Faded Screens: Early Computing
Faded Screens: Early Computing
Faded Screens studies the early computers which were accessed and used by schools and businesses before the advent of the Personal Computer.



Generalisations and personal recollections are used in the text, pending more detailed research.

Photo courtesy of Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL).
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Intro

Faded Screens studies the early computers which were accessed and used by schools and businesses before the advent of the Personal Computer.

Timeshare

This gave access to a mainframe or mini computer and was typically used by colleges via dial-up lines using a teletype machine...

The Teletype Terminal
The Teletype Terminal
This teletype was typically used to input and run BASIC commands on a remote mini computer. The programs could be stored on paper tape (see tape punch/reader on left).




Photo courtesy of Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL)
   
The Cossor VDT

Early computer applications in the Post Office Telecommunications used Cossor terminals to access remote mainframes.

The Cossor VDT
The Cossor VDTs (Video Display Terminals) were very bulky pieces of kit by today's standards.

I think the Post Office examples were finished in matt black. Applications were interrogation of CRR (Customer Rental Records) via the TOLD (Telecommunications On Line Data) network.



Photo courtesy of Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL)
   
Ferranti PT7

These 1983 adverts portray the PT7 and Telex Manager as unobtrusive items of office furniture.


Ferranti PT7 Ferranti Telex Manager
   


PT7s in British Telecom
Ferranti PT7s
In the 1980s, British Telecom's Accounts and Sales Offices used Ferranti PT7s to operate 'BEST' and 'MOH' systems, which linked to remote mainframe computers.




Photo: Ferranti PT7s in a BT Sales Office Light Straw circa 1986.
   



Books
Accidental Empires
Exploring the culture which begat the Personal Computer, Accidental Empires details the early histories of Apple, Intel, Microsoft and others.



Book: Accidental Empires by Robert X. Cringely
   



Links

www.chilton-computing.org.uk hosted by Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL).



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