Control Data Australia Memories compiled by Brian Membrey
Regional Warehouse, 349A Darebin Road, Thornbury (AARRWH) (497 4199)
December, 2018 : Thornbury images courtesy Peter Johnson
Never saw the site, no memories..
Out Heidelberg Road, left into Grange Road and right into Darebin Road -
Whilst it might have appeared logical to combine these services with one of the manufacturing sites, Thornbury was chosen because of its proximity to the airport given the need for the speediest possible despatch of spare parts.
Between Ourselves when introducing the site in 1975 suggested that because of the distance, the 598 St. Kilda Road telephone number could not be used and a new one would be advised. Maybe ir happened, maybe it didn’t, but the site did not appear in the Melbourne White Pages until 1981 with TWO numbers, 497 4199 and 497 2736 -
The facility opened early in 1975 with Alan Brown as Manager, Ian Chapman as supervisor of Spare Parts and Literature distribution along with five staff, and Ron Harris (later founder of Harris Technology) as supervisor of the Repair Centre and Idle Equipment store, also with five staff members.
One of the original CDC 3200 machines supplied to CSIRO as part of the 1963 order continued in service for training purposes and testing repaired printed circuit boards. A Terminal Repair Centre maintained both consoles from Australia and New Zealand as well as office typewriters used in Melbourne. (“One of the original 3200 machines” in retrospect confuses me -
Control Data appear to have remained there until around 1984 -
I'm not sure of how the building looked at the time (a fuzzy ‘photo in Flash confirms the gabled roof), but it would have been relatively new. The site lay on the route of a proposed railway line from Alphington to East Preston (and ultimately Reservoir), an Act to build the line passed in 1946 and finally revoked in 1961 without a single shovel of earth ever moved.
The planned route ran about 50 metres west of Grange Road through Northcote and what is now Chifley Drive in Preston, the most notable landmark of today, Northland Shopping Centre, the northern car park of which covers the site of the original proposed terminus in Wood Street.
Repair Centre, 134 Cambridge Street, Collingwood (AARCWD) (03) 418-
I have no idea as to what the original building looked like, but Cambridge Street is one of those inner-
By the time of Control Data’s occupancy, much of the old industrial area was starting a process of “urban renewal” and two or three of the old factories on the opposite side to 134 at the northern end are now a conclave of "highly desirable" converted warehouse apartments.
(Most of the warehouses were clothing or boot "sweatshops", although probably not as old as some may think -
134 is three doors south of an extensive Police depot stretching to Stanley Street -
I know little -
It was established around 1984-
“We did a bit of external third party repair work for Apple, repairing Mac SE, and that was a very intermittent business. We were, I think, repairing Mac SE modules for a fixed price of $64. Apple could get them repaired in Singapore for $58, but we could turn them around in three days and they took nine weeks to turn them around, but all of the stuff finally went to Singapore except when they were overloaded and then it came to us. So that was a successful business but an intermittent one”.
Oral interview with Tom Misa, (Charles Babbage Institute), November, 2013
I believe CDA employees were entitled to hefty discounts on Apple equipment in a reciprocal marketing agreement. Miden Pacific continued with third-
This is not a site I know anything about and there was no mention of it in the Misa interview -
Not sure whether it replaced the Collingwood facility or complemented it, perhaps more suitable for mainframes than PCs. I’m guessing it must have come very late in CDA history and by the current view of the building, pretty soon after its construction.
Anyone have memories of these …
The site today simply as 349 which extends as a mirror image to the left. Directories don’t mention a 349 “A”, but the gabled roof corresponds with a fuzzy picture in Between Ourselves.
The site today -
Images of the Thornbury Centre kindly supplied by Peter Johnson. Left : the training machine. Right : an informal training session, Ken Humm (standing), Adrian Hamlyn and Eric Dorn.
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