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Conversation: J. M. M. Pinkerton

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129416D
Original Publication Date: 1983-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

CHRISTOPHER EVANS: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Tape 6 in Christopher Evans's ";Pioneers of Computing"; series is a 1975 interview with John M. M. Pinkerton, edited excerpts of which are printed here. A focal point of the interview is Pinkerton's role in the design and construction of LEO I at J. Lyons & Co. in Great Britain. LEO (Lyons Electronic Office) was inspired by and based on Maurice V. Wilkes's pioneering EDSAC and was one of the first electronic computers designed specifically for commercial rather than scientific use. LEO heralded today's revolution in office work -- a revolution whose ultimate impact is still in our future.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1983 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

Conversation: J. M. M. Pinkerton

CHRISTOPHER EVANS

(INTERVIEWED BY)

  (Image Omitted: © 1983 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Permission to copy without fee all or part of this material is granted provided that the copies are not made or distributed for direct commercial advantage, the AFIPS copyright notice and the title of the publication and its date appear, and notice is given that the copying is by permission of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. To copy otherwise, or to republish, requires specific permission. Adapted from "Pioneers of Computing." Tape 6, Science Museum, London, with permission. Science Museum London Copyright. Categories and Subject Descriptors: A. O [General] -- biographies, J M. M Pinkerton; K.2 [History of Computing] -- hardware LEO, J. M. M. Pinkerton, people. General Terms: Design, Experimentation. Additional

Key Words and Phrases: J. Lyons & Company, M, V Wilkes. © 1983 AFIPS0164- 1239/83/010064-072

Conversation: J. M. M. Pinkerton

CHRISTOPHER EVANS

(INTERVIEWED BY).00/00)

Foreword

Henry S. Tropp

Tape 6 in Christopher Evans's "Pioneers of Computing" series is a 1975 interview with John M.
M. Pinkerton, edited excerpts of which are printed here. A focal point of the interview is Pinkerton's role in the design and construction of LEO I at J. Lyons & Co. in Great Britain. LEO (Lyons Electronic Office) was inspired by and based on Maurice V. Wilkes's pioneering EDSAC and was one of the first electronic computers designed specifically for commercial rather than scientific use. LEO heralded today's revolution in office work -- a revolution whose ultimate impact is still in our future.

For those interested in some background material, I suggest reading J. R. M. Simmons's "LEO and the Managers" (London, MacDonald, 1962; see a review in the Annals, Vol. 2, No. 4, p. 382), particularly pages 13-30 and 1 15-1 18. Here are a few excerpts from that source.

LEO I was the first high-speed automatic computer ever to be set to work on commercial routines, regularly and as a matter of course.... LEO/ was finished on Christmas Eve 1953 and .
. . was straightaway put to work on a section of the Lyons payroll.... By being "put to work" is
meant that each week LEO did the whole job, beginning with the feeding in of the hours worked, the rates of pay, and all the other particulars for each employee, and ending with the production of the payslips from which the pay packets were made up.... Nothing like it had ever been done

IEEE Computer Society, Jan 01, 1983 Page 1 IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 5 Number 1, Pages 64-72

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Conversation: J. M. M. Pinkerton

before, and it was all done at high speed, LEO doing the work for one employee in about 1 1/2 seconds, what it w...