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The Influence of the Cambridge Mathematical Laboratory on the LEO Project
October-December 1992 (vol. 14 no. 4)
pp. 41-48

This article first paints the background to the LEO (Lyons Electronic Office) project and explains how it came about that a large-scale food and catering business, J. Lyons and Company, set out to build its own computer - and later went into the business of building and supplying computers to others. Some of the leading people involved are introduced. The article describes how their interest in computers was first aroused during a study visit to the USA in 1947 and how this quickly led to a close connection with the Mathematical Laboratory at Cambridge University and to the first of the series of LEO computers. The ideas incorporated in these machines are traced back to their origins in the Mathematical Laboratory at Cambridge. An appendix by Derek Hemy recounts Lyons' very early introduction to computer programming.

1. J.R.M. Simmons,LEO and the Managers, Macdonald, London, 1962, Ch. 1, pp. 13-30.
2. J.M.M. Pinkerton, "Performance Problems with LEO I,"Radio and Electronic Eng., Vol. 43, 1975, pp. 411-414.
3. J.M.M. Pinkerton, "Automatic Frequency Control,"Electronic Eng., Vol. 23, 1951, pp. 147-148.
4. E.H. Lenaerts, "LEO, Lyons Electronic Office -- Operation and Maintenance,"Electronic Eng., Vol. 26, 1945, pp. 11-17.
5. J.M.M. Pinkerton, "Taming LEO -- Overcoming the Inherent Unreliability of LEO I,"IEE Review, Vol. 37, 1991, pp. 13-17.
6. J. Hendry, "The Teashop Computer Manufacturer: J. Lyons, LEO and the Potential and Limits of High-tech Diversification,"Business History, Vol. 29, 1987, pp. 73-102.

John M.M. Pinkerton, Derek Hemy, Ernest H. Lenaerts, "The Influence of the Cambridge Mathematical Laboratory on the LEO Project," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 14, no. 4, pp. 41-48, Oct.-Dec. 1992, doi:10.1109/85.194054
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