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Nev Ramsden kiosk

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Ref No:NR00003
Title:Nev Ramsden kiosk
Transcript:

I worked all my life, from the day I started to the day I retired in, in 229, in Analytical Services, I never left, but I had a tremendous range of jobs.  Because, remember I said that I was interested in electronics and Id done a Telecommunications City and Guilds, I could wield a soldering iron, right?  And because of that and because of one of the physicists, in 229 said The future is computers, right?  Er, We ought to be into computers and he had a very forward thinking erm, Boss Man, who said Yes and we thought about it, what can we use a computer for?  Well we had two rooms full of automatic counters, that was for counting radioactivity on sample trays that had been prepared by the chemists, okay?  And we kept employed a gang of girls, because their fingers are better, at this kind of thing.  Calculating the results from the counts that came off the counters, okay?  Doing the calculations, putting them on the form.  There was three or four of them, going, virtually all the time, taking the results from these counters, calculating the results, sending them off.  Wouldnt it be a good idea if we used a computer, to do this?  Made for the job.  So Vic Barnes, lad from Keswick, bright lad, designed a computer, to do this job, er from mini logs as they were called, er, made by a firm called Elliott Automation, now... progra, er, computers in those days, A were brand new, B you didnt programme them like you do today, put different programmes in, you built them to do a specific, one job, if you like and the programme was hard wired in with dials, on a board and thats what it did.  So, the instrument department, knew nothing about transistors, they were valve people, okay?  And therefore they didnt want to know about these new fangled transistors, so Vic designed and people who knew how to use a soldering iron, soldered and because people knew that I was into electronics, I was drafted in with John Murgatroyd, who had been in the RAF er, in the, Servicing, so he was a knowledgeable type.  Flash Smith and another one.  Vic designed, we built.  Built them on boards and it went into a big console, the boards, maybe seven foot... across, about that high and across the front.