Control Data Australia Memories compiled by Brian Membrey

The Automation Page : 1968-69

The first half of 1968 was fairly quiet from a CDA perspective, but a fascinating snippet appearing January about a 13-pound micro-computer developed by CDA for Grumman Aircraft in the U.S. helped fill the void.  Although we have yet to come up with “swear on the Bible” evidence, the device appears to have been known as the 3560, a couple of images in the Charles Babbage Institute collection of CDC photographs dated 1966  suggesting was a portable “plug-in” device.


Later in the year, a 3200 was added in Hobart to the Census and Statistics network to complete the initial order of 1963.


September saw the issue of tenders for the NSW TAB, predicted to be worth “considerably more” than the initial $2 million order placed by VicTAB and ultimately won by IBM.


Late in the year saw the unveiling of the 7600 and the launch of CDC’s legal action against IBM on the basis of violation of anti-trust laws and monopolistic practices. A similar suit was launched by the U.S. Government quoting the same reasons just over a month later.


1969 was dominated by rumours and installations of large-scale time-sharing systems, Control Data Australia to the fore with the ultimate installation of the 6600 in Sabemo House in North Sydney.


The other major topic of discussion in the computer industry was IBM’s decision to “unbundle” hardware and software prices with most other companies quickly following suit.  IBM’s decision appears to have been largely precipitated by their bundling of products quoted as prohibiting competition in the anti-trust suits launched by both CDC and the U.S, Government.


For CDC, the highlight was the sale of a 7600 to Westinghouse, the first order received from a commercial company.  Locally there were a few minor sales, with upgrades to the TAB (both for CDA and Infolec (Information Technologies Inc., A.C.T. Who supplied the telephone betting terminals).


October saw perhaps the most significant personnel advertisement yet placed by CDA, seeking a new position as Australian General Manager, ultimately filled by Peter MacGregor.