April - June 1977
21 weeks this quarter were taken up by holiday and official jubilation.
Copies of OXEYE were sent to Minnesota and to Birmingham. The SPITBOL system has remained un changed and bug-free so far this quarter. I gave a seminar on its use and on good SNOBOL practise at University College Swansea, I also wrote a review of a book on SNOBOL, which is to be published next term.
The Oxford Archive of English Literature, a data bank of literary texts in machine readable form, was conceived and reached parturition this quarter, despite endless problems with gummy pooltapes, defective tape transports and inadequate software. Several letters have been written, a meeting was held, tapes have been transferred. All texts known in the 1906A filestore were collected together, dumped to tape, and lost in a general restore.. Currently about 50 texts are being maintained and a catalogue is in production. Hardware problems.form the chief obstacles to progress.
The IDMS installation test was successfully run at Bath on May 6th. The swan database was moved there successfully the same month, and a program to monitor its performance ran once or twice before the machine went off the air. I am now re-designing the entire system. I gave a Tuesday morning chat on IDMS and also wrote a paper for the 2900 Technical Committee on the same topic.
Notable visits this quarter include two from ICL, Mr. Dick Jukes of Management Training who gave valuable advice on training in the use of IDMS and Mr. Tim Bourne who came to cast a fatherly eye over the progress of the RSL Serials Project (currently HALTED - WAITING FOR A STUDENT). I attended a course on literary statistics run by Susan and the next Master of Balliol, and a fascinating seminar on computational linguistics given by Professor Yorick Wilks at St. Cross.