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gajjer

Tomorrows world

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8 hours ago, Gina said:

In the 1960s I designed what turned out to be the first specialised micro-chip in the UK - it was produced by Plessey.

What device was that Gina? I did a couple of years designing analogue ICs myself. A fascinating time but it was a nervous time waiting for that first silicon to come back.

cheers

gaj

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It was part of a signal analysis system involving correlation between two signals and used a mixture of analogue and digital techniques.

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Just now, Gina said:

It was part of a signal analysis system involving correlation between two signals and used a mixture of analogue and digital techniques.

Sounds interesting. I loved those analogue days. Up until retirement I had saved loads of 'useful' bits that I planned to put to good use on the cold winter nights of retirement. Oscilloscope tubes, loads of power transistors, motor rotors ( for brushless motors ); all sorts of things. Back in the 70s there were loads of designs for audio amps and synthesizers were really taking off. I had thoughts of reliving that era. And then reality set in and I realised that I probably wouldn't spend a lot of time making something that I can buy from China for silly money. So now, I'm playing with quadcopters instead. Hey, adapt or get stuck in a rut.

Oh yes - and I'd quite like to do some astrophotography if we ever get appropriate weather.

cheers

gaj

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12 hours ago, gajjer said:

Gina.

I too started with a slate. I like to think it was an early Tablet!

I also used my first microprocessor back in 1974 ish. It had 128 bytes of RAM - not kilobytes - bytes. I loaded programs ( albeit small ones ) with paper tape loaded from a teletype. Later I added a fast tape reader and stored subroutines in an EPROM. I wrote in machine code and learned most of the common 6800 instructions. We didn't have a development system - well it was British Gas!

Starting to sound like Monty Python's eating gravel sketch here. Best stop.

cheers

gaj

I didn't use a slate but I certainly remember being taught to use an abacus at Junior school. Computer wise, at Technical College in the early 70s we were taught (or they tried) to teach us Algol. This was typed out and put onto punch tape. This was then fed into a tape reader which when connected to Northampton County Hall (I think?) duplicated the punch tape which was then fed into the main frame computer. Later in the day the whole process was reversed and the result printed out at College. By that time, if it was a mathematical type problem we had already worked it out ourselves. The best thing it ever did, ahem, was to print out a giant picture of Raquel Welch on the blue and white banded sheet print out paper. I think my first PC was an ex-corporate 286 with 128lkb (I think) of ram with a 5.25" proper floppy disk. I think it must have run dos5 then.

 

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Hi Ian

Don't remember using an abacus but we did have them at school. I used Algol when I was at university. Similar to you, typing the program into a teletype tp produce the paper tape, the queuing to feed it into the Elliot 901 ( I think ) before getting an error message. Then back to the teletype and stepping through the tape till you got to the error, inserting a correction and then stepping on with the copying of the tape. It's no wonder I had no interest in computers back then. It was at a British Gas Research station I really started with a 6800 processor. Then on to an aerospace company where I used 9900 processors. I think the mil version was £400 and that was late 70s, so a lot of money. And that my friends is how I became the great success I am today - oh hang on! What a great time though. I never wanted to earn a lot, just be involved with interesting projects and I did that alright. Gas turbine engine controls, flight management computer, helicopter auto-stabiliser, motor cycle engine controls and finally diesel engine controls. And I would say, I think Tomorrows World played a part in grabbing my interest.

And now retirement and I get to do my own thing. Who knows where that will lead.

cheers

gaj

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On April 1st there was always some kind of attempt at pulling a prank on TV, like pictures of people harvesting spaghetti trees, but I remember another one and I'm sure it was on Tomorrows World. They claimed that a secret scientific development had literally leaked out and it showed a tanker type lorry that had crashed somewhere out in the middle of  no-where and the tank had ruptured. The lorry was shown sat in the centre of this huge lake of water. They claimed that scientist had found the means of dehydrating water into powder which when exposed to air rehydrated. This would make supplying large quantities of water to barren areas very easy and the benefits to mankind was obvious.  Oh yes.

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3 minutes ago, gajjer said:

Similar to you, typing the program into a teletype tp produce the paper tape, the queuing to feed it into the Elliot 901 ( I think ) before getting an error message. Then back to the teletype and stepping through the tape till you got to the error, inserting a correction and then stepping on with the copying of the tape. It's no wonder I had no interest in computers back then.

Heck yes, I'd forgotten about all the errors (wiped from my brain) and having to do the whole damn thing all over again the following day!

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I'll second BBC Click. A great series with very regular episodes reporting from locations all around the world. Over 50 available on iPlayer!

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On 24/09/2018 at 23:59, Gina said:

In the 1960s I designed what turned out to be the first specialised micro-chip in the UK - it was produced by Plessey.

Wow Gina!

I'm a circuit designer too;)

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I loved Tomorrow's World, and on a whim there Googled it after seeing this thread, and found lots of episodes on YouTube. 

Randomly selecting one, it discussed the future where we'll have touch screens.... and indeed here I am on my smartphone ;)

PS I loved the Great Egg Race too!

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On 24/09/2018 at 23:26, LukeSkywatcher said:

He was telling me why many teachers wear jackets with leather patches on the elbows.

Mostly geography teachers, for some reason...

 

Thursdays with Tomorrow's World and Top of the Pops... those were the days!

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