ACD Atlas Computing Division PERQ History

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ACDSingle User SystemsPERQ History

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This history section gives, in some detail, what took place when the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) defined a Common Software Base for single user workstations funded by SERC for research in academia. At the same time SERC signed a Memorandum of Agreement with ICL that they would work together to establish that software on a system manufactured in the UK by ICL, the Three Rivers PERQ.

The project lasted from about 1979 to 1985 and had an eventful and colourful history. The information here derives from an Audit of the Project that took place in 1985 and no attempt has been made to update it. However, material of interest to SERC but not of general interest has been omitted. There are quite a few twists and turns in the story so the whole project has been broken down into a set of phases that correspond approximately to the years of the project.

SERC and ICL jointly unpack the first PERQ from Three Rivers

SERC and ICL jointly unpack the first PERQ from Three Rivers
Large View

Examining the PERQ are Charlie Portman of ICL and Bob Hopgood from SERC. Looking on at the back are Roger Vinnicombe of ICL and Colin Prosser, David Duce and Bill Sharpe of SERC. On the left are two ther people from ICL. After getting the PERQ to work (it had been damaged in transit), ICL took it to bits to see what made it tick.