Manchester University Atlas - 1960s 1 of 33
Core Memory (single wires)
Nottingham University's Cripps Computing Centre started in 1962 (funded by the Cripps family) under director Mike Pitteway. The centre consisted of a data link to the Manchester University / Ferranti Atlas until we obtained our own computer in 1965. Punched paper tapes were fed to the link (housed in the Engineering Faculty here), and were punched out again at Manchester. These tapes were fed into Atlas, the results were punched on paper tape, which was then taken to the next room, fed into the Manchester end of the link and punched out at Nottingham. The tapes punched out here were fed into a "Flexowriter" for printing.
We were allocated a half hour of Atlas time every afternoon. The data link often broke down, and we then had to take the punched paper tapes to Manchester by motor bike or mini-van.
Before this Nottingham University had made a choice between having its own computer (which would have been an IBM 1620) or a small share of Atlas, a much larger and more sophisticated machine. The decision to choose a link to Atlas was correct, Nottingham users were then in the forefront of computer developments instead of surviving on a more backward local machine.
Nottingham differed from most universities in setting up an independent computing centre, not attached to any academic department. Later most other universities adopted this pattern.
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