LOCO Logical Computer - 1959 13 of 26
LOCO was an early computer built by Eric Foxley as part of a PhD project at the University of Nottingham to solve logic problems.
It was designed by Drs Alan Rose (Reader in Mathematical Logic at Nottingham) & Eric Foxley, with supervision help from Professor Parton the Electronics Department.
It was funded by British Railways to investigate it's use in Railway Signalling (the design of signal and points interconnections).
It solved problems in Mathematical Logic (including the determination of all Sheffer functions in 3-valued logic, and including what must be the first machine proof of what had until then been a conjecture about such functions.
The computer processed at 3 hertz (yes, hertz) and had 120 decision elements, but in logic problems out-performed contemporary general-purpose computers (such as the English electric Deuce at 40000 then).
The advent of powerful general-purpose computers such as Atlas and convenient high-level languages such as Algol by the mid-1960s soon made the building of special-purpose logic computers unnecessary, but it was a fun PhD project.
The photo is of one of the "Universal Decision Elements".
Image 1959-LOCO1204.jpg
Photo page created Fri Dec 2 18:28:31 2005. All information © Eric Foxley.