015 > Fortran for Algernon

015 > Fortran for Algernon

There’s a lot archive materials in my house and garage relating to the birth and evolution of the computer animation (and computer graphics) industry.

The archive truly is a thing of wonder, but there are so many questions left unanswered. My chats with TP (who was always so modest!), grade C maths and child-level Raspberry Pi skills were only allowing me only fleeting glimpses of pieces of the jigsaw.

I’m writing this in September 2020. Needless to say that ‘lockdown’ has had a negative impact on myself and others in many ways, but luckily for me something positive has come out of it all – and that is that some geniuses got a bit bored with  bored with the gardening…

Top left clockwise: Dr. Victoria Marshall (with Sir John Cockcroft, Sebastian de Ferranti and Tom Kilburn - switching on the Manchester Atlas 07/12/1962), Lockdown hair, Prof Bob Hopgood, Prof David Duce.

You see, to decipher what’s what in the archive requires more than ‘ordinary’ programming expertise (as if there’s such a thing). It requires a mind able to de-code obsolete languages written for obsolete hardware on pieces of paper that I might have accidentally reordered when I dropped them on the floor.

Of course some items will forever remain a mystery – and perhaps we’ll (I’ll) get something wrong at some point, but luckily that’s all conceptually okay : )

Dik Leatherdale, who wasn't at the zoom meeting above.

Right this post is getting way too long so I’ll just sign off by saying a huge big heartfelt thank you to my lockdown friends, ‘The Rosetta Stones’:

> Dr. Victoria Marshall, Atlas expert responsible for us all getting together. She also suggested we have a go at recoding The Flexipede. Dr. M is managing to find time to help me despite being busy during lockdown, operating the Gemini laser from her home. (Best not take her Iceland delivery slot.).

> Dik Leatherdale, friend of Tony’s, computer whizz/historian and editor of The computer Conservation Society’s ‘Resurrection Magazine’.

> Professor Bob Hopgood OBE, CG pioneer responsible for countless innovations at the beginning of the computer animation industry.

> Professor David Duce, Very clever man. When things are logically difficult he’s the main source of knowledge.

Cheerio for now,


Close Menu