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Computer History



Speech to 50th Anniversary of computing at Oxford University, 8-Jun-07

Alex-Reid-OUCS-50th-Anniversary.AVI

History of Me and Computers

50th Anniversary of My First Program (Nov 1961)

The 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

WREDAC


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

IBM 7090

My second computer - an IBM7090 Picture

DEC PDP-6

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: HERE
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

IBM 1620

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...

First Microcomputer

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 UWA

For some of the history of computers in WA and at UWA (including WARCC), see HERE

Cyber 72

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

Manchester "Baby"

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



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