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Old September 25th 03, 10:05 AM posted to uk.telecom
Martin Cope Martin Cope is offline
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First recorded activity by TelecomsBanter: Sep 2003
Posts: 7
Default Highgate Wood experimental electronic exchange (1960s)

"Brian {Hamilton Kelly}" wrote in message
In article
"Martin Cope" writes:

It was already called System X when I joined STC's development team in

1976. Long before the spin merchants got into gear for Telecom '79 in
Geneva. In those early days X was very much an unknown variable ;-)

Although I'd heard rumours of System X before that time, in January 1976
I met some of the people from STC that were expected to implement it.
This was on No.8 Real-Time Systems Design course at RMCS Shrivenham; the
course consisted of four weeks in January 1976 and a further three in

I recall the STC contingent on that course bitching about the fact that
"Post Office Coral" was not "proper Coral66"; in particular, that it
outlawed "anonymous referencing", which sort of spoilt a lot of the ethos
of Coral.

I don't recall your name from that course; mind you, I can't remember the
names of any of my fellow students. I do recall that the most senior STC
person drove a beautifully-preserved pre-war Rover. Ring any bells with

I think that would be John Lewis.
I wasn't on the course as I wasn't a software engineer - I'd moved over from
the TXE4A development team where I'd led the hardware design of the MCU
(exchange call processor) to work on the common channel signalling
protocol - No.7 was not then a finalised standard.
I remember the POCoral vs Coral66 debates. There were hardly more than a
dozen or so people working on System X then (I think the development
contract had still to be agreed with the PO). Some of the software people
had previously worked on the PCM Tandem switching experiment. When the trial
at Moorgate exchange was over, the kit ended up at STC New Southgate in the
lab next door to the Sys X team. A year or so later it went to a scrap
dealer, but I've still got a few bits in the loft! 256-bit RAM chips
(1101's) were state of the art then ;-)

Martin Cope