Tim Johnson

Tim Johnson is perhaps best known to those in IT as the co-founder of Ovum, one of the foremost analysts of the industry, that subsumed another familiar name, Holway, and still produces reports, now as part of Datamonitor. 

Tim describes himself as a researcher, a role he has been carrying out since becoming a science correspondent in 1963, producing material on key technologies, markets and issues in various media, through the nationals press and his own brands like Ovum, Point Topic, and Look Multimedia.? His pioneering work includes some of the first publications on packet switching, expert systems, video cassettes and the use and applications for data communications across 17 European countries.?

Tim comes from a line of ancestors involved in technology and media and his father wrote a report recommending the installation of a computer in the design department of Roll Royce in 1953. 

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.

Malcolm Penn

Malcolm Penn could have been a rock star but turned out a market researcher, analyst and authority on the electronics industry.

R&B music subsidised his electronic engineering degree sandwich course of four years with Vickers Aircraft in Weybridge and Wisley, where he worked on the VC10 programme, testing one plane almost to destruction, and Venner Electronics in south west London. He spent 14 years with ITT Semiconductors and ITT Europe, where he learned his trade in chip design, product marketing,  manufacturing and as a chip user.

He set up the US market research company Dataquest in Europe, before forming his own market research company, Future Horizons, to explain what the numbers mean. He has trenchant views on Intel and ARM, which are well worth hearing.

Rory Cellan-Jones

Rory Cellan-Jones provides a sharp, insightful view of the Tech in the Internet age.  He was a reporter for the BBC for 30 years, initially covering business, which got him interested in the burgeoning business of IT in the 90s.  As the industry developed he met the key players from Bill Gates to and Elon Musk and Steve Jobs and recalls the launch of the iPhone as a masterpiece of PR theatre. He chronicled  the rise and burst of the .com bubble in the UK in his book dot.bomb. 

Now retired from the BBC he has reflected on the exciting and dangerous world of what he calls “the social smartphone era” in his contribution to the archive and in his new book Always On. One of his biggest mistakes, he says, was getting excited about Google Glass, which did not look cool.