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Real Time Computing: 50 Years On and 50 Years Hence

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Merchant Taylors' Hall

30 Threadneedle Street

London

EC2R 8JB

United Kingdom

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Real Time Computing: 50 Years On and 50 Years Hence


Iann Barron and Prof A C Grayling

In 1967 an American entrepreneur with experience in the emerging field of ‘real time’ data processing arrived in the UK, intending to set up a software house. He was keen to plug into the local network of people who shared a common interest in the applications of this new technology, and organised a dinner for that purpose.

The evening was a huge success. Held on the 27th June 1967 in the Bourbon Room of the Institute of Directors’ headquarters on Belgrave Square, it was attended by twelve leading entrepreneurs and academics in the fledgling British computing industry.

After dinner, each person described his interest in real time data processing and the group agreed to a subsequent meeting to discuss particular problems over a good meal.

From this unassuming start, the Real Time Club was born. The first speaker was a young, energetic genius who is our esteemed speaker this evening.

Was the Club a product of its time, or could it have emerged and thrived in any commercial environment? Will it be able to survive the continued changes in both the industry and its user communities, as real time computing becomes increasingly ubiquitous around the globe?

These were the questions in 1967; they’re just as pertinent 50 years on and can be asked of the next 50 years.

Our speakers this evening are Iann Barron CBE will look back over the past 50 years of Real Time Computing and share a vision for the next 50 years and Prof A C Grayling CBE will have The Last Word on 'The Meaning of Things: Applying Philosophy to Life' and how we could approach the future and create the future the one we want rather than the one we're likely to get.

Over the evening ex-Chairs of the Real Time Club from the past 50 years will give a very brief overview of their time in the hot seat, spanning five decades of the Real Time Club

JOIN US for what will be an entertaining, informative and exciting evening based around ‘Real Time Computing: 50 Years On and 50 Years Hence’. Ask difficult questions, hear a slice of history and a vision of the future you could only hear at the Real Time Club.

Our Opening Speaker: Iann Barron, CBE

Before he was 21 Iann Barron had designed a real computer, the Elliott 803. That was in 1956.

In 1965 Iann started Computer Technology Ltd - the first mini-computer company in the UK, long before the term minicomputer had been coined – and designed the Modular One, the most successful UK minicomputer in its time.

1978 saw the beginning of inMOS International PLC, the UK semiconductor company – where Iann and his team designed the Transputer, a device which should have revolutionised the world, but even now, no one understands the ideas behind it.

inMOS International PLC ‘would have been a great success if it were not for Mrs Thatcher’ was sold in 1984 to Thorn EMI when inMOS needed a public offering to provide the funding to capitalise on the products it had created and before it had a chance to thrive and grow. It could have been the UK’s first £bn company.

He has gone on to start Division PLC, the company which created and has exploited virtual reality and continues to suffer from a persistent problem: his ideas are too far ahead of the market.

Our Closing Speaker: Prof A C Grayling, CBE

A. C. Grayling, is a philosopher and author. In 2011 he founded and became the first Master of New College of the Humanities, an independent undergraduate college in London. Until June 2011, he was Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London, where he taught from 1991. He is also a supernumerary fellow of St Anne's College, Oxford.

Grayling is the author of about 30 books on philosophy, biography, history of ideas, human rights and ethics, including The Refutation of Scepticism (1985), The Future of Moral Values (1997), Wittgenstein (1992), What Is Good? (2000), The Meaning of Things (2001), The Good Book (2011), The God Argument (2013), and The Age of Genius: The Seventeenth Century and the Birth of the Modern Mind (2016).

He was a Trustee of the London Library and a Fellow of the World Economic Forum, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. For a number of years he was a columnist on The Guardian newspaper, and presented the BBC World Service series ‘Exchanges At the Frontier’ on science and society.

He has lectured in the United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Singapore and Spain. In 2013 he was awarded the Forkosch Literary Prize, and in 2015 he received the Bertrand Russell Award. He was appointed CBE in 2016

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Merchant Taylors' Hall

30 Threadneedle Street

London

EC2R 8JB

United Kingdom

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