Control Data Australia Memories compiled by Brian Membrey



Anyone ever seen these before???  A Control Data Australia matchbook bobbed up on eBay in early March, seller in North Caulfield, but it seems like it didn’t attract a bid at ten bucks plus postage.

Never seen the like before … I think this logo disappeared circa 1974 and was replaced by the “tombstone”.

VIP (Very Politically Incorrect) these days as encouraging smoking, but just about every pub or club worth its name had them in the 1970s … seem to remember bringing a couple of dozen back for a friend’s wife after a stint working in New Zealand and arranging with an American guy to swap some from the U.S. for Oz stamps.

Also the logo on this tiepin bring backs some memories, but I couldn’t find any other instances of the (“hammer and sickle?) logo being used. I think the pins were pretty common and have a gut-feeling there may be one in the Bryant’s collection, but the logo throws me somewhat.

Unused box of 8" floppy disks by Control Data. Labels applied, unformatted, open box. 10 disks”. And speaking of eBay, you coulda had these outta Washington recently - not sure whether it’s our location, but the ad. reads “May not ship to Australia”.  US $46, probably twice what you would have paid early 1980s.

Good luck with the formatting!


“Nostalgia Ain’t What It used to Be”

Spiritual Homes  Double-click to enlarge #top

Never seen before picture of our first manufacturing plant, 6 Wangara Road, Cheltenham circa 1972 - all by its lonesome and across the road from a filled-in rubbish tip and a cemetery (both useful for re-locating employees who step out of  line)

Right : the factory today. The Cemetery remains, the tip was converted to a golf driving range circa 1975 and operates today. The remainder of Wangara Road is pretty much all light industry except for a small string of two-story houses at the western end


--- LATEST NEWS ---

APRIL, 2017

April has not been Control Data Australia’s best month …”

(Frank Linton-Simpkins stating the bleedin’ obvious, The Australian, April 18, 1978 following the cancellation within ten days of each other of CRISP and the QTAB GWS projects).

The timing is purely coincidental, but our April updates are mostly about collapses - CRISP, QTAB and finally Miden Pacific. There may be more to come next month after I follow-up accusations that QTAB went to CDA despite a technical recommendation in favour of FACOM.

Larry Holswade’s Press Statement : VicTAB CRISP (6 April, 1978)

Larry Holswade’s Press Statement : QTAB GWS    (12 April, 1978)

Also some additional details on CDC’s plans to manufacture Business Products in Australia - ironically appearing in a New York paper just three weeks before the TAB cancellations.

RIMFIRE, RIOTS and Restrictions has been extensively overhauled - my thoughts on “Restrictionscould perhaps earned have CDC/CDA multi-000’s of dollars for little expenditure, my price currently rates as a free bottle of red at a Third-Friday lunch!

Other Newbies also as Downloads :

Both the history of CDA Manufacturing and CDC PLATO are as finished as I can make them sans FEEDBACK or a free loan of Doctor Who’s Tardus telephone box/time machine. Given both involve several Web pages, I’ve done a moderately quick cut-and-paste to create a consolidated PDF for both topics, Both remain (and are unlikely to change) from WIP without that Feedback  As part of the PLATO exercise, I’ve also downloaded and reformatted Donald Bitzer’s 1988 oral interview with the Charles Babbage Institute.

All are accessible from the Downloads page

LOOKING FOR copies of two CDA house journals I wasn’t aware of - ACCESS published on a two-monthly basis from late 1982 and EDSERV “a quarterly publication of the Control Data Educational Services Division”.

The latter was published June, 1982 to May, 1983 - probably four issues - and not sure whether it was aimed at staff or the emerging PLATO marketplace.  There are copies at the National Library in Canberra where I unfortunately am not.


Recent Minor Updates


CDA Incorporation (the Paid-up Capital)

Elizabeth Reid (and Professor Bob Barton)

Miden (the Trademark, Superannuation Fund, a Fire Sale and the Wind-up)

Between Ourselves (reformatting and correction of Date/Issue numbers)

CDA Phone Directory : 1963-1988

The TAB - Playing Bookmaker

Daily Life : Engineering Services

Daily Life : Business Products

  Daily Life : Mario’s Brighton


Past Updates

November, 2016 to March, 2017



Coming in May (or May-be not) :

The Miden Fire Sale (your cheap upgrade to a 386 and WordPerfect 2.0)

QTAB : CDA v FACOM?