The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.

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7:08pm on Monday, 3rd February, 2014:

Old Names


The 50th anniversary of Essex University is coming up this year, so each department is trying to contact people who used to work there in order to ask them if they want to come along to the big event. For Computer Science, this includes people who worked in the Computer Service and admin staff.

I'm quite surprised how many people in Computer Service I remember: Miles Welsh, Noel Wilson, Sandy Holder (now Hart), Shirley Christie, Mike Kenning, Bernard Sufrin, Pete Gardner, Alan Stanier, plus computer operators (yes, that used to be a job title) Simon Rudd and Paul Smith. I also remember operators called Tom and Lynne, but I never knew their surnames.

This was back when Essex University only had one computer and it actually needed staff to look after it. The operators worked with it 24/7 in three shifts in what is now a room with something like 60 or 70 PCs in it and probably just as many mobile phones (which are far more powerful computers than the DECsystem-10 was). How times change.

Sigh. I'm starting to sound like my grandfather, except in his case he was a farm labourer who saw the 25% of the farmland in the UK that used to be set aside for horses turned over to crops.

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Copyright © 2014 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).