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Moving targets : Elliott-Automation and the dawn of the computer age in Britain, 1947-67

Author: S H Lavington
Publisher: London ; New York : Springer, 2011.
Series: History of computing (London, England)
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"Moving Targets charts the gradual take-up of information technology in Britain, as seen through the eyes of one innovative company. The book examines how the dawn of the digital computer age in Britain took place at various times for different applications, from early government-sponsored work on secret defence projects, to the growth of the market for Elliott computers for civil applications. Topics and features:  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: S H Lavington
ISBN: 9781848829329 1848829329 9781848829336 1848829337
OCLC Number: 690089103
Description: xxi, 710 pages : illustrations, maps, plans ; 24 cm.
Contents: Machine generated contents note: 1. Navy Comes to Borehamwood --
1.1. Place Called Borehamwood --
1.2. Early Days of Naval Radar --
1.2.1. Setting up the UK's Research Establishments --
1.2.2. JF Coales and ASE --
1.2.3. Fire-Control Systems --
1.2.4. Action Information Organisation and CDS --
1.3. Admiralty Decides --
1.4. Enter the Instrument Makers --
1.5. Lewisham Factory of Elliott Brothers --
1.6. Leon Bagrit --
References --
2. Glint on the Horizon --
2.1. Man for the Job --
2.2. Distant Targets --
2.3. CDS Project --
2.4. MRS5 Project --
2.4.1. Why Digital? --
2.4.2. Innovative Radar --
2.4.3. Cancellation of MRS5 --
2.4.4. Netting Project and the Legacy of MRS5 --
2.5. Little Computer History --
2.6. Elliott 152 Computer --
2.7. Enter the Entrepreneurs --
2.8. Borehamwood's Financial Struggles --
2.9. Pulling Out of the Mire --
References --
3. Secret Digit --
3.1. Elliott 153: The DF Computer --
3.1.1. Admiralty's Needs --
3.1.2. Project at Borehamwood --
3.1.3. General Description of the 153's Architecture --
3.1.4. Operation of the 153 at Irton Moor --
3.2. GCHQ and Oedipus --
3.2.1. Problem of Super-Enciphered Intercepts --
3.2.2. 311 Project at Borehamwood --
3.2.3. Structure and Operation of Oedipus --
3.3. Australia and WREDAC --
3.3.1. Needs of Woomera --
3.3.2. WRE Chooses Elliott --
3.3.3. Performance of WREDAC --
3.3.4. Architecture of WREDAC and WREDOC --
References --
4. Analogue Expertise --
4.1. Introduction: Analogue Versus Digital --
4.2. Admiralty Fire Control Tables --
4.2.1. Developments up to 1945 --
4.2.2. Flyplane Predictor Systems --
4.3. Early Analogue Computing Activity at Borehamwood --
4.3.1. Differential Analyser --
4.4. TRIDAC: The World's Largest? --
4.4.1. Guided Weapons and Cold War Imperatives --
4.4.2. TRIDAC Project and Borehamwood --
4.4.3. TRIDAC at RAE Farnborough --
4.5. AGWAC: An Australian Success --
4.5.1. Joint Project Background --
4.5.2. Birth of AGWAC --
4.5.3. AGWAC Grows Up --
4.6. Elliott Analogue Computers and Simulators for Nuclear Power --
4.7. Small Analogue Computers: GPAC --
References --
5. NRDC and the Market --
5.1. NRDC Discovers Borehamwood --
5.1.1. Funding for the Small-Scale Prototype --
5.1.2. Hopes for an Advanced Computer --
5.2. Elliott/NRDC 401: Of Men and Machines --
5.2.1. Ideas Take Shape --
5.2.2. First Public Appearance --
5.2.3. They Have Their Exits and Their Entrances --
5.2.4. 401's Progress, via Cambridge, to Rothamsted --
5.3. Into the Marketplace: The Elliott 400 Series --
5.3.1. New Management --
5.3.2. 402 Production Gets Going --
5.3.3. Early Scientific Applications --
5.3.4. Flutter Problem --
5.4. NRDC as a Partner for the Future --
5.4.1. Siemens Project --
5.4.2. Process Control --
References --
6. Process Control and Automation: The Bagrit Vision --
6.1. What Is, or Was, Automation? --
6.1.1. Historical Perspective --
6.1.2. Reith Lectures Perspective --
6.2. Origins: Industrial Instrumentation and Control --
6.2.1. Prehistory: B&P Swift --
6.2.2. Post-war Rationalisation of the Instrument Industry --
6.2.3. Elliott Acquires a New Image and a New Name --
6.3. Automation Comes of Age --
6.3.1. American Licences and the Grand Strategy --
6.3.2. Al Sperry, Panellit and the Elliott 803 Computer --
6.3.3. Component Parts of a 1960s Automation Application --
6.4. Computers Suitable for the Task in the 1950s --
6.4.1. American Scene --
6.4.2. Early Days in Britain: The Growth of Elliott and its Rival, Ferranti Ltd --
6.4.3. Computer Comes to Market in Britain: 1951-1955 --
References --
7. Automation: The Machines and the Applications --
7.1. Need for Digital Control --
7.1.1. ARCH Family of Industrial Control Systems --
7.1.2. ARCH Installations and the Market Competition --
7.2. Applications of Elliott Computers in Automation --
7.2.1. Steel and Other Metals Processing --
7.2.2. Electricity (or Power) Generation --
7.2.3. UK Government R&D Establishments --
7.2.4. Oil Refining and Related Activities --
7.2.5. Chemicals --
7.2.6. Ships and Shipping --
7.2.7. Paper Mills and Typesetting --
7.2.8. Road Traffic Control --
7.2.9. Other UK and Overseas Industrial and Research Applications --
7.3. Aneedotes from Elliott Programmers who Worked on Automation Projects --
7.3.1. From Ed Hersom --
7.3.2. From Peter Williams --
7.3.3. From Roger Cook --
7.3.4. From Richard Burwood --
References --
8. Software and Applications at Borehamwood --
8.1. General Introduction --
8.2. Early Days: 1947-1952 --
8.3. Nicholas in the Theory Division: 1953-1958 --
8.4. Computing Division Goes to Market: 1953-1957 --
8.5. Golden Years of Elliott Computers: 1958-1965 --
8.5.1. Evolving Divisional Structure --
8.5.2. Autocode --
8.5.3. Algol --
8.5.4. Systems Software and Operating Systems --
8.6. Defence Applications --
8.6.1. Ground-Based Air Defence --
8.6.2. Artillery Control for the Army --
8.7. Computers in Education --
8.8. Last Days: A Plethora of (On-line) Applications --
References --
9. NCR, the 405 and Commercial Data Processing --
9.1. Early Commercial Applications of the Elliott 405 --
9.2. How NCR Became Involved: 1956-1957 --
9.3. Processing the Army's Payroll: A Snapshot of EDP Capabilities --
9.4. NCR's Activities in the Period 1956-1967 --
9.5. Strategic Appraisal: An Alternative View --
9.6. Market Competition in 1965 --
9.7. End of the NCR Arrangements --
9.8. Selling Computers: The Competition Increases --
References --
10. Evolution of Elliott Computer Architectures --
10.1. Early Years: High-Tech, High-Speed, High-Complexity --
10.2. New Directions for Borehamwood's Digital Technology --
10.3. Into the Market Place: The Elliott 401, 402 and 405 --
10.4. Address Modification, Indexing and General Register Sets --
10.5. Pegasus: The First Implementation of a General Register Set --
10.6. Word Lengths and Instruction Sets --
10.7. Borehamwood and Transistors --
10.8. Memory Management and Bulk Input/Output --
10.9. Magnetic Tape and Magnetic Film Storage --
10.10. Other Peripheral Equipment --
References --
11. EARS and Aerials: Elliott's Radar Achievements, 1950-1986 --
11.1. Introduction: John Coales' Legacy (1946-1950) --
11.1.1. Establishment of the Borehamwood Laboratories --
11.1.2. Radar: The Core of the MRS5 Contract --
11.2. Borehamwood Research Laboratories in the Early 1950s --
11.2.1. Mopsy and the Cassegrain Aerial --
11.2.2. Reorganisation and the Start of Elliott's Airborne Radar --
11.3. Elliott-Automation and the Changing Role of Borehamwood (1954-1967) --
11.3.1. Microwave Division --
11.3.2. Communications and Radar Research Laboratory, 1957-1960 --
11.4. Elliott Automation Radar Systems (EARS): 1960 Onwards --
11.4.1. Company Reorganisations --
11.4.2. Sensors and Signal Analysis --
11.4.3. Proposed Airborne Early Warning (AEW) Systems for the Navy --
11.4.4. EARS and the Aircraft Manufacturers: AEW Gathers Momentum --
11.4.5. Five Airborne Radar Projects that Did Not Bear Fruit (1962-1968) --
11.5. Forward to the 1980s --
11.5.1. End of an Era --
11.5.2. Airborne Interception (AI) and Foxhunter --
11.5.3. Nimrod Airborne Early Warning System --
11.6. Conclusions --
References --
12. Airborne Computing System Developments at Elliott-Automation, 1958-1988 --
12.1. Digital Computing Takes to the Air --
12.2. Verdan Computer --
12.3. Elliott 920B and 920M Computers --
12.4. Airborne Digital Computing Becomes a Separate Discipline --
12.5. 12 Series and the 920 ATC Digital Computers --
12.6. Computers for Nimrod and Jaguar --
12.7. Tactical Aircraft Attack Systems and Head-Up Displays --
12.8. Expanding into America: The A7 Contract --
12.9. Mirage, MIG and China --
12.10. Technological Marvels --
12.11. Influence of the F16 and American Standardisation --
12.12. Tornado and Nimrod --
12.13. Maritime Re-organisation --
12.14. Microprocessor Arrives --
12.15. Squeezing the Last Juice from the 920 ATC --
12.16. Epilogue --
References --
13. Mergers, Takeovers and Dispersals --
13.1. UK's Computer Landscape in the 1950s and 1960s --
13.2. Zenith of Elliott-Automation as an Independent Company --
13.2.1. Computing Sector of Elliott-Automation --
13.2.2. Company's Overall Financial Position --
13.3. Satisfying the UK's Business Data Processing Market --
13.4. Large Engineering Companies --
13.4.1. Electrical Giants --
13.4.2. GEC and Arnold Weinstock --
13.4.3. English Electric --
13.4.4. Marconi, a Famous Name --
13.5. Coalescing of Computer Interests: EELM and ICT --
13.6. Merger Between Elliott-Automation and English Electric --
13.6.1. Letter to Shareholders --
13.6.2. Government Encouragement for Rationalisation --
13.7. GEC Takeover and the Formation of ICL --
References --
14. End of the Line --
14.1. All Change at Borehamwood --
14.2. Meanwhile, in the Wider World of Information Technology --
14.2.1. Formal and Professional Qualifications --
14.2.2. Computing and Journalism --
14.2.3. BBC's Computer Literacy Project --
14.2.4. Minicomputers and Microprocessors --
14.2.5. Data Transmission and Wide-Area Networks --
14.3. Sorting Out the Pieces --
14.4. GEC Computers at Borehamwood and Dunstable in the 1970s --
14.5. GEC Series 63: A Very Difficult Project --
14.6. GEC Computers in the Mid-1980s: The End of Borehamwood's Independence --
14.7. Demise of Borehamwood --
14.8. Post-script: John Coales and Leon Bagrit as Public Figures --
References.
Series Title: History of computing (London, England)
Responsibility: Simon Lavington.

Abstract:

It examines how the dawn of the digital computer age in Britain took place for different applications, from early government-sponsored work on secret defence projects, to the growth of the market for  Read more...

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