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W.E.J. (John) Parry: Memoir

Abstract: Employed by Stewarts and Lloyds originally as engineer on their LEOII/3 computer and subsequently as programmer. Had received training as electrical engineer while doing extended National Service in RAF and in that capacity witnesses UK H bomb tests in Pacific Islands. Joined Stewarts and Lloyds at Corby after National Service and was transferred to help run the LEOII.  Subsequently joined ICL.
Has recently contributed to the Corby Heritage events commemorating, inter alia, to their story of LEO at Stewart & Lloyds. Provided two articles for the May 2018 "Legends” event, including John’s Story.
WEJ comments: Two mathematical jobs,  Anchor Problem and Best Mix ( "mineral job" ) were totally self contained jobs that I had little or nothing to do with.  Also if I remember correctly neither jobs were significantly modified to take advantage of the later addition of the Ferranti drum,  which if my memory is correct had a significant impact on the performance and running of the payroll suite. Because these two jobs were considered as "extra demanding" the operations staff used to advise us engineers when they were going to run these two jobs and when I was the duty engineer I used to go and listen to these two jobs running because they generated a totally different "music" to that we heard when running payroll. We engineers learnt a lot from the "music" during 30 mins or so of morning tests and this gave us a clue to how the system was behaving!  
For Stewarts & Lloyds Corby the payroll was the major financial justification, so why am I emphasising these two jobs when I knew so little of what were their commercial value to the overall LEO justification. I believe S&L in Corby in the early 1950s were an advanced and forward thinking company.  So bearing in mind the open mindedness of the Lyons management I suppose no surprise or justification to the S&L LEO II purchase but just showed how forward thinking a company Stewarts and Lloyds was.

Date : Unknown

Creator : LEO

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH53410. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.

W.E.J. (John) Parry: Memoir

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