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Beeb designer lands top technology medal

By Nick Brown. Published: 20th Sep 2007, 23:52:02 | Permalink | Printable

Prof Furber pays tribute to past Acorn engineers

Steve FurberProfessor Steve Furber, the brains behind the BBC Micro and ARM architecture, was this week awarded a top engineering industry gong.

The former Acorn design manager received the Faraday medal, the most prestigious achievement award from the Institute of Engineering and Technology. It is given once a year for notable accomplishments in engineering and the professor joins a long list of distinguished names going back as far as 1922.

Upon winning the award, Prof Steve said: "It is a great honour to receive this. I have been very fortunate to work with many outstanding colleagues both at Acorn and at Manchester, and to find myself in the right place at the right time to work on projects that turned out to have an impact.

"The first half-century of computing has been extraordinarily exciting, but watch out, because the next half-century promises even bigger changes and more rapid development."

The professor is no stranger to success, however. Apart from being the ICL professor of computer engineering at the University of Manchester, he is vice-president of the British Computer Society, the chair of the UK Computing Research Committee, a holder of a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award and has been awarded both a Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Medal and the Queen's Award for Technology. The latter of these two awards was for the technological innovations that he made whilst at Acorn.

Links

Prof Steve Furber's Wikipedia page

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Discussion

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Its commonly said that the Microsoft PC has put computing innovation back a decade. If Britain had any clue how to support its home grown talent, Steve would be at the forefront of putting us a decade ahead.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/9/07 9:01AM
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We've had many good ideas in brit-land, however, we are the most god-awful marketers! ;-)

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 21/9/07 9:47AM
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As druck said, government support for homegrown industry of pretty much any kind is at a historic low. Just look at the plight of virtually any non-service industry, then look at the lack of governmental support (tax breaks etc) that exist. Then look where government contracts and the like are placed. I remember a few years ago the Italians shafted a huge northwest ship builder, basically screwing them into insolvancy. What did the government do? Well, I suppose there's always job seeker's allowance!

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 21/9/07 11:14AM
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I think this is true of many countries not just the UK. Looking back at the history of the computer industry and you'll see many companies failed to make it. I am sure that most people for example didn't see the demise of Commodore.

I think the award is well deserved given the massive up take of the technology that Prof Furbur help bring into existence. The ARM processor is without doubt once of the most important technological developments to come out of the British computer industry.

 is a RISC OS Userstevek on 22/9/07 4:21AM
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Congratulations!

well deserved i think!

I wonder if anyone has done a study/produce a report to show if there is a link between the uk's shift towards a service industry and the appearance of computing?

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 22/9/07 2:33PM
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druck: "Its commonly said that the Microsoft PC has put computing innovation back a decade. If Britain had any clue how to support its home grown talent, Steve would be at the forefront of putting us a decade ahead."

You mean the mass adoption of the Microsoft PC ;) But, indeed, that's very true and a huge shame. It's extremely disappointing to see the use of Windows being so common, so obvious, like a cognitive lock-in. But what is truly upsetting, is that some use them against better judgement. People who are informed about Microsoft's ways and the availability of better alternatives. Unfortunately, most people are not rebelling against Microsoft. They don’t know any better. About 25 years ago, someone quite knowledgeable in the industry mentioned that if IBM wins, we'll enter a 'computer dark ages' for about 20 years. And then Microsoft came along, even taking the mighty IBM by surprise.

By the way, have you considered the fact that Britain does have a clue how to support their own home-grown talent? It's pretty obvious they've allowed Microsoft's sickening ways to persevere, it doesn't take a paranoid vulcan to connect the dots. It's the same in other countries.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 22/9/07 3:54PM
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Who was the man awarded an MBE - I'm afraid I've forgot? And now Prof.Furber.

Of course the real challenge in life is to succeed and not let it go to your head. Talking of which, I don't see Sophie Wilson as arrogant - when does she get some credit for her massive contribution to GB?

 is a RISC OS UserAW on 22/9/07 11:10PM
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[link] [link]

 is a RISC OS UserAW on 23/9/07 2:45PM
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