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With OEs working in the sector scattered across the country, this forum provides the means to stay in touch and share ideas.

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Apologies for the slow delivery of this report

Bill Safran kindly hosted a meeting of the OEA Computer Technology on Monday 14th of March 2011 at his house in London

9 OEs: Adam de Zoete (91), Andrew Hughes-Onslow (03), Charlie Cowan (95), Humphrey Drummond (78), Michael Dent (07), Martin Hall (78) Robert Barrett (1974), Bill Safran (1982) and Andrew Parker-Jervis (1977) attended

Martin Hall introduced a new device for storing large volumes of multichannel broadcasting which he had designed and built. This generated much interest and was the most innovative device introduced to date.

Other topics of discussion included digital marketing, cloud computing, outsourcing, political websites, mathematica and V screen technology

The next meeting will be in October 2011 and I will send an email

Keep an eye on our website at https://oldetoniancomps.wordpress.com/ for the latest information

A team of us will be going to Eton in June for the Careers event to provide a panel

We now have 39 members

Regards, Andrew Parker-Jervis (1977)

The next meeting of the OEA Computer Technology Group has been postponed until Monday the 14th of March 2011 at 1830 at Bill Safran’s house in Holland Park, London.

I hope this new postponed time is OK for everyone. Nearer the time I will provide a dial in number for anyone who cant physically attend. Please email me if you would like to come so I have an idea on numbers

Please keep an eye on our website at https://oldetoniancomps.wordpress.com/ and please add your CV as it makes interesting reading

Regards, Andrew Parker-Jervis (1977)

Due to the very high level of interest I am aiming to have 2 round table meetings a year plus the Eton Careers event.

The next meeting of the OEA Computer Technology Group is scheduled for Monday the 28th of February at 1830. Bill Safran has offered his house in Holland Park London (details to follow).

My suggestion is that the event will be the same format as October and we will have a round the table discussion (say 90 minutes) followed by a more informal social. I will provide a dial in number for anyone who cant physically attend.

For the round table discussion it would be interesting to tell us about your current activities and also one or two areas where you see the Comp Tech industry developing

Please email me if you would like to come so I have an idea on numbers

We now have 36 members

Please keep an eye on our website at https://oldetoniancomps.wordpress.com/ and please add your CV as it makes interesting reading

The next careers presentation to the school is scheduled for the 28th of June 2011 and please tell me if you would like to take part. This is a weekday and the last session went from 1030 to 1300 with lunch afterwards.

Regards, Andrew Parker-Jervis (1977)

Bill Safran kindly hosted a meeting of the OEA Computer Technology on Monday 4th of October at his House in Holland Park

7 OEs (Bill Safran (82), Christoper Glanusk (60), Humphrey Drummond (79), Tom Grand (93), Adam de Zoete (91), Michael Ritchie (91) & Andrew Parker-Jervis (77)) attended and 2 (Henry James (91) and Conrad Wolfram (88)) dialled in. Unfortunately a few were unable to come due to the Tube Strike but we had a good evening

We had a round the table meeting and topics covered included 4 Bit computers, ISPs, Superfast broadband, European IT conferences, Cloud computing, Streaming Video, V screen technology, 3D television and payments systems so synergy occurred. Conrad Wolfram gave us an update on developments at Wolfram Alpha so there was plenty to discuss

A report and photo will appear in the OEA news soon

If you need a cheap desk in London for your Start Up try the Tech Hub at 76 City Road just by Old Street Roundabout. A desk at Tech Hub costs £10 per day and is part funded by Google. It aims to foster innovation. The Old Street Roundabout seems to be becoming the centre of start up activities in London

I think we will be asked to support Eton with a panel next summer for the careers day so please contact me if you ant to be part of the panel: the one issue is that it will be a weekday so you may have to take a day off from your work

Keep an eye on our website at https://oldetoniancomps.wordpress.com/ and please send in a brief CV. The school finds this useful when Parents ask what OEs wind up doing. Thanks to Henry James for hosting the website

Professor Robin Milner, computer scientist.
Born: 13 January, 1934, in Plymouth. Died: 20 March, 2010, in Cambridge, aged 76.

VERY few people know that their computer works the way it does because of the life’s work of Professor Robin Milner. Born near Plymouth, the son of an army officer, Arthur John Robin Gorell Milner seemed destined to continue the family’s military history. He attended Eton College, where his academic prowess earned him a scholarship and led to him being educated with pupils two years his senior.

Graduation from Eton was followed by two years of national service in the Royal Engineers as a second lieutenant, serving in the Suez Canal, teaching soldiers to drive bulldozers. Despite being born in to a military family, Milner had academic ambition, and the talent to back it up. He enrolled on yet another scholarship at King’s College, Cambridge, gaining a first in mathematics in just two years before completing his final year in philosophy. Milner always had a passion for shared knowledge, and he felt that information should be accessible to as many people as possible. It was partly this that led to his first job as a maths teacher before, rather tentatively and against his initial judgment, he took a job in programming at electronics company Ferranti. He had been exposed to programming during a ten-day course and was not impressed. His love for mathematics, which he said was “beautiful”, was in stark contrast with programming, which he described as “not a very beautiful thing”. In fact, that course had convinced him that he had no desire, or need, to go near a computer ever again. He joined Ferranti in 1960 as a programmer and stayed for three years before moving into academia, where he would spend the rest of his career.

He married Lucy in 1963 and had two sons and a daughter. Their eldest son, Gabriel, died in 1992. His first lecturing position was at City University, London where he taught maths and computer science. While there he developed an interest in artificial intelligence and the theory of computing, which led to a research position at Swansea University in 1968. His work earned him another research post at Stanford University, California, in 1971 and it was here that he began to develop the first of his three significant contributions to modern computing: LCF (or Logic for Computable Functions), a tool for automated theorem proving. The second of his significant contributions was the language he developed for LCF, ML, a programming language. He returned to lecturing in 1973 to take up a position at the University of Edinburgh, where he was awarded a Personal Chair in 1984 and completed his work on LCF and ML. During his 22 years at Edinburgh he co-founded the Laboratory for Foundations of Computer Science (LFCS) which was to become an institute of world renown. The third of his significant contributions also came at Edinburgh when he invented CCS, Calculus for Communication Systems, which provides descriptive analysis on how computing processes interact. This work led to another of his inventions, pi- calculus, which is now used for the design of web programming languages and by biologists to model cell interaction. The LFCS has an annual Milner lecture, towards which Milner donated funds given by “an outstanding theoretical computer scientist whose work has perceived significance for practical computing”.

Milner moved to Cambridge in 1995 to take up the first established Chair of Computer Science and was head of department until 1999, before becoming Research Professor and later Professor Emeritus in 2001. This is a rare achievement for an academic without a doctorate degree. More recently, he led work on the Grand Challenge Projects, which explored the possibility of a computer-orientated world where appliances could think and communicate in an autonomous fashion with the outside world. Milner was excited at the prospect of a fridge being able to contact a supermarket and restock itself, but he was also aware of the sociological dangers of being too heavily reliant on a computer-driven world. Milner worked with complex and baffling concepts that few outside of his immediate academic circle could keep up with. The demand for his work from the private sector was immense and could have earned him a fortune had he ever sold himself to the multinationals. He never made that move; such was his adamant belief that his work should benefit as many people as possible. Milner’s impressive body of work earned him awards and plaudits the world over. He won the Computer Society Technical Award for the development of Standard ML in 1987. In 1988 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society; a Distinguished Fellow of the British Computer Society; and a founder member of Academia Europaea. In 1991 he received the “Nobel Prize” for computing, the Turing Award, and in 1994 he was made a Fellow of the Association for Computer Machinery. He was also awarded the Royal Medal by the Royal Society of Edinburgh or his “bringing about public benefits on a global scale”. He also received ten honorary doctorates from universities all over the world. At the time of his death Milner was working on biographs, a topic on which he had published a book in 2009. He had also re-established a working relationship with Edinburgh University where he gave lectures and courses on the subject.

Outside of academia he was a passionate musician, and had played and composed for both the oboe and cello while studying at Cambridge. He even came close to pursuing a career as a musician. Despite his undisputed genius Milner was a modest man who had no wish for the limelight. He enjoyed his work, and was well liked by academics and students. For more than 45 years he was one of the world’s top computer scientists, who provided an insight into how computers actually behave, enabling future systems to operate more efficiently and effectively.

Robin Milner died of a heart attack just three days after the funeral of his wife Lucy. He is survived by his son and daughter.

We now have 34 members and we span 50 years from leaving Eton in 1960 to 2010 so the group is building

As I emailed before Bill Safran has offered his house in Holland Park London on Monday the 4th of October 2010 for our OEA Comp Tech Group Meeting. Time to start is about 1830.

My suggestion is that the event will be the same format as last year and we will have a round the table discussion (say 90 minutes) followed by a more informal social. In the near future I will provide a dial in number for anyone who cant physically attend. For the round table discussion it would be interesting to tell us about your current activities and also one or two areas where you see the Comp Tech industry developing

Currently Ollie Cook (2001), John Parnell (1977), Justin Gayner, Robert Barrett (1976), Christopher Glanusk (1960), Tom Allason, Bill Safran (1982) and myself (1977) are coming

Liam Maxwell who is currently teaching at Eton is also coming so at the moment we are nine

The careers presentation to the school on the 29th of June went well and about 20 Boys attended. The feedback from the Boys was that the presentation was OK. I think a report will appear in November in the OEA newsletter

Regards, Andrew Parker-Jervis (1977)

We now have 25 members and we span 50 years from leaving Eton in 1960 to 2010 so the group is building

There are 2 events planned
1) Bill Safran (1982), Ollie Cook (2001), Humphrey Drummond (1979) and myself are providing a panel for the B Block Careers Event at Eton at 11am on Tuesday the 29th of June. We have prepared a simple PP presentation which I can send if anyone wants a copy.

2) Bill Safran who is CEO of the Norland Technology Group has kindly offered to host an event in the evening at his house in Holland Park London on Monday the 4th of October.

I am thinking that the event will be the same format as last year and we will have a round the table discussion followed by a more informal social. We will provide a dial in number for anyone who cant physically attend.
If you could say if you are coming please so we can estimate numbers.

The President of the MCC, Johnny Barclay (CNCA 72), will give the first annual OEA Lecture on

3rd March 2010 in the Long Room at Lord’s

Champagne Reception from 6.15 p.m.

Lecture 7.00 p.m.

Tickets £50

If you would like to attend, please send a cheque for £50 per person (payable OEA) to:

OEA, Eton College, Windsor SL4 6DW

The OEA Computer Technology group had the first meeting on November the 9th 2009 in London at the offices of Symantec. 9 OEs attended in person and 3 dialled in from the UK and USA (Harvard and Boston).

The aim of the the OEA CT Group is to share experience, promote synergy between the school, universities and business and provide support for Computer Technology startups.

Fortunately and despite Flu Stephen Wolfram was able to dial in from Boston Massachusetts and gave a presentation on the Wolfram Alpha project. He explained that the Wolfram Alpha project is aiming to create an integrated computational search engine & encyclopedia which is accurate and based on the mathematica language developed by Wolfram Research. The problem with the well known Wikipedia is that whilst it is useful for popular culture it contains much inaccurate information. The Wolfram Alpha project is recruiting staff and if any OEs or indeed current Etonians are looking for computer work the details are on the WolframAlpha website. The project would be grateful for any specialised help and there are currently 200 staff working on the project. OEs of course are encouraged to use the Wolfram Alpha website.

Then we had a round the table introduction of the 8 other Computer specialists who came which demonstrated a wealth of experience. This part of the meeting exceeded expectations and some really interesting ideas and concepts came forward. In particular Henry James demonstrated the talkaboutlocal website where local issues are being discussed on non profit making local websites.
The intention is to offer a panel of members of the Group to Eton for Careers events/Conferencs to answer questions about careers in computers. The plan is to have another meeting in March which will probably be at Eton.

Please keep an eye on the website at https://oldetoniancomps.wordpress.com/ for what is going on now and thinking about how computer technology may develop in the future.

Tom Grand has very helpfully found us a VC room at Message Labs next to Goodge Street Tube (@ 40 Whitfield St London W11 2RH) for Monday, Nov 9th 1730 to 1900

Currently confirmed coming in person are:
Justin Gayner (1995), Conrad Wolfram (maybe VC), Michael Dent, Alastair Speare Cole (1977), Tom Grand, Andrew Parker-Jervis (1977)
Stephen Wolfram (1977) may come via VC

If you have not replied could you please confirm if you would like to come and if you are dialling in Tom Grand can provide a voice conference account or if you are coming in via VC please send the IP of your video conference

Agenda (fairly simple). I think its important that the first meeting is simple and fun!
1. Brief Introduction and welcome by Andrew and also briefly introduce the group
2. Discussion about the aims and objectives of the Group
3. Discussion about the WolframAlpha project and how we can help

After the meeting, a visit to a local pub or coffee house.

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James Maudslay on Welcome
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