Speech to 50th Anniversary of computing at
Oxford University, 8-Jun-07
History of Me and Computers
50th Anniversary of My First Program (Nov 1961)
first Program Alex ever wrote:
Written for the WREDAC computer at WRE, Salisbury, SA
Started November 1961
Published 15 January 1962
7-page program specification: page 1 page 2 page 3 page
4 page 5 page 6 page 7
Photo of WREDAC Wredac.jpg
Further information on Wredac can be found at
Jack Smith's Website, located at http://members.ozemail.com.au/~jacksmith/wredac.htm
Or on Roger Clarke’s website at http://www.rogerclarke.com/SOS/AISHist.html
And a little at http://www.austehc.unimelb.edu.au/tia/591.html
My second computer -
an IBM7090 Picture
My first Time-Shared computer - the Digital Equipment Corp PDP-6.
This was delivered to the University of WA in May 1965, and became the first
commercially-delivered time-shared computer anywhere in the world.
Pictured before it left the factory in Maynard, Massachussetts:
Pictured on delivery, with Dennis Moore sweeping up: HERE
Pictured towards the end of its useful life (1972), with Dennis Moore and
Yow Kwan: HERE
The first computer
in Western Australia was the IBM 1620 delivered to the University of
WA in September 1962. The console and keyboard of that computer are still
intact - pictured together on 13-Dec-02 HERE.
Console close-up (L-half) HERE.
Console close-up (R-half) HERE.
Keyboard close-up HERE.
The following picture shows how they should look if/when properly housed, taken
from the Installation Manual: www.alex-reid.com/Personal/IBM1620-console-from-manual.jpg
Colour photograph HERE (borrowed from http://ed-thelen.org/comp-hist/)
A plan is being hatched to reconstruct some suitable housing...
I purchased my first
microcomputer in 1979. It probably was one of the first
microcomputers in WA.
It was an Ohio Scientific Challenger 1P, pictured: HERE
Its technical details can be seen HERE
An amusing anecdote concerning its programming and where it led the
programmer (my son) can be seen HERE
Brief History of Computers in WA & at
For some of the
history of computers in WA and at UWA (including WARCC), see HERE
Photo of the Cyber
72 which formed the heart of WARCC when first established (1972) - with
Janette Wrightson (Robin Collins in background): HERE
And the console is gathering dust in a UWA store - see: HERE
In June 1998 I
attended a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the creation of "Baby"
at Manchester - the first programmed computer in the world. It has been
rebuilt and a photo can be seen: HERE