Feeds

back to article ARM creators Sophie Wilson and Steve Furber

Back in the late 1970s you wouldn't have guessed that this shy young Cambridge maths student named Wilson would be the seed for what has now become the hottest-selling microprocessor in the world. Ninety-five per cent of today's smartphones are built around an ARM processor. The ARM began with Wilson. Sophie Wilson. Sourc: …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

This post has been deleted by a moderator

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Thumb Up

Re: Who Needs Action when You Got HyperRadioProActive Words Following Heavenly Waves

....Holy hell your back? I have to say I have missed your posts. Its been almost too sane here lately.

4
0
WTF?

Re: Who Needs Action when You Got HyperRadioProActive Words Following Heavenly Waves

Sane? Sane?!

It's been like this the entire time.

3
0
Unhappy

Mk14

I think you will find Ian Williamson was the original inspiration behind the MK14, but this part of the story tends to get brushed under the carpet. Even the BBC`s "Micro Men" missed this part of the story out.

0
0
Bronze badge
Boffin

Star Designer

Roger / Sophie WIlson is one of my all-time heroes.

I disassembled the 6502 code in one of the BEEB's ROMs to get some insight into programming (didn't get out much in those days) and was amused to find the last five bytes contained an ASCII representation of his first name.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Star Designer

It was the BASIC ROM. And the last six bytes contain "Roger" followed by a zero byte.

I'm such a geek.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Star Designer

If you pulled out the processor from a model b (IIRC) underneath it said "Bob's Board".

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Star Designer

Bob = Nightshift silkscreen operator, BEPI factory in Galashiels.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Star Designer

If you put a Beeb OS ROM into one of the sideways ROM slots (you'll need another OS ROM to get the machine to boot of course) and have a look at the area which is mapped out to the I/O ports when it is in it's usual memory location, you'll see a huge block of ASCII crediting all those involved.

1
0
Bronze badge
Boffin

Re: Star Designer

There was a way to access the ROM behind the I/O areas (called Fred, Jim and Sheila) by writing to &FE34.

1
0
Thumb Up

I wonder..

I wonder what would have happened if Acorn hadn't won the BBC gig. The development of the ARM processor was partly as a result of the success of the BBC micro, although by the time it came out Acorn had been bailed out by Olivetti. It's possible that ARM might have been developed anyway, but the tiny foothold it got in the market with the Acorn Archimedes range demonstrated exactly what could be done with the fast little processor..

..and of course, ARM processors are everywhere now.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: I wonder..

I recall some dirty work at the crossroads too. As soon as they had got the contract, the price quoted to the BBC suddenly went up. A lot...

0
1
Pint

Your phone, your tablet ...

... My PC.

3
0
Bronze badge
Pint

Re: Your phone, your tablet ...

> ... My PC.

Two on my desk. One sitting in a little box behind me somewhere. A few in the loft.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Title is not mandatory but must contain unicorns and custard

Steve Furber was also a pretty good lecturer at the University of Manchester. I still remember my lessons in processor design from him - even if they have been next to useless IRL.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Excellent story...

... can't wait for tomorrow's instalment.

5
0
JDX
Gold badge

Blimey

I was just about to make a silly joke how she looks like a man in a wig, then read about how that is actually close to the truth.

Good story (ARM, not his/her gender).

3
14
Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Blimey

Misogyny is unattractive. Trans-misogyny more so.

2
4
JDX
Gold badge

Re: Blimey

Misogyny means "hatred of women". Either you don't know that or you're really keen to get on that high-horse, since nothing I said implied hatred.

And why you think hating women is not as bad as hatred for trans-gender people is rather baffling.

1
4

Re: Blimey

Surely saying trans-misogyny is more unattractive than misogyny is in fact...er...misogynistic?

0
0
FAIL

Re: Blimey

There's a time to stop digging. Oops, too late, ah well, how's it looking in Australia?

4
0
Silver badge

Re: Blimey

I was using "trans-misogyny" to mean "hatred of trans women". It's slightly more euphonic than "misotransgyny". Anyway, linky:

http://freethoughtblogs.com/nataliereed/2012/03/06/a-beginners-guide-to-trans-misogyny/

0
0

Re: Blimey

What about trans-men you hatemonger!

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Who cares on gender or reassignment...

Excellent article....

Sensitively dealt with...

1
0
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Re: Who cares on gender or reassignment...

"Sensitively dealt with..."

Not really.

What's wrong with mentioning 'Sophie had gender realignment surgery' to avert confusion? Did anyone else think 'who the f*** is Roger; her brother/husband/father?'

4
3
Unhappy

Re: Who cares on gender or reassignment...

True, not knowing the backstory I was quite confused re this point till I read the comments...

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: quite confused ... till I read the comments...

Me too. A straightforward line of explanation, or even a "then" would have helped.

One idea would be to treat any kind of identity change, whether involving gender or not, as retrospective.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: quite confused ... till I read the comments...

I agree - if you don't know the story, the first two sentences don't really explain that the two names are the same person. On the other hand, I can see why the author is (rightly) trying to concentrate on her work, rather than the details of her personal life.

But as for it being retrospective, I would suspect that Roger was always Sophie, long before she used the name. You don't go to the trouble and pain of a sex-change just because you fancy paying a few quid a year less for your car insurance...

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: quite confused ... till I read the comments...

cheaper car insurance...

Yes my lad would have saved £1000 p.a. if only he'd agreed to the op.

0
0

Re: quite confused ... till I read the comments...

@Kristian,

Yeah, she was always the same person, so it's quite reasonable to refer to her as Sophie, whatever time in her life she did something.

Part of me feels I'm being slightly disrespectful by focussing on her personal life, though I do find her to be very inspirational in that regard too.

2
0
DJV
Thumb Up

Ah, heady days...

Good article! Back in the 1970s I worked for a PCB manufacturer in Norwich and we built a few of the early prototype System One PCBs for Acorn (we didn't assemble the chips, just drilled, etched and screen printed the boards themselves). We didn't get the job for the full production run, though. I kept one of the memory boards with the intention of using it as expansion for my 8K PET - never did get around to doing that though. I seem to remember the board could take 2114 (1K x 4-bit) chips so it needed 16 to make the full 8K-byte.

Slightly later on I built a few Atoms from kits for a local shop that wanted to sell them ready made at cheaper than normal ready-built price of £150 (so he was obviously paying me less than the £30 difference). There weren't that many chips on it and there were sockets for all of them. But the most difficult bit was aligning the 120 stiff wires from the keyboard (2 per key) into the corresponding holes in the PCB all at once!

0
0
Mushroom

Get Real

The work on the BBC Micro and ARM was done by Roger Wilson. End of.

That he might now want to be known as Sophie is immaterial. Credit it properly and stop with the PC (stupidity, not personal computer).

3
6
FAIL

Re: Get Real

One might choose to defer to the wishes of the person being credited... Or one could choose to be an a***hole...

8
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Get Real

And this is how we treat our heroes.

Sometimes I think there's no hope for humanity.

2
0
JDX
Gold badge

Sometimes I think there's no hope for humanity.

I'm sure many would say the exact same thing about a man wanting to cut his bits off :)

4
8
FAIL

Re: Sometimes I think there's no hope for humanity.

"I'm sure many would say the exact same thing about a man wanting to cut his bits off :)"

Idiot.

2
3
Anonymous Coward

Re: Get Real

I sincerely hope that you're not a computer programmer.

0
0

Re: Get Real

Erm... first names are only used in the first paragraph (and then, only once for each). After that, it's "Wilson" all the way, with no pronouns. But as far as the introductory blurb goes, even for genetic women it's standard practice to use their current name, even if they weren't married at the time and had a different surname.

Besides which, it's linking her current reputation with the work she did back then; so it makes more sense to use her current name than use different names in each context.

1
0
WTF?

"Unsung Heroes"?

Presumably until tomorrow's Part 2, when their recent Fellowship awards from San Jose's Computer History Museum will be noted!

http://tinyurl.com/dxpb8gt

The ceremony was last Saturday

http://tinyurl.com/c3rs8cc

which coincided with the annual Wakefield RISC OS Show - perhaps the time difference precluded any sort of live streaming from the event!

0
0
Unhappy

NOOOOOOO!!!!

If the The Register has one habit that bugs me, it's that their prime articles, and the accompanying banner images, stick around on the right-side bar forever!

I swear we've been staring at those two guys holding that PARIS plane for MONTHS now.

Please, don't tell me I'm still going to be looking at this article's banner pic when Christmas comes around!

:) :)

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Probably also worth noting...

...that Steve is one of the best lecturers at Manchester. Properly belter.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.