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From the control panel, pictured above, Leo 1's operators eventually ran applications on the 500kHz system that extended from weekly payroll calculations to accounts and management reports. The Edsac-based Leo — or Lyons Electronic Office — started out with punched card and paper tape readers, but later versions switched to magnetic tape.
Despite initial teething problems, the Leo 1 system became efficient enough for Lyons to offer computing services to other companies, including Ford UK, in what can be seen as a pioneering outsourcing service. Lyons also ended up building Leo machines for external organisations.
Photograph © 2008 Leo Computers Society