LEO Catalogue Update: 22nd June 2021

22nd June 2021

Since our previous update, the following material has been scanned, catalogued and uploaded:

David Caminer papers - Lecture notes series

I have continued work on the papers of LEO programming pioneer David Caminer, over the past few weeks focussing on his extensive series of manuscript and typescript lecture notes.  David Caminer frequently gave lectures and talks on LEO, both within Lyons to the Board and for training on the Executive Course and for new LEO programmers, and further afield for both academic audiences and as part of a 'sales pitch' or report to clients.  He kept files of his notes, drafts and fair copies of these texts across a number of complex files, and although not all of them are easily identifiable (!), these have now been sorted, scanned, catalogued and uploaded as follows:

  • CMLEO/DC/LP/56557  (DTC/3/7) Draft Lecture Notes file (most undated, probably c1950s-early 1960s)
  • CMLEO/DC/LP/63719  (DTC/8/14)  Lectures - General file (c1955-1957)
    • CMLEO/DC/LP/63719/1  Northampton Polytechnic Summer School, Mar-Jul 1955.
      • Includes notes and correspondence on the contribution of the LEO team to a computing Summer School in July 1955 at the technology-focussed Northampton Polytechnic at Clerkenwell (now City University, or CUL). The draft of David Caminer's talk is a very useful introduction to the process of programming for LEO intended - using clear language and practical examples ('Suppose for example we want to multiply the quantity of Chocolate Swiss Rolls despatched by rail [...]') - for an audience of students. Accompanying talks were to be given by John Pinkerton (re: LEO facilities) and Tony Barnes (on the operation of LEO). The correspondence between David Caminer and Lyons Chief Assistant Comptroller T.R. Thompson is very interesting - it shows 'TRT' annotating the draft of David Caminer's talk with broad and not entirely helpful comments 'too negative', 'too much detail', 'too self conscious' (!)
    • CMLEO/DC/LP/63719/2  Research copy (typed out by a Lyons secretary) of an article by an unnamed author, "The Truth About the Electronic Brain" from publication The Director, April 1955, annotated (by TRT?) 'Mr Caminer for information'.
    • CMLEO/DC/LP/63719/3  [Untitled paper on LEO programming development]
      • Three drafts for David Caminer's contribution to a joint talk with John Pinkerton, relating to the development of LEO order code and programming technique from the EDSAC 'Initial Orders'.
    • CMLEO/DC/LP/63719/4  [Untitled paper on order code], Jul 1955. Four drafts at various stages for a talk on programming for LEO:
    • CMLEO/DC/LP/63719/5  F1 Lecture for 'Model Job' training course, 23 Feb 1956
    • CMLEO/DC/LP/63719/6  Convention on Digital-Computer Techniques, 10 Apr 1956
      • This appears to be a transcript of a spoken remark by David Caminer to a session of the Convention on Digital-Computer Technologies, presumably prepared (tidied and typed up) for the written proceedings of the conference and distributed.
    • CMLEO/DC/LP/63719/7  'In the next three quarters of an hour…' - a draft for an untitled lecture dated 9th October 1956
    • CMLEO/DC/LP/63719/8  Some Remarks on Data Processing on LEO, Apr 1957. Three drafts for a lecture given by David Caminer at the Royal Statistical Society:
      • CMLEO/DC/LP/63719/8/1  Annotated draft
      • CMLEO/DC/LP/63719/8/2  Typescript draft and LEO jobs timetable
        • This draft includes a copy of a weekly timetable for jobs as they were run on LEO which was sent to the Royal Statistical Society, presumably to be used as a handout or projection during David Caminer's talk. The timetable (see illustration) is fascinating as it shows clearly how running time on LEO was distributed between the various projects or 'jobs' (the job numbers are given), and that 8.30am-11am every weekday was reserved for maintenance and testing of the machine
      • CMLEO/DC/LP/63719/8/3  Annotated draft with notes on LEO jobs (with codes)
        • This draft includes detailed calculations for the LEO running hours of the various jobs by code, then a clear description of what all the jobs are.  For example we can see that the long-running mathematical job O51, which in January 1957 was run overnight every night and for all of Sunday, was for calculating the shortest distances between any two stations in England, Scotland and Wales
    • CMLEO/DC/LP/63719/9  Newman  [Symposium notes?]
      • Handwritten notes by David Caminer evidently taken during a series of talks by different speakers (perhaps at a conference or symposium). Headings representing the various speakers/topics include Newman, UNIVAC I, Berners-Lee and Wiseman
    • CMLEO/DC/LP/63719/10  [Untitled seminar contribution], 10 Apr 1956. Draft for a spoken remark by David Caminer to be given at an unnamed seminar or conference for which the LEO team did not present a full paper (for which he expresses guilt in his opening paragraph)
    • CMLEO/DC/LP/63719/11  Executive course: Payroll lecture. Notes for an undated lecture on payroll applications for LEO, to be given as part of the internal 'Executive Course' (a training programme for LEO Computers within Lyons)
    • CMLEO/DC/LP/63719/12  An Introduction To Programming. Fair copy of a talk given as part of a training course in coding clerical jobs, including handouts
    • CMLEO/DC/LP/63719/13  The Parts of LEO.  Fair copy of a useful introductory description of the elements of LEO, including a flowchart showing how the various parts of the system interact
  • CMLEO/DC/LP/63721  (DTC/8/12)  Lectures - General file, c1957-1960s
    • CMLEO/DC/LP/63721/1  Costing and Production Control, 12 Apr 1957. Fair copy of a paper by David Caminer - perhaps from  a training lecture - giving an excellent description of the process of building a LEO application for an unidentified client, in this case 'a light engineering company' who made clocks
    • CMLEO/DC/LP/63721/2  Computers for the Smaller Firm, 12 Oct 1959.
    • CMLEO/DC/LP/63721/3  Export Aspects of Marketing, 20 Nov 1959
    • CMLEO/DC/LP/63721/4  How to Make An Appraisal (T.R. Thompson), Mar 1959.  This is a draft of a paper by T.R. Thompson, the title of which David Caminer used for a paper of his own a year later.
    • CMLEO/DC/LP/63721/5  Problems of Auditing Computing Data (T.R. Thompson), June 1959. Notes by T.R. Thompson on his lecture to the British Computer Society Conference in Cambridge.
    • CMLEO/DC/LP/63721/6  Correspondence regarding visits, May-June 1961. 
    • CMLEO/DC/LP/63721/7  Interior Design Consultation correspondence, May-June1961. Internal memos between David Caminer and Miss K. Darby from the Lyons Design Section give a small glimpse into the difficulties of organising the interior decoration of the computer installation area.
    • CMLEO/DC/LP/63721/8  Lectures to Outside Institutions, Sep 1961-Mar 1962. Correspondence demonstrating the high demand for talks by the LEO team outside Lyons in the early 1960s.
    • CMLEO/DC/LP/63721/9 Mechanisation and Automation
    • CMLEO/DC/LP/63721/10 Eagle Star draft
    • CMLEO/DC/LP/63721/11 EDP for the Small Concern
    • CMLEO/DC/LP/63721/12 How To Make An Appraisal (almost final draft)


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