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A Computer Called LEO By Georgina Ferry

A Computer Called LEO
by Georgina Ferry

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In this text, Georgina Ferry recounts the story of Simmons' quest for the first office computer - the Lyons Electronic Office. This marriage of Lyons tea shops and computer science would take 20 years and involve some of the most brilliant young minds in Britain.
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A Computer Called LEO Summary


A Computer Called LEO: Lyons Tea Shops and the World's First Office Computer by Georgina Ferry

This is the eccentric story of one of the most bizarre marriages in the history of British business: the invention of the world's first office computer and the Lyons tea shop. The Lyons tea shops were one of the great British institutions, providing a cup of tea and a penny bun through the depression, the war, austerity and on into the 1960s and 1970s. Yet Lyons also has a more surprising claim to history. In the 1930s John Simmons, a young graduate in charge of the clerks' offices that totalled all the bills issued by the "Nippies" and kept track of the costs of all the tea, cakes and other goods distributed to the nation's cafes and shops, became obsessed by the new ideas of scientific management. He had a dream: to build a machine that would automate the millions of tedious transactions and process them in as little time as possible. In this text, Georgina Ferry recounts the story of Simmons' quest for the first office computer - the Lyons Electronic Office. It would take 20 years and involve some of the most brilliant young minds in Britain. Interwoven with the story of the building of LEO is the story of early computing itself from the Difference Engine of Charles Babbage to the codecracking computers of Bletchley Park and the instantly obsolescent ENIAC, developed in the US. It is also the story of the post-war British computer business; why did it lose the initiative? Why did America succeed while British design was often superior? Georgina Ferry's account of a forgotten triumph in British history is a corrective and a celebration of one of the least likely marriages in business history: the Lyons tea shop and the cutting edge of computer science.

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A Computer Called LEO Reviews


'Stylish and lucid, a combination of social history and science, Georgina Ferry's fascinating book reveals how one of Britain's most famous firms, J.S. Lyons, went from teacakes to computers, becoming a technological pioneer.' Brenda Maddox on THE COMMON THREAD: A Story of Science, Politics, Ethics and the Human Genome (co-authored with John Sulston) 'Unputdownable stuff ... an insider's story of one of the century's greatest technopolitical ventures' Guardian 'I found this a riveting account of what was going on behind the scenes... Anyone who is fascinated by the politics and ethics of research should read The Common Thread.' Financial Times 'A compelling and frank account.' The Times on Dorothy Hodgkin: A Life 'The science book of the year' Independent 'This life of Hodgkin is in the top rank of scientific biographies, hooking the reader from the first page and keeping you absorbed to the end.' Sunday Times

About Georgina Ferry


Georgina is the author of Dorothy Hodgkin: A Life, a biography of the only British woman scientist to win a Nobel Prize and THE COMMON THREAD (with John Sulston) which is short listed for the 2002 Samuel Johnson Prize. Born in Hong Kong, Georgina has lived in Oxford for the past 19 years. She has worked as a science writer and broadcaster.

Additional information

GOR001209552
A Computer Called LEO: Lyons Tea Shops and the World's First Office Computer by Georgina Ferry
Georgina Ferry
Used - Very Good
Hardback
HarperCollins Publishers
2003-01-01
240
1841151858
9781841151854
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.