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CSIRO Problem In Computer Network

The Argus, 9 December, 1953

Washington, Tuesday.  A.A.P.

The United States National Bureau of Standard today unveiled a high-speed electronic device capable of exercising judgement - a faculty previously limited to human beings. The device is designed to speed the handling of census information.

It is called "Fosdic", short for Film Optical Sending Device for Input to Computers.

Possessed of a degree of intelligence and adaptability, "Fosdic" translates census data directly from enumerators' sheets into electrical impulses which can be fed on magnetic tape into the bureau's univac, an electronic digital computer.

"Fosdic", which cost 100,000 dollars (about £45,000) consists of a cathode-ray tube and an electric eye.

"Fosdic" does its work at the rate of 30 census documents a minute, compared with the manual rate of two documents a minute.

Its rate of error is about one mistake in 100,000, and this is blamed on poor film. -

(Ed.  as transcribed - "univac" in lower case and with no explanatory note offered).