Feeds

World's first biz computer was British – and sold teacakes

60th anniversary of the LEO is today

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Catering data-cruncher

The tea merchant and biscuit-maker J Lyons diverged into computing under the leadership of a forward-thinking executive, John Simmons, who was curious to learn how businesses could benefit from the computer tech that had been developed by the military during the war. In 1947 he sent two employees off to America, and they came back and suggested building a computer. Lyons funded scientists at Cambridge to develop the first operational one: LEO I was operational and installed by 1951.

LEO I, credit Leo Computing Society

LEO I, built in Cambridge

The computer-making branch of Lyons was spun off into a separate company in 1954 and ended up being incorporated into English Electric in 1963.

Google Boss Eric Schmidt praised the Lyons endeavour in his speech to Brit media types in Edinburgh this August, using it as an example of how Britain had once been a global computing pioneer.

Leo 2, credit Leo Computer Society

Checking the oscilloscopes on LEO II

All LEO photos courtesy of the LEO Computers Society.

NIgella lAWSON

Nigella Lawson Photo WikiCommons

Nigella Lawson relative oversaw computing revolution (gratuitious picture)

Coincidentally, the co-founder of J Lyons was TV cook Nigella Lawson's great-great-grandfather Barnett Salmon. Her uncle Harry Salmon would have overseen the foray into computing as chair from 1941-50. Lawson is notable for her luxuriant cooking techniques.

We thought you'd like to know. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box
Only 250th most powerful in the world? Bring back Michael Fish
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER
Sky's the limit with unrestricted space in the cloud
'ANYTHING BUT STABLE' Netflix suffers BIG Europe-wide outage
Friday night LIVE? Nope. The only thing streaming are tears down my face
Google roolz! Nest buys Revolv, KILLS new sales of home hub
Take my temperature, I'm feeling a little bit dizzy
Cisco and friends chase WiFi's searing speeds with new cable standard
Cat 5e and Cat 6 are bottlenecks for WLAN access points
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.