In today's NYT, an obituary for David Caminer, "the first corporate electronic systems analyst." He worked for the Lyons chain of tea shops in the UK, and developed early ways to use computers for business purposes in the 1950s, "including standardizing flavorful, cost-effective cups of tea." He died June 19 in London, at age 92. Snip:
The death was announced by the Leo Computers Society, whose purpose is to keep alive the memory of LEO, the computer Mr. Caminer helped develop for J. Lyons & Company. It was the world’s first business computer, a distinction certified by Guinness World Records.
Lyons was the first company in the world to computerize its commercial operations, partly because it had so many of them: it had more than 200 teahouses in London and its suburbs, with each Lyons Corner House daily generating thousands of paper receipts and needing scores of fresh baked items.
In addition to running the tea shops, Lyons catered large events like tennis at Wimbledon and garden parties at Windsor Castle; it also operated hotels, laundries, and ice cream, candy and meat pie companies. And, of course, tea plantations.
As a result, the company required exceptionally efficient office support. So it was only natural it would look at the “electronic brains” that scientists in the United States were developing for scientific and military purposes as a way to streamline its own empire. Mr. Caminer’s role was finding ways to retain traditional clerical rigor while speeding up the company’s logistics and finances many times over.
David Caminer, a Pioneer in Computers, Dies at 92 [NYT]
See also: LEO Computers Website, "the LEO Computers Society, membership of which is open to all ex-employees of LEO Computers and its succeeding companies, and anyone who worked on a LEO computer."
Samuel R "Chip" Delany is a science fiction pioneer: a brilliant literary stylist with dazzling ideas who was one of the field's first openly queer writers, and one of the first Black writers accepted into the field. He is one of the fathers of afrofuturism.
The 2019 World Science Fiction Convention is being held in Dublin, and tonight, the con presented the annual Hugo Awards, voted on by the attendees and supporters of this year's con.
Phil Torrone from Adafruit told us about Consumers Should Immediately...: "This uses a live data feed from The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (USCPSC) to randomly display thousands of products recalled for reasons such as fire, electrocution, entrapment, choking and a variety of other unintended dangers. Every two minutes the embedded screen lists the […]
If you’re marketing on the web, your Google-fu needs to be strong – and up to date. Without a firm grasp on what drives traffic, you’ll never be able to take the wheel. That’s why even if you know where to put your keywords, a little extra effort goes a long way on any marketer’s […]
Want to keep the dentist away? A little tooth care at morning and night isn’t bad, but it won’t keep the stains from smoking or fried foods at bay for long. If you enjoy your food and want to avoid the consequences, an upgrade from that old analog toothbrush can make a huge difference. Among […]
If your office works at all, it uses Microsoft Office. Those icons for Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook are as familiar around some workplaces as the coffee machine. So familiar, in fact, that they get taken for granted – and rarely used to their full potential. Whether you need a crash course in the essential tools […]