Old photographs of the Newcastle University Computing Service.

Photographs of people

Where you see (TB) at the end of a paragraph it means that Terry Betteridge
made a correction/addition to the text, his memory is phenominal.

Dick Woodman, the IBM engineer
working on a 1403-N1 line printer.

These were electro mechanical devices par excellance.
Printing 1000 lines per minute
132 characters per line
132 hammers striking paper onto an inked ribbon
onto a print train of characters whizzing round
at a 1000 revolutions per minute.

Things got worn out
and needed maintenance.

This is how computers were delivered. I think this is a Rotary Converter going in to
the old telephone exchange room at the Mezzanine Level because the railings have been removed.

Circa 1974 seven computer operators by the IBM 360/67 operators console. Now try for names:
Ada Davison (Chrisp), Ann Muers(Mcgruther), Catherine Miller, Valerie Crossley, John Knutson,
Dave McGuire, Olive Patterson.(TB)

Dave McGuire and Ada Davison (Chrisp) at IBM System 360/67 operator's console. (TB)

This is the IBM System 360/67 circa spring 1968 when it only had 500KBytes main memory.
That is Dorothy Baird changing a 30MByte disk pack on one of the 9 disk drives,
(only 8 useable) so totalling 240MBytes, and Ann Roberts (Eleanor Beeckmans).(TB)

To the right of Ann Roberts is the System 360/67 CPU panel and top right the 2301 drum storage,
this stored about 4MByte and was used for pages of virtual memory essential for interactive computing.

This is Ada Davison (Chrisp) circa 1976 one of the computer operators at a sorting bench.(TB)

Computer output came off the line printers
on a continuos fan-folded listing paper
that was split into jobs output and sorted into boxes
A-C, D-F, G-I ... to make it easier
to put into the output racks.

Behind her is an 029 Card Punch machine
we do not have many photographs of them.

Here we have Norman Douglas a computer operator.

He is walking past a 2540 card-reader/punch.

Behind him is the IBM System 370/168 computer,
and behind that the racks of magnetic tape storage.

Eric Watson a systems programmer with a KDF9 magnetic tape drive behind and a fat computer listing in front
I think the listing is of an assembly of HASP (Houston Automatic Spooling Priority system).
Spooling was also an acronym - Simultaneous Peripheral Operations Online.

Peter Lomas a systems programmer in front of system 360 magnetic tape drives.
He has a magnetic tape write protect ring in his left hand, if this was not in a groove
the magnetic tape could not be written to.

This is Quentin Campbell working on a federation console.
As the photograph says it is 22nd July 1997. This is 5 years after the last mainframe computer,
so these machines are the core to the service to the users.

At the end of the row of computers is Terry Betteridge
who maintains of The Federation.

A bit better view of Terry Betteridge at work.

The blue tape on the floor indicated that the power supply underneath
was on the blue of the three phase electrical supply.
The other phases were red and yellow.

You did not have mixed phases within touching distance
otherwise you would have 415 volts instead 240 volts in the same place.
A much bigger risk of death.

This is a good view of the Amdahl 5860 mainframe. It does not include the tape drives.
In the foreground is two line printers, further back is a laser printer and plotter.
Behind them is three laser printers and two monitors. The red cabinets are disk drives,
(ten cabinets containing four 300MByte disk drives so totalling 12GBytes)
and the blue cabinet to the left housed the motor/generator. The CPU is the red cabinet
above my head and the cabinet to its right was the PDU (Power Distribution Unit).
The PDU controlled the sequence of turning power on to the cabinets.

This is the view of the Amdahl from the other end of the machine room.

This is Roger Broughton in front of the rear of a gate that contained the memory.
My recollection was 64MBytes. The two boxes on the end of the gate are power supplys.
They took alternating current and supplied direct current, each weighed about 50Kgram.

Those red ribbon cables above my head have been undone which suggests the Amdahl has stopped
and being taken apart which dates this to October 1992.

This is me with the same gate open, to the right is the PDU. The two grey cabinets
to the left and rear are air handlers that took air in the top, cooled it, blew under the floor
to cool the CPU.

Roger Broughton in his office. That is not a PC but a dumb terminal.

Roger Broughton in his office. Behind the terminal is the front panel of the IBM System 360-67 CPU.

This is Deborah Harris and Janice Burke in 1992. Two of the 7 or 8 computer operators.
Behind them is a notice board and set of pigeon holes, Everyone had their own pigeon hole
in this shared workspace to call their own.

In 1992 the Amdahl mainframe was decommisioned and taken apart.
These are the cables that connected the components together. The ones flat on the floor are channel cables,
There were two channel cables to each control unit, devices connected to control units.

This is two of the computer operators, Paul Baggott and Gordon Taylor.

Finally this is the boss
Elizabeth Barraclough.