Control Data Australia Memories compiled by Brian Membrey
TAB Off The Air
The Sporting Globe (Stop Press) 25 October, 1969
“Breakdown of a diesel generator caused a hold-
“As a result, the last race at Moonee Valley was delayed until 4.55 p.m.
“The breakdown caused a loss of power to the TAB computer – CARBINE – and it was off the air for 25 minutes.
“TAB officials said late this afternoon all bets on the second last race had been handled, because the breakdown didn't occur until within a minute or two of closing time of betting.
“He added it was hoped to handle all investments offering on the last race at the Valley an Adelaide, and generally there was only slight inconvenience to TAB punters.
“Today was the first time there had been a major breakdown in the TAB operations”.
Editor's Note : When is a breakdown a lucky break? Probably this one – it was Cox Plate and Moonee Valley Cup Day and VicTAB were fortunate that the problem arose just before the last race – a couple of hours earlier, and it would have been a major disaster.
For the record, the last race was delayed 15 minutes, from 4.40 to 4.55. Percy Punter may have had to be patient, but the 7/2 favourite Leica Court duly lobbed, and due to the delay, The Sporting Globe was somewhat short on post-
Although there was little said over the years, several of the admittedly few problems of the early computer operations were put down to the failure of the public power network.
Subsequent to the failure, the VicTAB launched an investigation into alternative power generating systems capable of providing a continuous “no break” power supply satisfying the Control Data equipment's voltage and frequency parameters.
Tenders were invited for a turbo-
The successful tender for a series of oil-
Being human as they are, the systems at VicTAB were not infallible, and there were a few grumbles from punters and the press when betting was not available.
I need to check in more depth, but I seem to remember that in in 1974 or possibly 1975 that RIMFIRE crashed towards the end of Derby Day -
I think the unsung hero of the hour was Charles Thomas who several hours after the shutdown traced the problem to some sort of memory overflow caused by the sheer volume of bets on Derby Day, some 20 percent higher than any previous day record. With appropriate fixes, Cup Day went with any hitches..
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