Computer science and IT

Bryan Down obituary | Education

My father, Bryan Down, who has died aged 84, was an electronics engineer who spent more than a quarter of a century at Ferranti, the company that invented the first European microprocessor. It also produced some of the first uncommitted logic arrays (ULAs), used in early home computers such as the Sinclair ZX81, Sinclair ZX Spectrum and BBC Micro. As Ferranti’s sales and marketing director he travelled the world and was a frequent visitor to Silicon Valley in the early…

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Why we need to blow a Raspberry at big tech… | John Naughton | Education

I’m writing this on my nice new Raspberry Pi. If you’re not a geek, this may suggest a columnist who has lost what remains of his marbles. But rest assured: I am not joking. The Pi is a fully functioning credit-card sized computer running a modern version of the Linux operating system. I bought it as a Christmas treat – and also as a project. The total cost – for the latest version, with 4GB of ram – was £114.…

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Joe Armstrong obituary | Education

Joe Armstrong, who has died aged 68 from complications related to pulmonary fibrosis, was a computer scientist and one of the creators at Ericsson of the programming language Erlang, used by companies as diverse as Bet365, WhatsApp and Cisco. It was Joe’s idea to write a book on the language – Concurrent Programming in Erlang (co-authored with Michael Williams and Robert Virding, 1992) – rather than just an internal manual for the company, as a precursor to the language being…

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