Computer ◆ Conservation ◆ Society

Just some of the machines and systems being restored to working order by the Computer Conservation Society.

 

Next Events

Software as Heritage and Strategies for its Preservation, with an Emphasis Either on Computer Sounds and the Notion of Software in the 1950s
September 21st 2017 - London

Crises & Lessons from the History of Software
September 19th 2017 - Manchester

See events page for more information


 

Historic Document Rescue

From time to time the Society is approached by people who have come into the possession of documents relevant to historic computers and who feel that they should “go to a good home”.

Unfortunately the Computer Conservation Society is no longer in a position to collect such material, though we can often suggest a suitable home for it. If you have a need to dispose of historic material we suggest that you should first read our guide Archives and your Personal Papers.

In particular, we should stress that a list of the document titles is essential before any progress can be made.

 

Document Exchange within the CCS

Because CCS members use widely differing IT systems, difficulties sometimes arise when documents are sent between members. In an attempt to minimise such problems a page of guidance notes can be found document_exchange.htm.

 

News headlines

July/August 2017

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 ICL anecdotes An ICL Anthology and 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 or 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.

 


Founded in 1989, the Computer Conservation Society is a joint venture between the British Computer Society, the Science Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.

Our primary mission is to preserve historic computers, develop awareness of the history of computing, and encourage research. We run many specialised projects, organise public lecture series, and publish a regular bulletin.

Membership of the society is open to all.
If you would like to join the society, please click here for more information.