Re: Nobody needs more than 640K of RAM.
"Ivor Catt did some good articles in the 1980s on this."
Ivor Catt wrote some interesting articles but I wouldn't describe them as good.
His ideas got as far as the Ferranti F-100/L microprocessor which had an internal serial architecture. The trouble was, compared to the TI 9989, another military microprocessor of the era, it was treacle to liquid helium. I know because I was on a project which used both of them.
One place where Catt went very wrong was his assumption that power doesn't scale with clock speed. Another was that timing jitter wasn't fixable. With TTL and ECL there was truth in this; if you could clock an ECL circuit at 500MHz it would be hard to parallel due to timing problems and didn't use 10 times the power of the same circuit at 50MHz - because most of the ECL power consumption was its analog circuitry, even at DC.
The coming of VLSI and CMOS destroyed both of Catt's assumptions; it became possible to parallel 64 data lines with clock speeds in the GHz range, which he never foresaw. As CMOS power scales very roughly with clock frequency for given design rules, a good parallel one will always beat a good serial one.
It isn't a pity that Thatcher sold off INMOS but it was a disaster that she didn't save ICL. Politicians used to mantra that they couldn't pick technology winners, but for some reason that never applied to companies that made things that went bang, only to things that were slightly beyond the grasp of civil servants with degrees in Classics and a poor maths O level.