DEUCE RECOLLECTIONS - EE LUTON - PETER & JOAN STANLEY

Can you stand the shock! - I've eventually got round to giving you our (wife and self) memories of Luton.

In terms of organisation, the 'programming' and 'operating' parts were under Dr. W. Hackett and the engineering under Roger Grimsdick.

The senior programmer was John O'Brien and among the programmers we can remember were Dick Bond, Arthur Musgrove, Vivian Kelly, Michael le' Goode, David Gibbons, Ian ? (Had a beard).

Operators included my wife (initially but later programming), Phyllis Evans, Leo ? and others whose names escape us.

In general, the programmers ran their own jobs on the machine with the help of the operators, who were mainly involved in re-punching cards or taking output cards for printing. Overnight the system was run by two operators (Leo ? and A N Other) doing routine work. We think, from memory this was simulator runs for the guided weapons design people. (Luton was designing and making ground to air missile systems - Red shoes?).

Roger Grimsdick was the head of the Simulator department, which was primarily concerned with the analogue computing facility. I had worked as an engineer for him but with the imminent arrival of DEUCE did the Kidsgrove course and was back in time for the installation by Frank Thompson. My immediate boss then was Ron Stokes who had some DEUCE experience but I don't remember where.

Because of the overnight work we had introduced a shift system for the three engineers (Me, Roger Bird and Fred Lunn) whereby one of us was on call overnight and if we were NOT called out we used to come in to help a colleague with the morning routine maintenance. If we had been called in we had the day off. I think the man who was going to be on call started at lunch time and finished more or less at normal time. Dave Smith joined us later on.

In its early days the Luton machine gave a lot of demonstrations to other department managers and some of their people, and later on the relatives of selected staff. We use to run the demonstration program (Scrolling text on the long line tube ... I am a Digital Electronic Computing Engine but you can call me DEUCE for short.) This was supplemented by a synchronised spoken version of the text which had been recorded by me. In addition to playing hangman and finding peoples birthdays, we used to show some 'real' work, with the equations being solved written out on a big chart and we used to tell everyone how long it took to find the solution. The machine also used to play them some music.

At Luton we had a very large analogue computer facility and with the encouragement of senior company management we linked DEUCE to this to produce some better quality music. (Analogue op-amps make beautiful oscillators). Can you imagine anyone sanctioning such frivolous activities today?

The system was 64 column and I'm fairly sure it was delivered like that. I don't remember any major mods.