces telecoms package: In a move to further improve its position as a supplier of data communications equipment, IBM has introduced an all-embracing teleprocessing system utilising its SDLC transmission line protocol. (CW 412 p1)

Stand-alone system for air travel: Having secured a major share of the on-line air terminal business, Raytheon Data Systems has introduced a stand-alone passenger servicing system, the Raytheon Information Management System, for use at airports. (CW 412 p3)

Chieftain simulator launched: Link Miles Division of Singer has introduced a complete computer controlled simulator for tanks and other armoured vehicles. The prototype, now in operation, has been designed to simulate a Chieftain tank and uses a DEC PDP11/05 for which Link Miles have developed a complete new range of software. (CW 413 p40)

Government re-think on Coral 66? The formation of a steering committee to carry out an exhaustive study of programming methodology for real-time systems suggests a surprising reconsideration of the Department of Industry’s adoption of Coral 66 as the sole standard high-level language for Government real-time contracts. (CW 414 p8)

Assembler range for Intel 8080s: Two assemblers for the Intel 8080 have been developed by Data Recall, which itself also markets modular 8080-based hardware under the name Micro-System 80. The first is a cross-assembler written in Fortran IV, the second, fuller, version occupies 100K bytes on an IBM 370 under OS. (CW 416 p20)

Mod One power doubled: With the introduction of Modular One 1.15, a 16-bit processor with twice the capacity of earlier models, CTL has doubled the directly-addressable storage to 112K words by comparison with the 56K words on earlier models. (CW 418 p1)

Air traffic simulator order for Ferranti: The Australian Government has ordered a £600,000 air traffic control simulator from Ferranti Digital Systems Division, to be based on a 56K word FM1600B minicomputer with 256K words of drum back-up. The system is expected to be similar to, but more complex than, systems supplied to the UK CAA. (CW 420 p2)

ICL back in the bidding for railway system: With the development of its System D Operating System, ICL is back in the bidding for a £2m contract for the British Rail Intercity reservation system, with a proposal utilising a large dual 2970 configuration. (CW 421 p18)

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