The ICT 1301 Resurrection Project.
The Role of the Engineer
Who When and Where.
John was the first engineer for this system in London University.
And his remenicences
Wally was an engineer early in the lifetime of the 1301 systems.
Wally remembers the Stevenage 'Digs' or accomodation, for his Course which was
Number 1301/20 at Stevenage commenced 3rd December 1962 and finished 4th April 1963
(20 weeks). It was a very severe Winter in more ways than one, ICT had experienced problems
upgrading their mechanical based data processing engineers to the new semiconductor technology,
and uncertain of the wisdom of acquiring engineers externally with no prior experience of the
data processing business, decided to recruit twice as many as they needed culling the poorest
performers at the end of each successive month.
Sixteen hopeful fellows started the course and as predicted only eight finished.
Wally completed the course and worked initially at the highly visible Ministry of Public
Buildings & Works, located South of Lambeth Bridge, and in close proximity to the Houses of
Parliament and Lambeth Palace.
Wally even developed a lot of the engineers test programs which were used to test specific problem
area's. When an opportunity to emigrate to New Zealand was offered to Wally in March of 1963. He
wanted to stay with the newer semiconductor technology instead of moving to the 'low tech'
equipment which this would have involved working on.
His Field engineering Manager in those years was Dan Godfrey. After about six months he was selected to
take responsibility for the new Home Office contract at Tintagel House sited at the south end
of Vauxhall Bridge Road just down the Albert Embankment road from the MPBW. He returned to Stevenage
in August 1963 to participate in the build of the machine destined for Tintagel House and following
that he participated in its installation and the Treasury Support Unit (TSU) Acceptance tests.
Finally here, in his own words, is his true story
One evening I was running a program (hitting the actuators of all tape drives) and examining actuator
waveforms when Harry Stark, who was in charge of the Computer Unit, appeared with some Minister or other.
I stopped the program and shoved the scope out of sight.
He asked if I could demonstrate something (anything) so I started the program which randomly actuated
the decks in random order explaining that data was being read from 4 drives and sorted to the fifth.
Both were mightyly pleased
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 !
Feel free to email the project by clicking the spinning logo below,
wherever you see it on the Site.
Messages to any of the above will be forwarded