A very merry Christmas to one and all. But while you’re sipping the sherry or nibbling the parson’s nose, we at New Manchester Walks towers are on a strictly ascetic diet, devising, tweaking, wrestling with new tours for your delectation.
Meanwhile, here’s a great Christmas idea: buy a voucher or two from www.quaytickets.com and redeem them on any walk (apart from the Midland Hotel). Or maybe tickets for the canal cruise. What a great simple Christmas gift.
Sixty-five years ago what would you have bought the friend or relative that had everything? Why, a computer of course, the very latest new fangled toy.
Made in Moston, Manchester, the Mark 1 was the world’s first commercially available computer. It was the size of a medium range kitchen. What could you have done with it? You couldn’t go on the Internet as that didn’t exist. You couldn’t send an e-mail, coz they didn’t exist, so there was not much for the average householder to do, but you could always invite round the neighbours and proudly show it off.
“There it is: a computer!”
“What does it do, Fred?”
“Dunno, but it’s the future.”
What the Mark 1 did do was create the world’s first computerised music, a medley of “Ba-Ba Black Sheep”, “God Save the King” and “In The Mood”. Who would have thought at that time, in the early 50s, that within thirty years the best music in the world would be made on computers (Kraftwerk, Cabaret Voltaire, Depeche Mode, Yello) or in Kraftwerk’s case by computers? As the man-robot sang: “I programme my home computer/Beam myself into the future.”