Moving Targets

Elliott-Automation and the Dawn of the Computer Age in Britain, 1947 – 67

Simon Lavington,

Moving Targets: Elliott-Automation and the Dawn of the Computer Age in Britain, 1947 – 67

Moving Targets charts the gradual take-up of Information Technology in Britain, as seen through the eyes of one innovative company – Elliott-Automation – and remembered by those who worked for that company. The story touches on the strategic, technical and economic history of the 1950s and 1960s, through such themes as: secret computers built for the Admiralty and for GCHQ at Elliott’s Borehamwood Laboratories; the changing balance between analogue and digital techniques; the challenges of commercial data processing and the marketing arrangement between Elliott and NCR; the introduction of low-cost, reliable computers and their application to industrial control and to avionics; the growing importance of software and the Elliott Algol compiler; and the market rivalry between the Elliotts and other British computer manufacturers such as English Electric and Ferranti Ltd.

Simon Lavington, M.Sc., Ph.D., FIEE, FBCS, is emeritus professor of Computer Science at the University of Essex and the author of many publications. He retired in 2002 and is a committee member of the BCS Computer Conservation Society.

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