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MANCHESTER LAUNCHES DIGITAL SUMMER 98

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This month sees the launch of Digital Summer 98, a summer long celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of a world ...
This month sees the launch of Digital Summer 98, a summer long celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of a world first which happened in Manchester in 1948 - the birth of the modern computer as we know it.

The world's first stored program computer was born on June 21 1948 at the University of Manchester. This pioneering development by Freddie Williams and Tom Kilburn put Manchester at the forefront of the global technology revolution and fifty years on, Digital Summer 98 is set to stimulate a legacy of economic and social benefits to Manchester and the wider region.

Organisations and individuals from across the city and region will come together during Digital Summer 98 to celebrate Manchester's world beating invention in an exciting programme of events designed to promote a wider public understanding and involvement in local and international achievements in new technologies.

Councillor Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: 'Digital Summer 98 will remind people of an event that has touched all our lives in so many different ways. Manchester was first with the original computer technology and fifty years on still has an international reputation for being at the cutting edge of new technologies - not only in the field of science, but also in practical applications of these new technologies in business, public administration, education and the arts.

'Manchester is building itself into an international city of the future and these computing advances are not just taking place in our highly respected universities but also form an integral part of the economic and urban regeneration stretching across the whole of the city.

'We are committed to supporting innovative approaches to the regeneration of our local economy and local communities and want to ensure that new initiatives bring real direct benefits to local people in the form of high quality employment and training opportunities. Digital Summer 98 gives us the opportunity both to celebrate the original computer technology and to embrace the new.'

The centrepiece of Digital Summer 98 events will be the rebuilding of the very first computer 'Baby' which will be given a permanent home at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. Manchester will also be hosting the Telecities Conference in late June - a European wide meeting of cities who are working, like Manchester, to use new technologies to support the economic and urban regeneration of their cities - and the high profile ISEA 98 (The International Symposium of Electronic Arts) in September, which will be followed by the G7 International Working Group on Electronic Commerce. There will also be a cultural festival showcasing local and international artists who use digital technologies.

Partners in Digital Summer 98 include Manchester City Council, The University of Manchester, The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, The Manchester Museum, ICL, the Computer Conservation Society and ISEA 98.

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