Wednesday 11 August 2010

Bracknell Business Club

The Bracknell Business Club is meeting at The Bull in Bracknell on Tuesday, August 17, at 6pm.
It is an opportunity to meet other small businesses, exchange ideas and network.
The people who attend make the meeting useful, but there is also much support from the Bracknell Forest Standard and Business in Berkshire. The idea was first brought to life by Richard Knight, vice-chairman of the East Berkshire Branch of the Federation of Small Businesses.

The event is held every 6 weeks and alternates between a Tuesday and a Thursday to allow more businesses to attend.

Local businesses are also local people - Consumers, and potential users of each others services.  Previous meetings have been attended by local small business champion Bob Wade, and Bracknell MP Dr Phillip Lee.
The club wants to encourage all parts of our community to work closer together – the council, BRP, businesses and the local people.

Sunday 1 August 2010

Nags, Police and Forums

The Local Neighbourhood Updates for August 2010 are available on the website.
Find it it

There is also information available from the council at: .

The the August neighbourhood update for Priestwood and Garth from Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Wendy Wiley is available Here.

The next meeting of the Priestwood & Garth Neighbourhood Action Group will be held on Wednesday 20 October 2010, 6pm at Priestwood Community Centre. The Priestwood and Garth Neighbourhood Forum had been scheduled for Wednesday 17 November 2010 at 7.30pm at Priestwood Youth Centre.

Following are some notes on the latest Priestwood and Garth NAG meeting.

The subject of Police visibility was discussed. It was reported that Priestwood and Garth had a high number of police officers and that police presence in the area was good. Officers including; NSOs, PCSOs and Special Constables parole the neighbourhood on a daily basis. The Residents present at the NAG felt that the police visibility in the area was excellent and any feeling that it was inadequate must be perceived rather than real. It was therefore agreed that police visibility would no longer be a top priority action for the Priestwood and Garth NAG.

TVP have undertaken speed enforcement at various times and in various places. The last places targeted were the Binfield Road between 7am and 8am and the Wokingham Road between 8am  and 9am On the Binfield Road there were no vehicles exceeding the speed limit. On The Wokingham Road one vehicle was exceeding the limit by 5mph , and the driver  given road side education.
Due to the low level of recorded incidents of speeding the Thames Valley Roads Safety Partnership would not support any further speed enforcement in the area. It was agreed that there would always be individuals who exceeded the speed limit; however there was not a significant speeding issue in the neighbourhood. The NAG agreed that speeding would no longer be a top priority action for the Priestwood and Garth NAG.

It  as noted that the SID (Speed indicator Device) could still be used with volunteers in the community to promote speed awareness and alter residents perception of speed.

PCSOs have been attending the schools at pick up and drop off times to raise awareness of obstructive parking. Parking offences had been decriminalised which meant that TVP could only issue penalty tickets for cars which were parked obstructively. In order for TVP to issue a penalty notice obstruction needed to be sufficiently proved. Cars needed to allow enough room on the pavement for the use of a pushchair. TVP had been in contact with the organisation enforcing improper parking in car parks and on yellow lines in the area so that the issue of parking could be worked on in partnership.

There was a discussion about the new Garth Hill College development. The NAG were concerned that when the College opens in September that the number of students using the site will increase. It was agreed that the situation would need to be closely monitored to ensure that any parking/ drop off and pick up problems that did arise were addressed. The new waiting restrictions in Folders lane were discussed.

There was a report that vehicles are parking in Anders Corner very close the Wokingham Road junction which created a potential road safety hazard. It was suggested that they could park in the now unused section of Pollardrow Avenue.

In general the number of complaints about parking seems to have decreased.

There are still issues over the ownership of the Merryhill Road garages. Letters had been sent to all garage owners from BFH asking them if they would be willing to sell. It has been an aspiration of BFC / BFH to develop the site as a parking area since 2008. It was agreed that progress would be followed up and reported back to the NAG.

It was NSO Amy Tapping’s last NAG meeting as she was moving on from Thames Valley Police.
PCSO Wendy Wiley is changing roles with Warfield’s PCSO, Michelle Noone, from 2 August 2010.

It was reported that residents were parking inconsiderately in Agar Crescent. It was agreed that the situation would be referred to the PCSOs to monitor and issue penalty notices if vehicles were causing an obstruction. It was suggested that the green in Agar Crescent could be converted in to parking. However, it was felt that residents were unlikely to agree to the reduction of green space. It was agreed that this would be suggested to the highways team at BFC.

In line with a general expansion in primary school places in North Bracknell to accommodate population growth, an additional classroom is to be built in the grounds of Meadow Vale Primary School to facilitate a rise from 2 to 3 form entry. The expansion of the school was to be phased with a second storey being added to the senior block in the future.

It was agreed that the NAG Priority Action Plan would be filled out and circulated
to the Group.

(My) Computing History

I was on a while back about visiting The National Museum of Computing at  Bletchley Park   

Wrapping up RSS and smashing atoms

Today we finally got there!
Elliott 905.
This was one of the first computers I worked on at Marconi Space and Defence systems. The control panel includes buttons that allow you to single step through your program. These is also a "Cycle Stop" switch that shows you the internal operations of the computer.
The software was loaded from paper tape. The reader is on top of the control panel. The paper tape punch is to the left of the control panel. The doors house the 19 Inch rack mounting units for the power supply and rack of processor boards, core store unit, and probably an Autonomous Transfer Unit. The ATU was an early Direct Memory Access interface (DMA).
A sample program can be found here.

IBM 1130.
I programmed one of these at College. The program was run from punched cards.
More detail cam be found here.

PDP 11/34.

This computer I used at CCL/Travicom. There were several computers in the 11 range. More stuff cam be found here.
I worked on various PDP computer in on different operating systems and languages. 
RT-11 was a singe user system.CCL used TSX on top of RT11 to make it multi-user. The RSX-11 operating system was a lot cleverer. Dave Cutler the project leader on that system at DEC, later went on to lead the development of Windows NT.

I also worked on PDP 11 computers at Racal. Following on from contraction at Racal I moved on to the DEC-VAX and the VMS operating system at Northern Telecom.
After Northern Telecom at Travicom that had taken over CCL, computing was now mainly on IBM PC clones.

I had a look around to see if I could spot any disks that I had worked with. I remember the RL01 and RL02,
The RL01 had 5 Megabytes of storage, and the RL02 a massive 10 Megabytes of storage.

We spent quite some time in the computer section, and also had a look at the rebuilt Colossus computer. Colossus was world's first large-scale, electronic programmable computer. It was created to crack the codes used to conceal the messages that Hitler's generals were sending to each other. More here.

As our tickets are valid for 12 months we will have to visit again, and explore more in depth. We did not have much time to look over the rest of the place. We did have time to look at the rebuilt Bombe as well. The Bombe was an electromechanical device used by cryptologists to help decrypt German Enigma-machine-encrypted signals. There is some interesting stuff about Alan Turing here

Andrew Hodges says on his website that "But I would say that in 1945 Alan Turing alone grasped everything that was to change computing completely after that date: above all he understood the universality inherent in the stored-program computer. He knew there could be just one machine for all tasks. He did not do so as an isolated dreamer, but as someone who knew about the practicability of large-scale electronics, with hands-on experience. From experience in codebreaking and mathematics he was also vividly aware of the scope of programs that could be run."