video record
Media not available in the Digital Archive
This programme examines the use of a minicomputer in the measurement of rivers and lakes by the Dee and Clywd River Authority.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: TM221, The digital computer
Item code: TM221; 11
First transmission date: 04-10-1975
Published: 1975
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:23:18
+ Show more...
Producer: Andrew Millington
Contributors: David Crecraft; Paul Mainwaring; John Monk
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Choice of computer; Computer monitoring; Dee and Clwyd River Authority; Deferred design capability; Electronic measuring devices; Forecasting; River conditions
Footage description: Opening shots of Lake Bala and the River Dee in North Wales. In voice over John Monk explains the uses this water resource is put to by the Dee and Clwyd River Authority, who have employed a minicomputer system to assist them. Shot of the converted farmhouse that houses the computer. Monk uses a map to show the distribution of measurement out-stations which provide information for the computer at the Bala headquarters. Shot of one such out station. In voice over Monk explains the object of the programme - to examine the role of the computer in this system of lake and river measurement. Shot of the river out station at Corwen, and of its equipment for measuring depth and flow. Inside the out-station Monk describes a device for taking measurements of water level automatically. Another device transmits them automatically to the computer at Bala. In detail he explains how the machine takes readings and then uses a transducer to transmit data in the form of radio signals to Bala. There is also a receiver for signals from Bala. David Crecraft uses a large model disc representing a transducer to explain how the latter works. The disc is composed of black and white areas representing pure binary coding on a transducer. He shows why grey coding has in practice a smaller reading error than pure binary coding. Holding a real trantducer, Crecraft explains how it works with the aid of a minitron. He explains why this type of transducer is useful. Shots of Lake Celyn, where flow, rainfall and level are all measured. In voice-over Monk describes the features and uses of Celyn. Film of the lake's hydro electric plant in operation its purpose described by Monk. Level and flow measurements are seen to be taken as at Corwen. Monk exposes the interior of the device which measures rainfall and explains how it works. He explains how it sends signals automatically to Bala via telephone lines from the out-station. Further shots of the lake. At the Bala headquarters Monk describes the receivers and transmitters, which are linked to the computer. He explains how data is displayed after receipt - examples of print-out and paper tape output are shown. Also shown are numerical displays of data on a wall map and graphical output on a chart recorder. Monk uses a flow diagram to show how the computer controls and sequences its various peripheral devices. In detail Monk examines how data is fetched by the computer's interrogating device, which collects data automatically. The ouput of results is seen on the line printer and paper tape puncher. Monk also explains how the more complex output is fed to the chart recorder. Monk explains why a computer is useful in this installation. He then explains the advantages of this particular computer - size, speed, cost. Monk interviews Paul Mainwaring, who is in charge of the Installation of the Welsh National Water Development Authority at Bala. Mainwaring explains why the Authority has decided to install a larger computer. He gives his plans for the use of systems software and FORTRAN. Monk concludes by explaining what areas of computing have been called upon to understand this particular system, and what areas would have to be examined for a deeper understanding of this sort of computer application.
Master spool number: 6HT/71833
Production number: 00525_5171
Videofinder number: 1470
Available to public: no