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Computing for Research and Education: 1965
KDF9s for AEA
Winfrith took possession of a large KDF9 in December 1964 and was up to 2-shift working by June 1965. Culham also took delivery of a large KDF9 in March 1965.
By 1965, computers defined in the Flowers Report had started to arrive in universities. The Elliott 803 computers had been installed and the first round of English Electric KDF9s had arrived. Making a good estimate of total power during this period as a result becomes more difficult.
The KDF9s did not come to expectations early on and were performing at no more than 0.1 of an Atlas rather than the 0.3 anticipated.
The table below gives a fairly complete snapshot of exactly who had what in 1965. It almost certainly has some minor errors. The table includes the computers in the Research Councils.
|Belfast||Deuce||1963?||Loaned by US Navy|
|Birmingham||KDF9||1965||Passed acceptance 21 June 1965|
|Bristol||Elliott 803||Originally offered London's Mercury|
|Cambridge||Atlas Titan||1965||MTBF 3 hours, 2-shift basis|
|Edinburgh||Offered Durham's Pegasus|
|Glasgow||KDF9||1964||Previously a Deuce, before that Manchester's Mark 1|
|Liverpool||KDF9||1964||Previously a Deuce|
|London||Atlas||1963||25% owned by BP, 2-shifts, 60-95% efficient, previously a Mercury|
|Manchester||Atlas||1962||Owned by ICT, service to Edinburgh, Nottingham, UMIST|
|Oxford||KDF9||1965||Previously a Mercury|
|Sheffield||Mercury||1963?||Second-hand from Manchester, previously a Pegasus|
|Southampton||Pegasus||1958||ICT 1907 in 1967|
|St Andrews||Stantec Zebra||1963|
The relative powers of these machines is also difficult to assess accurately as they are very dependent on the size of job and the language in which they were programmed as well as the basic machine speed. An approximate comparison is given below.
With most computers requiring a high level of manual intervention, the number of shifts worked per day is also a factor in assessing overall output.
|Elliott 803||4K 39-bit words||576||0.4|
|Ferranti Mercury||1K 40-bit words||180||1.0|
|English Electric KDF9||16K 48-bit words||12||10.0|
|Atlas||48K of 48-bit words + paging||1.6||80.0|
|IBM 1620||2K 30-bit words||560||0.1|
|IBM 704||32K 36-bit words||100||2.5|
|IBM 7090||32K 36-bit words||4.36||15.0|
|IBM Stretch||128K of 64-bit words||1.2||60.0|
|Ferranti Pegasus||56 39-bit Words, 5K paging Drum||640||0.1|
This should be seen in the context of one Atomic Energy Establishment (AWRE Aldermaston) whose computing facilities are listed below.
(Mercury = 1)