[SIGCIS-Members] Here it is!

Brian Randell brian.randell at newcastle.ac.uk
Wed Jun 8 02:41:03 PDT 2022

Hi Paul

I in fact found three brief published mentions of the Colossus project predating that 1970 article by Jack Good, though neither they nor it revealed the "Colossus" name . This was I believe first revealed to me by Donald Michie.

These revelations are all described, and a full quote of Good's single paragraph summary of Colossus is given, in my 1972 article "On Turing , and the Origins of Digital Computers", a copy of which I attach. (This is the one paper I dared to publish before I managed to get official permission to prepare and submit a paper to the Los Alamos conference.)

I'm pretty sure I was alerted to the existence of Good's paper by Michie - I'm certain that the International Journal of Environmental Studies was not on my personal browsing list! __



School of Computing, Newcastle University, 1 Science Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 5TG
EMAIL = Brian.Randell at ncl.ac.uk   PHONE = +44 191 208 7923
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On 07/06/2022, 20:50, "Ceruzzi, Paul" <CeruzziP at si.edu> wrote:

    The first public discussion of the Colossus came several years earlier, in a paper by I. J. "Jack" Good, "Some Future Social Repercussions of Computers," in the journal International Journal of Environmental Studies​ 1 (1970), 67-79. Good worked at Bletchley, although that was not known at the time. His paper talked about the evolution of generations of computers to a point where it would spontaneously say "Cogito Ergo Sum," and then shortly thereafter "I am that I am" (Book of Exodus, King James edition). Good's ideas also found their way into 2001, a Space Odyssey​_ where he served as a consultant to Kubrick.

    I came across the paper a year or two later at the Linda Hall Library in Kansas City. 

    Paul Ceruzzi
    From: Dag Spicer <dspicer at computerhistory.org>
    Sent: Tuesday, June 7, 2022 11:12 AM
    To: Michael Roy Williams <mwilliam at ucalgary.ca>; Brian Randell <brian.randell at newcastle.ac.uk>; Doron Swade <doron.swade at blueyonder.co.uk>
    Cc: Ceruzzi, Paul <CeruzziP at si.edu>; don knuth <knuth-bug at cs.stanford.edu>
    Subject: Here it is!  

    External Email - Exercise Caution
    Los Alamos Conference… 1976.

    Brian, as I’m sure you recall, you and Doc Coombs were the smash hit of the entire thing.

    My mini-blog: https://computerhistory.org/blog/computings-woodstock/ 

    The playlist of lectures: https://computerhistory.org/playlists/international-research-conference-on-the-history-of-computing/ 

    (I hope it isn’t too irreverent to call it Woodstock… I tried to say something modern… the joke’s on me I suppose since Woodstock happened *before* the conference and is hardly considered modern anymore, albeit it did foreshadow some features of modernity).

    Please let me know your thoughts… if you so wish.

    Dag Spicer
    Senior Curator
    Computer History Museum
    Editorial Board, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing
    1401 N. Shoreline Blvd.

    Mountain View CA  94043
    Tel: +1 650 810 1035

    Revolution:  The First 2000 Years of Computing
    Visit online!  http://www.computerhistory.org/revolution/ <https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.computerhistory.org%2Frevolution%2F&data=05%7C01%7Cbrian.randell%40newcastle.ac.uk%7C1021734e51ea4db51b3408da48bf05d3%7C9c5012c9b61644c2a91766814fbe3e87%7C1%7C0%7C637902282519866927%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=BTHfd1H%2FZe%2BFJcXyCortmHEGPIuXhjCejz01QPJnTiY%3D&reserved=0>

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