Tuesday, October 3, 2017

History of Australian Computing Book Launch, Canberra, 9 October

Graeme Philipson
The book "A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing" by Graeme Philipson, will be launched by the Australian Computer Society (ACS), at the National Library of Australia in Canberra, 5:15pm, 9 October (please RSVP).
Some of Graeme's research for the book was posted to the ACS website in a series of "ACS Heritage Project" articles. I was delighted to be able to point Graeme to computer pioneer David Hartley, who I worked for briefly in Brisbane.

"Australia has a long and illustrious computing history. Trevor Pearcey’s Mark 1, known as CSIRAC, dates from 1947 was one of the first electronic computers in the world. There followed a range of other remarkable achievements, from remarkable people.

But Australia’s computing history is not well-known. This book is the first time it has been documented from the beginning. There have been corporate histories, and academic studies of various aspects of the industry, and a great many reminiscences. But they have never previously been brought together in a comprehensive history."

ps: John Bennett, features prominently in Australia's computer history and edited the ACS's previous history: "Computing in Australia : the development of a profession" (1994). In 1996, I was in the UK as President of the ACS to meet my BCS counterpart, I stopped off in Cambridge and handed Professor Robin Milner, Head of the Cambridge University Computer Lab a copy of the ACS history. He looked at the cover and said "Young John Bennett!". John had been a student at the university, building the EDSAC computer in the 1950s.

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