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AEX (6) 45
Extract from Minutes
During discussion the following points were made:
- The assessment of the likely needs of users of an Atlas computer other than the Authority referred to in previous discussions had been no more than guesses. the firm requests which had now been received revealed a somewhat different position, and it was rather surprising that no Government Department other than the Meteorological Office had expressed any interest.
- Undue reliance should not perhaps be attached to the validity of Cambridge and London Universities' assessment of their own needs, although their assessment had been endorsed by the University Grants Committee for planning purposes.
- It appeared clear that the Authority would in practice be the principal user of the machine. Moreover, the Authority had a firm short-term programme of work for it which was of a wholly different character from the long-term and less immediately important programmes of all of the other users except that of the Meteorological Office. It was therefore unfortunate from the Authority's point of view that the computer could only be secured under arrangements which gave the National Institute the responsible for its management.
- Nevertheless, the fact that the Authority would have a guaranteed minimum of time on the computer would not stop them from claiming whatever share might in practice be justified of the balance of the time. Moreover, the proposed arrangements have been arrived at as a result of careful consideration by the Departments concerned, and had to be accepted in order to make it possible to order an Atlas computer in time.
- took note of the points made in discussion;
- invited the Chairman to convey their misgivings about the proposed arrangements, to the Government Departments principally concerned.