video record
Media not available in the Digital Archive
You can view clips from this programme
A look at 3 aspects of using the SCS computer at Alexandra Palace: manual control of hardware; development of application programmes; use of ready-made programs.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: TM221, The digital computer
Item code: TM221; 09
First transmission date: 16-08-1975
Published: 1975
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:12
+ Show more...
Producer: Andrew Millington
Contributors: Sean Doherty; Bob McCormick; Mike Newton; Peter Zorkoczy
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Application programs; Computer hardware; Disc storage; Library programs; OU Student Computing Service; Ready-made programs; User access
Footage description: Peter Zorkoczy introduces the programme by reviewing the progress already made by student. He uses a large chart to outline the three types of use students have made of computers and which will be the subject of this programme. Sean Doherty, from the computer room of Students Computing Service at Alexandra Palace describes the scope of operations covered by the two SCS mini-computers. Film of each of the components of the computer system at Alexandra Palace. Doherty describes each in voice over. Film showing the following hardware components being prepared for use after a shut down: two processors, magnetic tape and disc stores, paper tape reader and punch, console terminal and modems. Doherty describes each stage in voice over. Doherty commentary over animated diagram showing the way in which the different components are connected. He also describes the role of the loader program. Film of paper tape input being read into the front end computer. Doherty provides commentary throughout. Diagram showing the contents of the front end computer after the communications program has been loaded. The loader program is seen loaded via paper tape and the systems console, and then the rest of the software is input. Finally, Doherty switches on the modems to receive the Post Office lines. Zorkoczy introduces the subject of application programs. In particular he describes the program requirements for the mock-CMA facility on the SCS computers. Bob McCormick describes the purpose and needs of a CMA facility. An example of such an assignment is shown and McCormick describes how it works in voice-over. Mike Newton, of SCS, explains how the CMA requirements were interpreted by SCS in their design of a program. He uses a flow chart to show how a loop was built into the program to enable the computer to handle CMA questions and the allocation of marks. McCormick explains the need for feedback to students on each question. Newton explains how this additional facility was provided and shows the addition made to the flow diagram of the program. He also explains how this program addition was input via the terminal. Zorkoczy introduces the third part of the programme - the use of "ready made" software by students. Shots of students using a teletypewriter as in a study-centre and of a modern and telephone link. Zorkoczy describes how more than one student can use the central computer at once. Doherty explains the role of the multiplexor in enabling a number of students to use the computer simultaneously. He uses a diagram to aid his explanation. Doherty also uses an animated diagram to explain the job of main storage and the operation of its constituent parts. With the assistance of another animated diagram he shows the whole operation of disc and main storage in handling a number of users simultaneously. Zorkoczy concludes by reviewing the programme and by making some general observations.
Master spool number: 6HT/71794
Production number: 00525_5169
Videofinder number: 1467
Available to public: no