Oral history of British science
Hoare, Tony (Part 8 of 15). An Oral History of British Science.
The British Library Board acknowledges the intellectual property rights of those named as contributors to this recording and the rights of those not identified.
Legal and ethical usage »
Interviewee’s home, Cambridge
Hoare, Charles Antony Richard, 1934- (speaker, male)
Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)
Part 8: Story about Elliott 4120 development: hardware designer Roger Dyke consulting software people over important instructions; design constrained physical size of computer case; by relative importance of automatic hardware subscript check and floating point divide. [03:30] Remarks on leaving Elliott: takeover of Elliotts limiting promotion and research prospects; unsuccessfully applying for a Chair at Manchester University on advice of Tom Kilburn; joining the National Computing Centre [NCC] in Manchester. [05:45] Remarks on NCC: trying to buy a house; finishing unfinished business; growing interest in formal definition of programming languages; lack of people in the office; [pause 07:35] Story about TH being offered a job at Queen's University Belfast: wife's negative initial reaction; rented university house vacated by predecessor Jim Brown. [10:30] Description of university house in Mount Pleasant, Belfast, which they eventually purchased, close to Lyric Theatre. [13:30] Comments on NCC: job title of consultant; job activities; anecdote about manager's response to his return from successful interview in Belfast; weekly commute. [15:45] Remarks on interview in Belfast, basing answers on a recent article by Peter Naur. [16:30] Discussion about status of programming: teaching of programming as a serious profession rather than the de-skilled programmers wanted by contemporary industry: Microsoft view of skilled programming to make use of cleverest people possible; anecdote about TH speech on programming at British Computer Society meeting; ICI recruiting programmers straight from school; good relations between Industry, University and Government in Belfast around education of programmers; industry placements for students; contacts with civil servants and industry, figures. [22:15] Remarks on background of the Troubles in Belfast: TH arriving in 1968; worried but found Ireland too lovely to live in to move out; Ulster Worker's Council Strike; returning to England for childrens' later education; house being evacuated bud to bomb scare; anecdote about feeling worried about returning after he left. [26:55] Remarks on liking Ireland, Belfast architecture, nice people, close countryside; feelings on becomming a professor.
Interview with computer scientist Sir Tony Hoare.