One of the first high level languages available on Atlas was named Atlas Autocode, which was an early forerunner to Algol. The Atlas also supported Algol 60, Fortran and COBOL. Being a university machine it was patronised by a large number of the student population who even had access to a protected machine code development environment.
While in its early stages Kilburn talked to several potential users of large computers, the design specifications from these meetings included the desire for an instruction speed approaching one order per microsecond and the need to attach a large number of peripherals of various types.
By 1959 the computer had been renamed the Atlas and was subsequently developed as a joint University/Ferranti venture under Tom Kilburn.
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