Feeds

Computer expert and broadcaster Ian McNaught-Davis dies at 84

Face of the Beeb's Micro unplugs

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Obit Ian McNaught-Davis, star of the BBC's The Computer Programme, has died at the age of 84. His funeral is being held in London this afternoon.

MAC, as he was affectionately known to his friends, was an accomplished mountaineer, television broadcaster, mathematician and computer expert, who lit up the screens of tech enthusiasts across Blighty back in the 1980s.

He was the main presenter on more than 60 telly programmes as part of the BBC's Computer Literacy Project, which first aired in 1979.

Three years later, McNaught-Davis co-presented Making the Most of the Micro with Chris Serle. But it was McNaught-Davis - with his deep understanding and ability to make tech discussions accessible to many - who made the mysteries of the computer come alive back in the days of the 8-bit era.

"MAC was 'the man who knew about computers'," said David Allen, who was the editor of the BBC Computer Literacy Project between 1979 and 1987.

McNaught-Davis was considered to be the face of the BBC Micro computer, but Allen noted in a post for the National Museum of Computing that "MAC was a man for whom 'the micro' was slightly beneath him - he treated it as a new boy on the block."

He also appeared as "wizard of the microchip" on the BBC's The Adventure Game. Here he is in action:

Youtube Video

In his later years, McNaught-Davis became a patron of the British Mountaineering Council, having been its president for three years in the early '90s.

His greatest achievement in that high altitude field was to make the first ascent of Muztagh Tower [7,276m, 23,871ft] with three other men in 1956, reminisced fellow climber Doug Scott.

"He was a superb raconteur entertaining audiences and guests at climbing events and dinners where his self-deprecating humour had everyone completely captivated," Scott added.

McNaught-Davis was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease a few years ago and, more recently, liver cancer. He died on 8 February, aged 84. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?