Oral history of British science
Edwards, David (Dai) (Part 11 of 13). An Oral History of British Science.
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Legal and ethical usage »
Computer Software; Electronics
Interviewee's home, Preston
Edwards, David B.G., 1928- (speaker, male)
Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)
Part 11: Remarks on completion of MU5 project with aid of second grant. Comments on strained relationship with ICL over their lack of acknowledgement of the MU5 contribution to the ICL 2900, which displeased the SRC, dispute remarks on the contrary by ICL's Arthur Humphreys, Peter Hall, Geoffrey Cross and John Buckle. Remarks on meeting with Tom Kilburn and deciding to take legal action. [06:15] Remarks on taking over legal case. Remarks on TK's retirement and the death of his wife, dining with him and Hamish Sutherland. Comments on deciding to settle the legal case due to the cost and need to collaborate with industry, leading to talks with ICL at the Midland Hotel. Comments on settlement negotiated with David Dace for Perq workstations, discounts and money. [13:30] Comments on TK's reaction to the deal and later good relationships with ICL and Brian Warboys' appointment as professor. [15:30] Remarks on getting a grant to extend use of MU5 for software development and running benchmarks in ALGOL and Fortran, on which it compared well to the 7600, as written about by Ibbet and Morris. Remarks on MU5 success, lack of attention to the exchange, later importance of parallelism. [20:15] Remarks on similarities between ICL2900 and MU5. Comments on use of MU5 in the department for development purposes rather than providing a computer service, as the computer board provided computers for general use, by people such as Gordon Black, initially at UMIST. Remarks on split of computer science and computer service. Remarks on changes over the MU5 grant, such as the computer on a chip and larger memory. Further remarks on memory, with reference to the Lighthill report and artificial intelligence. [27:00] Remarks on microprocessors. Remarks on aim of MU6 to take advantage of integrated circuit advances to make a small powerful computer for development work.
Interview with computer scientist and electrical engineer David (Dai) Edwards.