2 Turku Joins the Computer Era

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2.1 Start of the Computer Era in Turku, cont.

At the board meeting November 13th, activities for creating a foundation for the Computing Center was initiated. On Nov 19 Turun Yliopisto decided to intend to reserve space used as bicycle shelter in the cellar of House of Natural Sciences for the computing machine.

The start of the election meeting of the Mathematics Machine Society of Turku was held on December 12 and was finished on December 22. On December 18 a representative for the ABN Company, i.e., the company building the Wegematic 1000, held a talk at University of Turku reviewing the computer centers using a Wegematic 1000. At the meeting 22.12 one point was: Discussion about how to stand regarding the alternatives Wegematic 1000 and IBM 1620. Because Wegematic 1000 was unconditionally donated and because IBM 1620 was suited only for scientific-technical computations whereas Wegematic 1000 was a machine also suitable for business applications, and the delivery-time for the new IBM machines was rather long whereas Wegematic 1000 could be obtained already in summer 1960, the decision was in favor for Wegematic 1000.

A modified budget was presented based on the assumption that the machine would be in operation from June 1st 1960. The rules for the Computing Center and the Society of Guarantors for the Computing Center of Turku were presented.

The donation letter from Wenner-Gren Center, dated Jan 19 and signed by K. Birger Strid, 1960 stated that the donation to the University of Turku and the Foundation for Åbo Akademi, comprising an automatic computer Wegematic 1000, was "for promoting research and teaching within applied mathematics and within this field strengthen the contacts between the universities and the business world". The wording was the result of discussions between the donator and the Society.

In January the creation of a foundation for managing the computer, the Research Foundation for Applied Mathematics and Computation, was proposed, and under it the Turku Computing Center for the daily operation. At a meeting of the Mathematics Machine Society of Turku in February a tenant agreement between The Research Foundation for Applied Mathematics and Data Processing and the University of Turku on 130 square meters floor space (the former bicycle shelter) for Wegematic 1000 at the rent of 32,500 mk/month was presented.

In March the Mathematics Machine Society arranged a programming course (24 h) for Wegemetic 1000 with lecturers from Wenner-Gren Center.