For the Old Computer types in here

End of an era https://www.dropbox.com/s/ot7sw7v9ndrlo78/ICL%20West%20Gorton.jpg?dl=0
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bert

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On 16/05/18 20:55, bert wrote:

I'm old but alas ICL means nothing to me - I was a DEC fan and sadly HP grabbed them yonks ago....
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On Wed, 16 May 2018 21:19:58 +0100, Tim Watts wrote:

I worked in an ICL/Elliott 4130 for some years, and then an ICL 2960.
ICL was an amalgamation (nationalisation) of several companies, and had an excess of (not very good) middle managers - rather like BT now. We had to deal with them, at least indirectly - not a good experience except in rare cases.
There's an apocryphal story about one such manager, which indicates their general reputation:
"He went to a meeting at West Gorton. At the end of the day he met a colleague in reception, and they agreed to share a taxi back to Piccadilly Station. On the train home, he was perplexed that he couldn't find the return half of his ticket, and didn't have enough money to pay the guard. He had to leave his name and address. The colleague offered him a lift home from Watford Station, which was gratefully accepted. On arrival, he invited the driver in for a sherry, telling his wife how grateful he was for the lift from the station. 'Oh, whatever's happened?', she replied. 'Where on earth is the car?'. Actually, it was in Manchester, because he had gone there by road."
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LOL
I'd find this hard to believe except I had a similar experience with a German who couldn't find his car in the company car park. In his case it turned out that he had taken it to a garage to be serviced.
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Martin in Zuid Holland




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Well, is not ICL now part of Fujitsu? There are still a lot of old mainframes etc floating about in museums, though whether any work or can be used to demonstrate anything is debatable. Brian
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On 17/05/2018 09:02, Brian Gaff wrote:

ICL Kidsgrove died quite some time ago. Incidentally there is a van parked outside a small computer company next to the A34 near Trentham gardens, it seems the company have an agreement with Fujitsu to use the ICL logo. so not quite dead yet.
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On Thu, 17 May 2018 09:02:19 +0100, Brian Gaff wrote:

There's a working Elliott 803 at NMoC, and they have a 2966 almost working - won't be long now.
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I must tell them not to push down, at the same time, the three push-buttons which are in a cluster at the right-front of the console. That will result in a service call.
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On 17/05/2018 10:33, Bob Eager wrote:

First flow diagram I ever wrote was coded up to run on an 803. To do, potentially, a brute force attack on Fermat's last theorem. A guy from Distillers in Burgh Heath gave a talk at our 6th form science club (mid 60's) and got us to do flow diagrams which he coded up, and brought back the results a month later. Mine was one of the few that ran (sort of) correctly. Except that it found 5, 12, 13 *and* 12, 5, 13. My coding improved somewhat after that.
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I started programming 54 years ago using an Elliott 803.
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Martin in Zuid Holland




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Me too - using Elliot Autocode.
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On 17/05/2018 10:33, Bob Eager wrote:

The LOndon Hospital computer centre had an Elliot 803. Apparently it had tape drives where the tape was like a 35 mm film, with sprocket holes.
That was then replaced by a Univac 418-III in the late 60's, with a massive horizontal drum called a FastRand, where the read write heads were a long bar that was moved from side to side across the drum, which was about 6 feet wide. It also had 4 'spin dryer' drums that allowed an access time of 4.25 millseconds which was fast for that era. These could never be powered off because they developed a vibration at a particular speed which wrecked the bearings. The card reader was the size of car. Needed a 400 Mhz power supply which occupied a room all on its own.
It was an 18 bit one's complement machine, so Octal 777776 was -1 and 777777 was minus zero which generated an error stop. Also, no stack. Calling a subroutine meant using an assembler instruction SLJ (sludge) - store location and jump, so you could go to any depth you liked, except that it only had 128 *K* words of 18-bit memory so the London Hospital real-time system was an RTOS batch job that ran all day and within that the 16 available files were logically mapped to provide multiple inhouse database files, with transaction processing and full before and after journalling and logical transactions. 128 Uniscope VDUs and printers around the hospital provided 24/7 services to all the wards and clinics in the 1970's when few commercial programmers had even heard of the concept of a logical transaction.
All written in Univac assembler and developed using punched cards by hospital staff programmers. :-)
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On Thursday, 17 May 2018 14:09:55 UTC+1, Andrew wrote:
Here's our first one being installed.
https://cameroncounts.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/the-first-computer-at-queen-mary-college/
I wasn't there at the time.
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Hilarious how the fool 'supervising' the film gets a Mr title but the serfs don’t.
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On Thursday, May 17, 2018 at 9:31:04 PM UTC+1, Rod Speed wrote:

een-mary-college/

fs

He obviously wasn't supervising whoever made up the credits.
Terribly cheesy soundtrack (even a bit of Animal Magic in there!) and the c ameraman just had to find a pair of female legs to slowly pan up.
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On Friday, 18 May 2018 16:51:30 UTC+1, Halmyre wrote:

queen-mary-college/

erfs

cameraman just had to find a pair of female legs to slowly pan up.
Well I guess he hadn't had muchopportunity to do it with male legs, remmebe r this is 1968. The year before h;ed have been though of as gay if he was c aught filmimg mens legs if he could find any on show that is.
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It was 35mm film. With a magnetic coating instead of a light-sensitive coating.
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400MHz?
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wrote:

and the coating fell off in pieces.
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wrote:

400Hz I could possibly believe, 400kHz you might find in a modern switch mode power supply, but 400Mhz for a power supply is a load of bollocks.
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