[SIGCIS-Members] Fwd: News - The winners of the 2014 Tony Sale Award for computer conservation

Ian S. King isking at uw.edu
Sat Nov 8 13:45:39 PST 2014

I met the 1401 team last year - what a great group of people!  No only did
they restore these machines to running order, but made a conscious effort
to place them in context for visitors.  Restoring IBM machines is an
enormous challenge because of the company's 'isolationist' approach to
technology and engineering - SMS is a lot easier than SLT, though!  -- Ian

On Fri, Nov 7, 2014 at 3:54 AM, Brian Randell <brian.randell at newcastle.ac.uk
> wrote:

>  Hi:
>  I thought this news release might be of interest to SIGCIS members.
>  Cheers
>  Brian Randell
> Begin forwarded message:
>  *NEWS RELEASE from the Computer Conservation Society*
>  *The winners of the 2014 Tony Sale Award for computer conservation are …*
> *a virtual 1930’s mechanical computer  and a restored industry-changing
> computer.*
>  7 November 2014
>  The 2014 Tony Sale Award for computer conservation has been jointly
> awarded to two outstanding and contrasting entries representing computing
> in the 1930s and the late 1950s.
>  The winners are the *IBM 1401 Demo Lab*, a restoration of one of the
> most significant machines in computer history by the Computer History
> Museum in California, and *Z1 Architecture and Algorithms*, a virtual
> reconstruction of the 1930’s Konrad Zuse mechanical computer, by the Free
> University of Berlin.
>  Run by the Computer Conservation Society and sponsored by Google UK,
> this is the second Tony Sale Award for computer conservation. The first was
> won in 2012 by Dr David Link for *LoveLetters*, a computer art
> installation that continues to tour the world.
>  In announcing the 2014 winners, Martin Campbell-Kelly, computer
> historian and head of the judging panel, said: “The eight excellent entries
> for the 2014 Tony Sale Award from four different countries clearly
> demonstrates how computer conservation is flourishing more than 20 years
> after Tony Sale embarked on his pioneering and awe-inspiring reconstruction
> of a Colossus Mk II, a world-famous exhibit at The National Museum of
> Computing on Bletchley Park.”
>  The *IBM 1401 Demo Lab* is a classic reconstruction of a 50-year old
> commercial computer. It marked the transition of IBM as a supplier of
> accounting machines to it becoming the dominant supplier of the mainframe
> era. Announced in 1959, the IBM 1401’s success took everyone by surprise.
> The company had expected to sell or lease about 1,000, but went on to
> deliver 15,000 and by the mid-1960s they amounted to half of the computers
> in the world. Its high-speed chain printer was a key to its success --
> punched card machines were eagerly traded in for the IBM 1401 and business
> computing took a huge stride forward.
>  In a project involving 20 volunteers over ten years, two 1401s have been
> restored at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. The
> computers and the ancillary equipment including the famous 1403 chain
> printer are on permanent display and the working system is demonstrated
> twice a week. See
> http://www.computerhistory.org/atchm/restoring-the-ibm-1401/ for more
> information about the project.
>  The judging panel said: “The *IBM Demo Lab* is a flawless restoration of
> a machine that signalled a turning point in the computer industry and the
> use of computers in business.”
>  *Z1 Architecture and Algorithms, *the other joint-winner, is a virtual
> reconstruction of one of the world’s earliest computers, the Z1. Originally
> built in 1936-38, the Z1 was destroyed in a bombing raid in 1943. In the
> 1980s and then in his 70s, Konrad Zuse embarked on a reconstruction of the
> Z1 which is now a remarkable but static exhibit at the Technology Museum in
> Berlin. However, with 30,000 parts the reconstruction of the mechanical
> computer was unlikely to be robust or reliable enough for regular
> operation, so a team led by Professor Raul Rojas began a virtual
> reconstruction with a technical description.
>  Through the meticulous research of Professor Rojas, a team of his
> students was able to construct a 3D visual simulation of the arithmetic
> unit for deployment on the web. In addition, hundreds of high resolution
> photos of the Z1 enable web users to explore the machine from any angle at
> very high resolution. See http://zuse-z1.zib.de/ for the virtual
> reconstruction.
>  The judging panel said “*Z1 Architecture and Algorithms* is a remarkable
> vision of how such complex artefacts might be delivered to a worldwide
> audience. It is a project that will undoubtedly give museum curators pause
> for thought.”
>  Rachel Burnett, Chair of the CCS, said “The late Tony Sale would have
> been delighted with the entries that we have had in the year of the silver
> jubilee of our Society that he co-founded with Doron Swade.
>  “The computer conservation movement is dynamic and growing apace.
> Through the Tony Sale Award, we salute the computing pioneers of the past
> and the dedication of those today who breathe vibrant life into our
> incredible computing heritage.”
>  *Notes to Editors*
>  *1              **The Computer Conservation Society*
>  Established in 1989, the Computer Conservation Society (CCS) started as
> a joint venture between BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, the Science
> Museum and later the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. In
> recent years The National Museum of Computing has become a key partner.
>  *2              **The CCS Judging panel*
>  Martin Campbell-Kelly, computer historian, was joined in the 2014 panel
> of judges by Chris Burton, engineer and computer conservationist , Nigel
> Sale, computer scientist and son of Tony Sale, and Doron Swade MBE, museum
> curator and author.
>  *3          Links to other nominated entries for the 2014 Tony Sale
> Award*
>  The Analogue Computing Museum collection in Schwalbach, Germany.
>  www.analogmuseum.org
>  The Jim Austin Computer Collection in York, England.
>  www.computermuseum.org.uk
>  The restoration of 1970s DEC PDP computers at The Rhode Island Computer
> Museum (RICM), Rhode Island, USA.
>  www.ricomputermuseum.org
>  The PRS 4, a restoration of a 1973 Polish micro-computer at the Muzem
> Historii Komputerow i Informatyki (MHKI) in Katowice, Poland.
>  www.muzeumkomputerow.edu.pl
>  The Technikum29 Computer History Museum collection in Frankfurt am Main,
> Germany.
>  www.technikum29.de
>  The WITCH-E project, a trans-Atlantic educational project, by David
> Anders.
>  www.elinux.org/WITCH
>  *4          About Tony Sale*
>  Tony Sale (1931-2011), in whose honour the computer conservation award
> has been established, is perhaps best known for leading the team that
> rebuilt Colossus, the world's first electronic computer. He was also a key
> figure in starting the campaign to save Bletchley Park in the early 1990s,
> he co-founded The National Museum of Computing and jointly established the
> Computer Conservation Society.
>  *Media Contact*
>  Stephen Fleming, Palam Communications, for the Computer Conservation
> Society
>  +44 1635 299116
>  s.fleming at palam.co.uk
>   School of Computing Science, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne,
> NE1 7RU
> EMAIL = Brian.Randell at ncl.ac.uk   PHONE = +44 191 208 7923
>  URL = http://www.ncl.ac.uk/computing/staff/profile/brian.randell
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Ian S. King, MSIS, MSCS
Ph.D. Candidate
The Information School
University of Washington

An optimist sees a glass half full. A pessimist sees it half empty. An
engineer sees it twice as large as it needs to be.
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