Hamish Carmichael 1934-2017
It is with a deep sadness that the Computer Conservation Society has received
news of the passing of Hamish Carmichael.
Hamish came into the IT industry in the late 1950s when he joined Powers Samas
not long before it merged with the British Tabulating Machine Company
to form ICT.
After serving for many years in “Corporate Systems”,
ICT/ICL’s internal IT division, he turned his attention to ICL’s
well-regarded Content Addressable FileStore (CAFS) product.
These days Microsoft employ people called “evangelists”.
Their job is to enthuse people about this or that Microsoft product.
That’s what Hamish did for the last decade or so of his ICL career.
He often began his presentations with “My name is Hamish Carmichael
and I’m a CAFS enthusiast”.
The success of CAFS was due in no small measure to Hamish’s evangelism.
His championing of the related INDEPOL software took him all over the world.
After retirement he threw in his lot with the CCS, serving for ten years
as its secretary and for a similar period volunteering at the London Science Museum
to catalogue their extensive collection of ICL documents to which he added
numerous items donated by his wide circle of ICL and ex-ICL colleagues.
It was a tour de force amounting to more than 200 meteres of shelf space,
the Museum’s biggest collection of documents.
He also served as the unsung proof reader for Resurrection.
But perhaps his proudest achievement was his editorship of two volumes of
An ICL Anthology
Another ICL Anthology.
Hamish was working on a third volume and wanted this work to continue.
Please send more ICL and CCS anecdotes and scurillous stories to
A few years ago, at the usual Christmas CCS film afternoon, there was a showing of
an ICT publicity film from the mid 1960s in which Hamish had been unaccountably
cast in the rôle of ignorant customer playing against a professional actor
explaining some of the joys of the 1900 Series.
As the film ended, audience shouts of “Speech!” brought Hamish to his
feet and, off the cuff he proceeded to keep us all in stiches for 10 minutes
with witty tales of how the film was made.
Such are our fond memories of this most amusing of companions.
The funeral on August 11th was attended by over a dozen of Hamish’s
Friends from the Soiciety.
Roger Johnson presented to Hamish’s partner Kathy,
the BCS Lifetime Achievement Award which was to have been given to Hamish had he not been taken from us.
There will also be an interrment commencing from at The Inn at Kippen near Stirling,
12:00 on Sepember 11th.
Hamish’s many friends will be warmly welcomed.
Hamish was a lovely man, a real gentleman who you couldn’t help but like.
It wasn’t just a privilege to have known him, it was a pleasure, a joy.