In the new year of 1948, an alternative possibility came into being for Alan's future.
For if the NPL project had ground to a sticky halt, the Manchester development had bounded along with great speed.
By the end of 1947 Williams had stored 2048 digits on an ordinary cathode ray tube screen, which was at least the equivalent of having a cheap, working delay line available.
Newman still had his Royal Society grant virtually intact, and mooted the idea that Alan should take an appointment at Manchester to direct the computer construction there instead.
Alan did not decide immediately, but in March Newman asked his university to create a new position, with a salary paid from the computer fund, but with the status of Reader.
The prospect of getting his hands on a computer after all was very attractive. But so was life at Cambridge, the nearest he had to a home.
He joined the Moral Science Club again, and gave them a talk on 'Problems of Robots' on 22 January. (That Czech word 'robot' had a topical flavour.)
He joined the Hare and Hounds Club, and continued his training, often running to Ely and back in the afternoon.
He tried some von Neumann game theory, and rather laboriously worked out a strategy for a simplified version of poker, slightly improving upon the account given by von Neumann, and also for the Princeton game of Psychology.