Oral history of British science
Brooker, Tony (Part 14 of 14). An Oral History of British Science.
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Interviewee's home, Thorpe-le-Soken
Brooker, Ralph Anthony, 1925- (speaker, male)
Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)
Part 14: Remarks on being computer service director at Essex importance of BA to service. Story about replacing ICL1900 with a DEC PDP-10, description of time-sharing on PDP, application to University Grants Committee and Ministry of Technology, difficulties caused by PDP computer not made in the Britain, vacation students taking time-sharing idea to industry, visit from the Flowers' Committee. [09:35] Remarks on PDP being used for university payroll. Story about PDP breaking down and transferring their tapes to Hatfield Polytechnic for processing. Further remarks on business of years at Essex, favourable reaction of university management to PDP. [12:49] Comments on taking part in this project: surprised to be asked, previous interview with Paul Thompson. Remarks on cough. Remarks on enjoying interview, not being an alpha-professor, business of years at Essex. [15:36] Comments on a research student at Manchester who worked on optimising the compiler-compiler, being too busy to write up work when he started at Essex, later work by the NPL. [19:40] Remarks on high points of career: Autocode and compiler-compiler on technical side; first 6 years at Essex on administrative side.
Life story interview with computer scientist Tony Brooker