Control Data Australia Memories compiled by Brian Membrey
Manufacturing : More Orders
In July, 1973, rather fortuitously just a few weeks before the completion of the initial RIMFIRE Victorian TAB order, it was announced that CDA had secured a $2.8 million order from the Commonwealth Department of Taxation which includes a requirement for more than 40 CRT display terminals to be produced at the Cheltenham plant.
The value of the terminals was never quoted in CDA publicity, but was probably somewhere between $100 and $150k -
The viability of a continuing manufacturing operation was further boosted by another announcement around the same time that the Victorian TAB had adopted the concept of a Dual RIOT and placed an order for 130 of the dual betting terminals to support its expansion of RIMFIRE to country centres.
In December, a further announcement of the official signing of a contract to computerise off-
In January, 1974 there were approximately 100 employees in manufacturing with the number increasing to meet commitments for VicTAB, New Zealand TAB, Queensland TAB and CRT 714 Display Terminals for the South Australia Education Department, C.S.A. (Computer Sciences Australia) and the Australian Taxation Office.
By September, with additional commitments from TABs in Victoria, New Zealand and Queensland, plus display terminals in Sydney and Canberra, it was announced that the value of outstanding orders at the Terminal Products plant at Cheltenham had risen to $10.6 million, and even with plans to double production over the next two years, the factory had guaranteed work through to 1978 even without new business being written.
Cheltenham was at this stage tooled up to produce six different models of terminal, a far cry from the single keyboard RIOTS of 1970.
The growth of the manufacturing operation was such that first time, Control Data Corporation became directly involved, with the newly arrived Bill Wright, general manager of the Australian manufacturing operation reporting directly to Tom Bassett, Vice-
Perhaps another mundane, but significant recognition of the growing importance of the Cheltenham facility was the formation late in the year of a branch of the Head Office Social Club, the inaugural secretary Lyn Elliott (assistant to manufacturing accountant, Mike Clugston, who also became Treasurer of the new branch) and aided by a committee of six. The first function, apparently for locals only, was a dinner-
The accounting for manufacturing was originally imbedded into the Engineering Services accounting and according to Mike was “pretty crude”, but when the US decided that maybe they should get involved after the Basset visit, things were reorganised and the accounting for the division was separated from Engineering and moved to Herald street.
Mike visited the US and then developed an accounting system that would enable better control of the division activities -
September, 1975 saw the backlog increased again with an additional order from NZ TAB adding a requirement for another 100 cash agency terminals and another 45 of different design for telephone betting.
Around this time, Between Ourselves suggested 50 people were working there “nearly half of them ladies on the assembly line” producing printed circuit cards along with general assembly, testing and manufacturing administration along with a four-
As an interesting aside, the factory and other outlets prior to the move to Herald Street used the same telephone number as 598 St. Kilda Road : 51-
Another odd thing you thought you didn’t need to know, but in line with our OzSportsHistory philosophy, will be glad you do now!
There is no 555 area code in the U.S. And invariably every time you see or hear a telephone number quoted in an American movie or television program it will invariably be prefixed 555!) Our example comes from an episode of ILaw and Orderm circa 2000, we dialled 555-
Tom Bassett, 1973
Charles Babbage Institute cbi00489
Bill Wright -
Great little device, the only drawback was that they used heat-
The terminals were used by CYBERNET sale force to demonstrate KRONOS time-
|Manufacturing - At Work!|
|How and Why|
|A Sad End|