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Moving Targets: Elliott-Automation and the Dawn of the Computer Age in Britain, 1947 - 67 (History of Computing)by Simon Lavington
Synopses & Reviews
Moving Targets charts the gradual take-up of Information Technology in Britain, as seen through the eyes of one innovative company - Elliott-Automation - and remembered by those who worked for that company. The story touches on the strategic, technical and economic history of the 1950s and 1960s, through such themes as: secret computers built for the Admiralty and for GCHQ at Elliott's Borehamwood Laboratories; the changing balance between analogue and digital techniques; the challenges of commercial data processing and the marketing arrangement between Elliott and NCR; the introduction of low-cost, reliable computers and their application to industrial control and to avionics; the growing importance of software and the Elliott Algol compiler; and the market rivalry between the Elliotts and other British computer manufacturers such as English Electric and Ferranti Ltd. Simon Lavington, M.Sc., Ph.D., FIEE, FBCS, is emeritus professor of Computer Science at the University of Essex and the author of many publications. He retired in 2002 and is a committee member of the BCS Computer Conservation Society.
The Elliott-Automation company was an active participant in the birth of the information age in Britain. By 1961, the company was supplying 50% of the digital computers delivered to UK customers in that year. Yet by the end of that decade, Elliott-Automation had effectively disappeared in a flurry of takeovers, leaving little apparent trace of the technical excellence that had once characterised the name Elliott.
Moving Targets charts the gradual take-up of information technology in Britain, as seen through the eyes of one innovative company.
This book charts the take-up of IT in Britain, as seen through the eyes of one company. 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 Elliott computers for civil applications. Features: charts the establishment of Elliott's Borehamwood Research Laboratories, and the roles played by John Coales and Leon Bagrit; examines early Elliott digital computers designed for classified military applications and for GCHQ; describes the analogue computers developed by Elliott-Automation; reviews the development of the first commercial Elliot computers and the growth of applications in industrial automation; includes a history of airborne computers by a former director of Elliott Flight Automation; discusses the computer architectures and systems software for Elliott computers; investigates the mergers, takeovers and eventual closure of the Borehamwood laboratories.
Table of Contents
The Navy Comes to Borehamwood A Glint on the Horizon The Secret Digit Analogue Expertise NRDC and the Market Process Control and Automation: the Bagrit Vision Automation: the Machines and the Applications Software and Applications at Borehamwood NCR, the 405 and Commercial Data Processing Evolution of Elliott Computer Architectures EARS and Aerials: Elliott's Radar Achievements Airborne Computing System Developments at Elliott-Automation, 1958 - 1988 Mergers, Take-overs and Dispersals The End of the Line
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