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The programme is designed to give an interesting glimpse at the wide range of applications which the computer is heir to. We cover a number of areas briefly; computers landing a Trident in the fog,... computers in the steel industry, and computers in traffic control. Then we have an impressionistic look at computers in art, specifically in designing the titles for this series. Finally, the programme takes a longer look at computers in archaeology. The presenter for the programme is Frank Lovis, and the other two main participants are Colin Emmett (Artist) and John Wilcock (Computer Archaeologist). The style of the film is lively and informative, motivational rather than didactic, supported strongly by the written text.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: PM951, Computing and computers
Item code: PM951; 06
First transmission date: 23-06-1973
Published: 1973
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:32
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Producer: Ronnie Mutch
Contributors: Colin Emmett; Frank B. Lovis; John Wilcock
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Applications; Archaeology; Computer; Fog; Steel industry; Traffic control; Trident
Footage description: Opening montage shows bubbling vat in steel works, sheet steel being rolled, aircraft taking off, computer paper tape reader, cars in a traffic jam, and a computer-produced drawing. Frank Lovis in a computer installation introduces the programme which deals with the variety of applications of computers. Lovis introduces Colin Emmett, who designed the opening titles sequence for this course. He stresses the difficulties of designing without visual images. Series of abstract patterns, numbers, and distorted shots of Colin Emmett. Repeat of 'Computing and computers' sequence. Shots of card reader. Lovis describes operations using computers in the steel industry, in controlling the pig iron production process and in steel rolling mills. Shots of blast furnace being tapped; iron bubbling; control panel; furnace being loaded; steel rolling; rolled sheet steel being stacked in stores. Lovis describes another application: the use of three small computers to provide automatic landing systems for the Trident jet airliner. Shots of Trident control panel; fog-bound airports; pilot's eye view of landing; cabin shots. Another field is the use of computers in traffic control (covered more fully in TV9). Shots of Lovis crossing Marylebone Road. Traffic scenes in Croydon. Traffic control tubes on road. Computer display of traffic control program for particular time of day. The rest of the programme covers the use of computers in archaeology. Lovis mentions the kinds of instrumentation used in modern investigations. Shots of dig in country location. Resistivity meter in use. Theodolite in use. Computer room. Lovis introduces John Wilcock who discusses the computer's usefulness in archaeological identification and classification. Shots of post-medieval iron-glazed pots found at dig. Wilcock draws outline of the pot using a template and transfers this drawing to the computer store using a demag pencil follower. He then shows the finished diagram on the computer screen and compares it with the original. Lovis explains other facilities the computer provides to record complete data on archaeological finds. Wilcock describes applications in information retrieval, from published specialist data, museum catalogues and current sites. Wilcock describes in detail the classification techniques known as multidimensional scaling. Sequence concludes with an example computer output: a multi-dimensional scaling plot of a representative group of Roman Samian pottery.
Master spool number: 6HT/71020
Production number: 00525_4072
Videofinder number: 661
Available to public: no