One of the extremely useful things about STOIC’s Review of the Year programmes is that they showcased some of the most important things happening in college. In this edition from 40 years ago in June 1980, David Ghani and Paul Johnson give us a glimpse of events as seen through the lens of STOIC’s camera crew. As you will see, a large amount was still in black and white. In fact, this edition of the Review of the Year is the first to be shot in colour and that was simply because it was recorded within the confines of the College TV Studio. And if you look carefully you might spot that even the studio sequences have been shot and edited together in film style, using our single colour camera.
Look out for Rag Week events, STOIC’s 10th Anniversary and one department potentially about to go broke!
An AP1000 Super Computer was donated by Fujitsu Labs to Imperial College to inaugurate the Imperial College/Fujitsu Parallel Computing Centre, opened by HRH Princess Anne in May 1994. It had been in continuous use since then and achieved remarkable longevity for an experimental parallel machine. The facility had been funded by a partnership between Fujitsu, the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council), the Higher Education Funding Council and the Office of Science and Technology. The award on the UK side amounted to £1.65M. This was backed by a significant contribution from Fujitsu, continuing a fruitful collaboration between Imperial College and Fujitsu.
In 1997 Imperial College based a new campus-wide service on an 80 node Fujitsu AP3000 parallel computer, which was linked to the Fujitsu VX vector system, a resource amongst the most powerful in the UK. The systems provided a theoretical aggregate peak performance of nearly 50 Gflops with 15 Gbytes of memory and more than 400 Gbytes of high speed disc storage. With the way technology moves, I suspect that’s all a bit ‘last century’ by now (which if course it is).
In the year 2000 the following announcement was made:
“Shigeru Sato, President of Fujitsu Laboratories of Japan, visited the department of computing on 15 March 2000, to give a seminar and switch off the Fujitsu AP1000 in the Imperial College Fujitsu Parallel Computing Centre. Mr Sato’s talk was followed by the ceremony to switch off (seen on right) the AP1000 with the rector, Lord Oxburgh. The AP1000 pioneered much work in parallel applications (CFD, artificial life, visualisation, environmental modelling) and parallel methods research (Parallel Software Technology, Performance Modelling, data mining, optimisation). The machine was still in active use prior to its decommissioning and the groups using it will be transferred to newer machines”
I made this video to commemorate and archive this important event both for Imperial and Fujitsu. Once again the commentary is by Michael Rodd.
In 1996 we were asked to produce a promotional video for Compulog Net, Europe’s Network of Excellence in Computational Logic. Imperial College was one of eighty or more ‘nodes’ of this network and also acted in a managerial role. Making “The Benefits of Logic Programming” was to take us to locations in the UK, France and Germany over several months. One of the biggest problems to overcome was the packing-up and transportation of the camera equipment from Imperial to locations in Europe. Extra baggage weight on aircraft and customs are things I prefer to not get involved with. The number of forms that needed to be completed, to prove to customs that we actually owned the equipment and were not trying to export/import it, was ridiculous. However, it was all overcome and we shot the required footage as planned. There were only a few occasions when we went overseas and it’s such a pity that more departments with projects linking into Europe didn’t make professional videos like this one, especially with the potential of YouTube these days. My colleague Martin Sayers had only been with me a day or so before we went off to France to shoot some video, a nice way to start a new job! A favourite person to record our voice-overs was Michael Rodd, formally of BBC’s Tomorrows World and as usual he did an excellent job for the Compulog Net video. Michael now runs his own company Lipfriend Rodd. I shot the photos, above, whilst we were in Germany at the DFKI in Saarbrücken.