David Tebbutt

It was scoring 100 per cent on a computer aptitude test at NCR that attracted a restless young David Tebbutt to computing in 1965. The industry proved rich in opportunity, taking him from programming, systems analysis and training, through project and data processing management, to business and technology writing and editing.

At NCR, David’s first machine, had 2.4k bytes of memory for working data, the program and running all peripherals. As the technology developed he helped a wide range of companies implement their IT systems. In 1975 he joined ICL as a leadership skills trainer, a role which took him to diverse assignments in Trinidad, Nigeria and Poland.

David had always enjoyed writing but his family and teachers discouraged him from taking it up professionally, believing it was not a good career choice. The chance to prove them wrong came with the emerging world of personal computers.

For Personal Computer World, David reviewed launch models of breakthrough devices such as the IBM PC and Osborne 1 and interviewed industry luminaries including Steve Jobs.  As editor, he covered a seminal period, spanning the development of the industry from kit microcomputers to the IBM PC  via Tandy TRS-80 and Commodore Pet.

Unable to resist the pull back into the IT industry, in 1981 David co-founded Caxton Software, where he published and developed PC business productivity applications such as BrainStorm, a program he had developed to organise his own work while at PCW. It is still on sale in the US.

David has long been interested in environmental issues, inspired by books such as E F Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful. He worked on an ambitious sustainability initiative at the Science Museum from 2003-2006, and was launch editor of Blue & Green Tomorrow magazine in 2010.

As a writer, David has also covered topics such as ageing, leisure and happiness. He is currently ghost-writing a book about the future. But he doesn’t believe in the “singularity — the idea that AI will eventually control us.

David was interviewed by Jane Bird for Archives of IT.

David Tebbutt on Being a Writer

David Tebbutt on NCR

David Tebbutt on the Science Museum

LinkedInTwitterFacebook