Control Data Australia Memories compiled by Brian Membrey


December, 1972 : Dual RIOT doesn’t mean double trouble

A few weeks ago, Control Data (Aust.) Pty. Ltd., made a presentation to Victoria TAB of a DUAL RIOT for demonstration and experimental purposes.





This machine has only "one box of tricks" - the printer - for two keyboards and issues tickets alternately for the both of them.

Whereas the single RIOT, which we have installed in our Agencies and Branches, has one printer for each keyboard.

The Dual RIOT was designed initially as a long range saving for TAB, which would reduce the cost of each Agency and Branch window, as against the cost of the RIOT's already installed.

At the demonstration, executive and senior officers from both TAB and CDA gathered in the computer area to observe at first hand, exactly how this new invention would work.

Manager - Data Processing, MAURIE HENDERSON, said after the test - "It was very interesting, but before any recommendations can be made by TAB, we will have to carry out exhaustive tests to prove its true capabilities."


Ed.

There was nothing that appeared following the article to indicate whether the experimental design was immediately successful, but when the NZ TAB installation began in 1974, the ‘dual” concept was the standard.  Later when CRISP  was announced, it was suggested that 120 Dual-RIOTS had been delivered to the Victorian TAB over and above the original 1,000 standard single keyboard RIOTS.  They were mostly installed in some 39 country districts where the cost on two single RIOTs were uneconomic

The “dual” terminals reduced the overall cost considerably - several references put the cost of a single RIOT at around $4,000 - I’m only guessing but the printer (imported) and controller probably made up $3,000 of this.  The single printer was referenced in the TABLOID article, but in fact a Dual-RIOT also had one controller for the two keyboards, thus splitting the cost of the two most expensive components within the configuration.

The most expensive components they may have been, but in practice, they remained idle most of the time during a typical transaction as the clerk keyed in bet details.  

There were three or four reports on the “dual” concept emanating from both the TAB and CDA, but it wasn’t until they became standard with the NZ TAB order that a significant additoional cost-saving was identified - two selling outlets sharing a single communications line.