Elliott 405 documents

A friend of mine recently sent me a packet with a few documents belonging to his late father. The father managed the LEAPS computer centre for the GPO in the 1960s, which had two National-Elliott 405 machines. I thought the esteemed members of this parish might find the docs interesting. I’m going to be making PDF versions available on my blog, and there’s an introductory post here: https://mansfield-devine.com/speculatrix/2022/01/elliott-405-a-fascinating-glimpse-into-vintage-computing/

More to come soon.


A great post and a promising start - thanks!

From it, I’d like to highlight this silent movie about the installation in 1959 of one of these National Elliott 405 machines, at Reckitt & Sons in Hull (a cleaning products company.)

You’ll see several wheeled transports, fork lift action, a mobile crane, and lots of unsafe hands-on unpacking and installing. You’ll see a magnetic storage drum and a motor-generator set. You’ll see underfloor cables being pulled, and a lot of wiring being finished off. And you’ll see a flowchart on a blackboard, and some data entry, and much more besides.

I also found this post, in French, with some nice photos and details:

(I would think that the delay storage corresponds most closely with today’s registers, the drum storage with RAM, and the tape and disk storage with our filestores.)

There’s a working Elliott 803 at TNMoC which is well worth seeing - and also a 903 with an upcoming online event to have a go at programming it.

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Good point. Could you do me a favour and leave a comment to that effect on the blog? I’m happy to be corrected and I think it would be useful to have the correction with the original.

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Sure thing, done! (Peter Onion once spent most of an afternoon chatting to me about the 803, and showing the supersize book of schematics for it.)