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The whole world knows Manchester as a symbol of the industrial age: but what about its role in the age of information? There’s a local rumour that the computer was “invented here”: in reality, of course, the world-changing collection of ideas and technologies behind “the computer” couldn’t have been invented in any one place. Yet Manchester really did have a defining role in how computers were designed and promoted, in the years after the Second World War, as the expertise of former code-breaking and radar “boffins” at the University collided with the region’s traditional strength in manufacturing industry. Alan Turing – whose centenary we commemorate this year – made a series of unique contributions when he stopped designing computers, and started thinking deeply about how they could be used. Computers could play tunes, play chess, and even play at being in love: but what if they could do more than simply playing?
This talk by Dr James Sumner, from The University of Manchester, gives a whistle-stop tour of these iconic developments and their eventful legacy. Manchester has been home to the world’s most powerful computer (briefly); to the national advisory centre planned to stoke the “white heat” of computing technology; to the unglamorous industrial underside of the home computer revolution; and to the 1990s vision of the “virtual city”.
Sat 3 Mar 2012 1.30pm - 2.30pm
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6 Mount Street,
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Free but booking recommended
Celebration Day Talks, Talks
Sat 3 Mar 2012 3pm - 4.40pm
Mon 27 Feb 2012 6pm - 8.30pm
Fri 2 Mar 2012 8.30pm - 9.30pm & Sat 3 Mar 2012 12 noon - 1pm
at Manchester Town Hall
Sat 3 Mar 2012 9.00am - 12.00pm & 1.00pm - 3.00pm & Sun 4 Mar 2012 9.00am - 12.00pm & 1.00pm - 3.00pm
Sat 3 Mar 2012 12.30pm - 1.30pm
at Friends' Meeting House
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A new prize recognising and celebrating partnerships between school/community groups and university academic departments that explore a history theme.
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