I've been here before.
I had patented a major innovation in computers. It was Nixon time, and I had left living in the USA because of Vietnam and because Nixon became dangerous for activists. I did not want the US to have the invention.
At that time, the only British money was government money. All the relevant British companies refused to innovate, and were determined to die. (They are all now gone.) Prime Minister Wilson knew this, and set up the NRDC, National Research Development Company to directly support people like me. He gave the NRDC £25 million, a second 25 to come next.
[[[Later I wanted the Institute of Inventors to expose the NRDC with an article by me. The chief asked me to come down, and told me 60% of their funding (and his salary) came from the NRDC. I felt sorry for him, and backed off.]]]
Catt spiral was going to cost £500,000.
I took "Catt spiral" to them. The NRDC man dealing with me did not know that big proposed projects like mine had to be sabotaged. They already funded hovertrain, and if they funded another it would threaten their pensions. They had to keep to new mousetraps. However, Catt might go abroad and succeed, creating a scandal. So they had to sabotage me. I published all this in "The Spectator".
“ .... the ingenious nature of the system for sabotaging new invention and industry.”
NRDC strung me along for a year, saying my invention was very important and they would support it. Two weeks before the year end, when my patents would be valueless, I was dining with the industrial editor of the Evening Standard. I told him to take it in hand. Next day he put through a call to the NRDC, saying he understood they were not going to support Catt Spiral. The man said he would call him back. They held an emergency meeting, and phoned back to say the offer was in the mail to Catt. I received it next day, and said certain terms were unacceptable. They told me to alter it any way I liked.
Thus i got their £1,000 . Now, when anyone asked me what the NRDC thought, if I told them the NRDC were nonsense, they would not believe I was a silly crank, because i had walked away from the NRDC with their £1,000.
Still none of the determined-to-die companies would touch it, as I said before. I told govt. I wanted a govt agency that was properly functioning. Two years later I was presented with ACTP, Advanced Computer Technology Project. They could only give 50%, and it took two more years for them to change their rules to give 100% in my case. They then funded research projects on Catt Spiral in three universities. The technique was proven, and still no (now dead) company would touch it. Many years later Sinclair took it up, gave me a lot of money, and set up a new company with £16 million. It came to market with acclaim.
I need to tell Krystof that I may not have been polite to everyone. I wanted to succeed, not to show what a pleasant man I was. The same holds with electromagnetic theory. Again, this is not a sport for gentlemen. Someone like Catt is a minnow in a sea full of gentlemanly predators. Like the frog, he has to look as big as possible. Only when the institutions, IEEE etc, fear me will they publish anything by me, because I lead the world in electromagnetic theory - unfair competition. A loose cannon is much to be feared. However, the gentlemen professors turn vicious when threatened by major advances.
There was a 30 year window of opportunity, now over, (when processing and memory had the same technology) to get away from the von Neumann architecture of the computer. Catt spiral rowed on top of von Neumann. The window has now closed due to other advances in computer technology. I have not worked out what today's computer architecture should be. Parameters like cost, size speed and power consumption of things like memory have change by a factor of, not one million, but one thousand million.
Ivor Catt 13 December 2017