Stardust: tales from the early days of computing, 1948 - 1958

When: 17th Jan 2019, 14:30 - 17th Jan 2019, 16:30
Where: BCS, 1st Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA
Town/City: London
Organiser: Computer Conservation Society
Price: Free to BCS Members and non BCS Members
Further Information: Further Information

This is the story of the life and times of nine Ferranti Mark I and Mark I Star computers that were launched into an unsuspecting market place between 1951 and 1957. This was a family of very early supercomputers, digital dinosaurs that lumbered from Manchester to Toronto, Amsterdam and Rome, consuming a diet of applications that ranged from atomic weapons to cotton spinning to music.

This is, above all, the story of the people who struggled to tame the dinosaurs and put their primitive powers to useful work. Many of these pioneers are still alive, which has permitted the talk to be embellished with rare photos and intriguing personal anecdotes.

Whilst the talk does give plenty of technical details, the socio-economic and human backdrop always shines through.

About the speaker

Professor Simon Lavington is a stalwart of the Society and an authority on early British computers. He has published several books on the subject, most recently a comprehensive history of the Ellioitt company.

The session will start with registration at 14:00pm, talks starting at 14:30pm, finish by 16:30pm. Refreshments will be provided.

The event is free of charge, but will require registration to ensure there are no capacity restrictions.

S
M
T
W
T
F
S
1
2
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30