The ICT 1301 Resurrection Project.
To allow you to do this you were ( if you were lucky ) given a set of standard subroutines to access Mag tape records, do simple math and produce output on the Printer, the Card Punch or produce a new Mag tape file.
To enable all of this magic you were not given a Compliler, a Help system or a half decent assembler.
No you were given " Relativiser's " or Relative Relativizer Numbers or R.R.N's
These allowed you to code without the restrictions of absolute Drum and Store (IAS) adresses, all of the addresses bieng "Relative" to each other. Hovever there were only 99 relativizers available.
And here is my most favourite quote from the Manual.
Page 35 of the Bible about programming this system says !
" When several general purpose routines are bieng incorporated into a program it is possible that different routines may make differing uses of the same R.R.N. this is a problem which can be easily overcome by resetting the relativizers using relative relativizers"
WOW ! now that's as clear as Mud can get ( HUH ! )
So hats off to the Programmers who got anything to work at all !
And his Remenisences
Jim Contacted us about his early programming life at the Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society and his development of the first Actuarial Valuation Program for the company, on a 1301 computer, so without further delay click here to view a pdf of his words.
And her Remenisences
Pat did testing in the Factory and spent time in the Putney office
Pat has reminded me of some of the other people in putney, such as
Mike Curley and Mike Allen, the later of whom actually changed this ladies name.
Pat is going to raid her memories for news of what software she worked with !
And his Remenisences
Royce has contacted us to remind us about the languages from these days of computing hostory, Royce used MPL-2 a lot in Australia and now has been working on an interpreter to run MPL-2 on a PC. We are talking to Royce to see if he wants to make the interpreter available ?
Royce used MPL-2 a lot and even modifed the code when Sterling vanished and Dollar's came in !
And his Remenisences
Thanks to the experience I had at Galdor I've worked in IT throughout my career for all sorts of businesses and organisations - starting with the DHSS and Surrey County Council.
I worked in Sperry Univac EXEC 8 Asssembler for a while at Surrey and develped interfaces to let schools BBC and RM Micro's connect up the the SCC mainframes.
Lots of development stuff from programmer to architect and most of the last 20 years in all kinds of IT and Software House management roles. I'm IT director here at Inpharmatica which is an interesting Biotech with a pretty large infrastructure - lots of Linux plus the usual corporate stuff.
all the best Steve.
Drum Sorts - according to core size.
Magnetic Tape Sort(s) for the machines with Ampex tape decks (terribly unreliable at Selfridges). Division was done by subroutine (ICT provided).
I seem to remember that PAYE subroutines were provided by ICT as payroll was a popular application.
On the scientific side there were applications packages available for Linear Programming and "Least Cost Mix"
(Cattlefeed formulation - again Linear Programming).
ICT attempted to get "Rapidwrite" (A COBOL forerunner) off the ground on the 1301 but it flopped. Carreras Rothmans was a test site for this but it was abandoned.
The main applications at Carreras were Sales Orders, Sales statistics and production control. I wrote some sales analysis programs detailing where TV advertising was successful (and where chewing tobacco was sold, then a lot in Yorkshire where it was chewed "down the pit" by coal miners.
Most user wrote machine code directly in "relativised" blocks. Later an assembler called MPL was provided by ICT and this was widely used on the 1300.
Other "funnies" about the machine I remember that it was possible to set it on fire by program (constantly energising the printer "sprag" solenoids).
The machines were later modified with fuses or cutouts to prevent this!
Also - every six months the engineers were supposed to tap each PCB with A "Thorlite" hard/soft headed hammer - to find loose connections.
I remember seeing the low voltage supply being modernised on the Carreras Machine in 1964 or 1965 - it was originally lead acid batteries (telephone exchange technology!).
Still earlier I spent 3 days while at school at Letchworth and Stevenage (1959?) and saw Tabulators being built as well as the prototype ICT 1400 (with double triodes). This was abandoned when the IBM 1401 was launched and ICT obtained the 1301 design (From GEC telephones in Coventry?).
Anything else you want to know about programming the 1301 might still be in the recesses of my grey matter - I also know of another former 1301 programmer who is still around and contactable.
The Roll of Honour.
So many people have given time and help with this project we have created a
Roll of Honour to ensure nobody is forgotten !
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