Tag Archives: the 1951 Club

There are Elephants in the Room … # 12

There are Elephants in the Room … # 12

Way back in 2010 the 1951 Club was  proud to welcome two very special new members into its ranks.

They were both born in 1951.

They both died, aged 60, in 2011 within just a few weeks of each other.

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My Sunday Poem … # 19

My Sunday Poem … # 19

Dingle, Tingle and Shingle

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Bedtime Stories …

Bedtime Stories …

The 1951 Club is not a political animal.

But … there are limits.

Once upon a time there was a referendum …

and Boris was appointed foreign secretary. The End.

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my sunday poem … # 17

my sunday poem … # 17

Hello. You find me in reflective mood today. The seasons are gently slipping by – just as they surely must. Life is a wonderful gift and we must never waste a moment.

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I am reminded of some lines from To His Coy Mistress by the 17th century metaphysical poet Andrew Marvell.

Had we but world enough, and time …
But at my back I always hear
Time’s wingéd chariot hurrying near;

I wrote Summer Song quite recently. It concerns the transient nature of life. Carpe diem and all that. It is also about my deep-rooted love of literature and writing. When I was young I could draw upon the creative energy, joy and crazy hope that the world constantly offered. It all seemed to be achieved with comparatively little effort. Now I find myself drawing deeply from the well of memory and experience. Hope is an ever-present flame and joy is the reality of being here with the people and things that I love.

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The answer my friend is …

The answer my friend is …

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 Someone asked me why I do a blog about the year of my birth.

Simple. It’s easier than doing one about the year of my death.

Judas Priest … a 1951 Club Three-for-One Megadeal!

Judas Priest … a 1951 Club Three-for-One Megadeal!

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The games people play … 1951

The games people play … 1951

 I wonder just how many of you fine folk out there either gave or received a PC Game for Christmas. I suspect it may well have been quite a few of you.

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 You will be delighted to hear that the dedicated game-playing digital computer made its first appearance in … 1951.

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The NIMROD Computer (1951)

 On the 5th of May 1951, the NIMROD computer made its public bow. It was designed exclusively to play the game of ‘NIM’. It was designed and built by Ferranti and displayed at the Exhibition of Science during the 1951 Festival of Britain.

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 And yes … try fitting this in your front-room!

Diagram of the machine:

  1. Instructions panel: instructions that Nimrod follows during the game.
  2. Main panel: bulbs mirror the control panel to show the process of the game to the observers; underneath the bulbs there is a legend describing the possible states of the game.
  3. Panel shows the current calculations of the processor during slow game speed; a legend for this is located on the instructions panel.
  4. Four bays holding the machine’s valves (tubes). Each bay contains 120 valves, arranged as six blocks of twenty. (Only 350 of the installed valves were active in the computer; the others were just being ‘burned in’ to avoid early failure.Four bays holding the machine’s valves (tubes). Each bay contains 120 valves, arranged as six blocks of twenty. (Only 350 of the installed valves were active in the computer; the others were just being ‘burned in’ to avoid early failure.
  5. Nimrod’s control panel: demonstrator would typically sit on the side closer to the computer, while the player would sit on the other side of the desk.

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The game board consists of three rows of checkboxes. Every time you click on a checked box, checks on this one and all boxes to the right are removed. It’s you against your computer. The one who removes the last check wins. Computer responds after you made your move.

A warm welcome to the 1951 Club, NIMROD.

Click on this link if you would like to know more about NIMROD.