Computers in London

Tuesday 17 June 2014

BCS, 1st Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA | Maps

6.00pm for 6.30pm start. Finish at 8.30pm


Dan Hayton


Famously Bletchley Park, Manchester and Cambridge have been seen as the “Homes of Computing”.

However, the skill and knowledge required to build Colossus came from Dolis Hill by way of the GPO. Manchester's team helped create the Ferranti range of Computers which had a plush marketing suite in Portland Place and a supercomputer installation in Gordon Square. The Cambridge team sent one of their number to help create LEO, the world's first commercial system.

There are others who worked in London, notably Booth at UCL who developed a range of machines for specific users and worked with BTM to develop a range of commercial machines. NPL designed and created, eventually, the Pilot Ace which was developed into a “practical” computer by English Electric.

As well as developing and installing systems London has a few buildings and sites which have survived. The first Internet Café, English Electric's offices, the sites of Computer Bureaux and manufacturing units.

Illustrated by photos and archive films the lecture will take a tour of London and the History of Computing.

Dan Hayton

Dan Hayton started in the 1960's (late 1960's) briefly working with a 360/44 at St. Andrews but a background in English and Latin meant that transferring to Computer Science wasn't an option. Dropping out led to work in Bureaux Services, Training for Control Data, Consultancy and Software Houses. Spending the last (nearly) 30 years as an Independent Consultant he is now winding down.

While winding down, and before, Dan has had a long term interest in the History of Technology and Industrial Archaeology and is a trustee of The Newcomen Society and the Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society.

As the Computer Conservation Society was being set up in the room next to the Newcomen Society office he went to take a look and has been on the Committee ever since.

He also managed to end up on the Membership Board Finance Committee of BCS.