An Elliott Brothers (Elliott-Automation Group or Elliott Computing Division) model 503 "ULTRA HIGH SPEED DIGITAL COMPUTER FOR SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY" was installed at the Hydro-University Computing Centre (HUCC), Hobart, Tasmania in January 1964, with commissioning tests conducted in May 1964. The machine appears to have been operational shortly afterwards, either June or July 1964 (ref: minutes of the Hydro-University Computer Board, Director's Report 22-Jan-1971).
The HUCC Elliott 503 operated from 1964 until 1977, a fourteen year stretch. In September 1975 a Burroughs B6700 was installed as a replacement for the Elliott 503. This commissioning date was later than planned due to ongoing building delays as the Burroughs and the supporting University Computing Centre was located in a new purpose built building.
Even in late 1977 the Burroughs B6700 was using the plotter attached to the Elliott 503 as an output device (in conversation with Rod Bilson 4-March-2010 and clarification from Brian Marriott).
The RAP is the operating system of the Elliott 503.
Michael Miller's annotated copy of RAP
From Michael Miller (UK) comes a copy of the Elliott 503 Reserved Area Program (RAP), a critical piece of Elliott 503 software infrastructure. Many thanks to Michael for preserving this valuable and essential piece of Elliott 503 history.
Elliott description of RAP
Michael describes his Elliott experience:
Thanks to Eric van der Meer for finding.
Thanks to Brian Marriott for locating this copy.
Somewhere between 33 and 39 Elliot Brothers model 503 computers have, so far, been identified (recorded) as delivered worldwide. This total is approximate due to the following factors:
Elliot 503 delivery details 1963 through 1966, information extracted from CCS-E4X5 compiled by Our Computer Heritage. A total of 32 machines delivered during the period of 1963 to 1966.
A second list, in French, with the title "INSTALLATIONS NCR-ELLIOTT 503 Sept. 64" has been found and differences/additions noted below with tag FL64. This document lists the following machines which were not listed in the CCS-E4X5 document:
Simon Lavington helpfully noted that FL64 appears to have Elliott 803 machines mixed in with model 503 which would explain the overlap and confusion between the two lists.
Tony Hoare (email: 11-May-2010) noted that an Elliott 803C was delivered to Harland and Wolff (Belfast Shipbuilders), and subsequently passed to the electronic engineering department at Queen's University Belfast where it was used by Professor Ryan. Tony subsequently caught up with this machine and provided technical advice to Professor Ryan when Tony joined Queen's in 1968.
503 ALGOL Mark 1
503 ALGOL Mark 1 + MODs
- MOD 2 - Arrays on core backing store
- MOD 3 - Lineprinter facility
- MOD 5 - Editing facility
- MOD 8 - Segmentation facility
- MOD 9 - Segmentation using magnetic tape
- MOD 11 - Improvement of machine code facilities
- MOD 12 - Standard procedures modification
503 ALGOL Mark 2 - never delivered - part of the ill-fated Elliott Mark II software project
503 ALGOL Mark 3
Early British Computers - A description of the early beginnings of Elliott Brothers with pictures.
Elliott 503 Project ToDo list - big list of things to do, ideas, wishlist, and some of what has been done so far.