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Comments, Queries, and Debate: The Real Time Club Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129585D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Dec-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Document File: 2 page(s) / 15K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Rex Malik: AUTHOR [+2]


107 North End Road London, NW11 7TA, UK

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

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Copyright ©; 1989 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

Comments, Queries, and Debate: The Real Time Club

Rex Malik

107 North End Road London, NW11 7TA, UK

In his article "Data Communications at the National Physical Laboratory (1965-1975)" (Annals, Vol. 9, No. 3/4, p. 228), Martin Campbell-Kelly does me more honor than I deserve. The "Real Time Club" was really the idea of Alan Marshall, a man singularly unsung in the annals.

He was, is, not any old Alan Marshall either. He will be known to many more ancient American readers. His early studies were on Whirlwind, he was a senior figure at a very early age on the SAGE system design team, and he had as head of DP operations for the U.S. Navy at 29 years old been the highest ranked man for his age in the U.S. government. He had also, of course, been on what was essentially the oversight board of Project MAC.

He had left all this behind, now had a software and systems business in Sweden, and was expanding into the U.K. He needed people to talk to and thought "something should be done" -- potent words in this country.

So did I. As then the most notorious of Europe's computer-related journalists, which was not difficult as the lot of us then could have been sat around a small table, I was constantly in trouble for asking rude questions of the industry, about when we would have terminals/power in the home, and, please, could we do away with all this after-the-event stuff. Indeed, Dick (R. W.) Evans of Time Sharing (Annals, Vol. 9, No. 3/4, p. 243) was to be first in Europe to take a terminal home, which does not count as he partly owned and ran that first European timesharing utility, Time Sharing Limited. I was to be the second, and I was to seek to work out what it might be used for and to try to teach my young sons something.

Anyway, I was known to Marshall, who asked me if I could think of people who might be willing to form some sort of dining club to swap experience or the lack of it. I made some suggestions and talked to Charles Ross, a man of unbounded energy and enthusiasm, who had started a company which was devising the SCAN (stockmarket computer answering network) and can then lay claim to being one of the fathers of today's financial information/dealing networks. He immediately brought in other...