In the 1950s there was no software industry. Dina St Johnston, who had learned to program whilst working for the computer manufacturer Elliott-Automation, founded Vaughan Programming Services in 1959. The company began to specialise in on-line systems for digital process control at a time when industrial automation was in its infancy. In due course the company developed its own platform-independent, timesharing, mini-operating system (MACE) and, in 1970, the Vaughan 4M microprocessor. Vaughan went on to become specialists in the supply of real time controllers for passenger railways. Dina St Johnston remained an active programmer until 1996.