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I was Shell Mex and BP’s chief programmer when we acquired our first LEO III in 1963 (LEO III/6) and was involved in the studies and decisions which led to its acquisition. We later acquired another LEO III and 2 LEO 326’s which were considerably faster. Our computer centres were in Hemel Hempstead and Wythenshawe.
LEO were in competition with ICL and IBM and succeeded first because they had the most suitable machine and second because of their skill in persuading our management that they were right for the job. ICL had a grand machine on the stocks then but typically, it never saw the light of day. I designed a massive sales accounting system with help from John Aris. Such a pity that LEO did not have the resources to create the next generation. I was lucky enough to be in another area while a traumatic transition to Univac took place.
The LEO users group brought me into contact which such as Dunlop and Imperial Tobacco. The latter was worth a visit to Bristol as they gave away a box of cigarettes to their visitors.Date : 2020
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