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
There's an apocryphal story about one such manager, which indicates their
"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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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.
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.
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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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
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. :-)
On Thursday, 17 May 2018 14:09:55 UTC+1, Andrew wrote:
Here's our first one being installed.
I wasn't there at the time.
On Thursday, May 17, 2018 at 9:31:04 PM UTC+1, Rod Speed wrote:
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.
On Friday, 18 May 2018 16:51:30 UTC+1, Halmyre wrote:
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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