Slideshow

IN PICTURES: IBM Australia celebrates parent's 100th birthday

IBM turned 100 on June 16 and a major event was held in Sydney to recognise the milestone... this slideshow captures the early history of IBM in Australia

  • 1928 - IBM Perth Showroom: The IBM showroom in Perth in 1928. That same year, the IBM card - a stiff regular 80-column card punched with rectangular holes that represented bits of data - became the industry standard for storing and recording data for decades; it propelled IBM to the forefront of data processing and became an icon of the Information Age.

  • 1955 - AGL: AGL was the first public utility company in Australia to use IBM Electric Accounting Machines. AGL was an early adopter of new technologies, and was later one of the first Australian companies to purchase an IBM 650. This was used in conjunction with punched card machines such as sorters, collators and accounting machines.

  • 1957 - IBM: The placement of the four-foot, double sided Tower Clock at the Sydney head office of the ANZ Bank in October 1957. From the close of the 19th century through 1958, IBM and its predecessors manufactured and sold a range of devices and systems to record, use, transmit and display time.

  • 1958 - Department of Social Services: The Department of Social Services using IBM tabulating equipment in 1958. The Department pioneered a new approach to gathering information, by issuing cards to hundreds of thousands of Australian households receiving child support. From the 1950s through to about 1970, IBM punched cards were the primary way corporations and governments stored and accessed information, making the cards the most durable, successful data storage medium after the book.

  • 1963 - IBM 1410 at AMP: The IBM 1410 data processing system at the AMP society in 1963. At AMP, IBM's equipment enabled new ways of calculating bonus payments and supporting the actuarial work underpinning the group's insurance operations.

  • 1965 - Qantas: Qantas Passenger Reservations Manager, Mr. K.L. Shepard, and Data Processing Controller, Mr. E.S. Burley, examine a model of an IBM System/360 computer installation in 1965.

  • 1966 - Arrival of the first System/360 in Australia: Arrival of the first IBM System/360 in Australia in 1966. Thomas Watson Jr. made the biggest bet of his career with the System/360 family of computers, which ushered in an era of computer compatibility. Based on semiconductor chips, it dominated the industry for 20 years. With two years and $5 billion to develop - the equivalent of more than $30 billion today - System/360 remains one of the largest privately financed commercial projects ever.

  • Shell Oil Company: Shell Oil Company - An IBM System/360 Model 65 is linked on-line to high speed computer terminals at refineries in NSW and Victoria. The terminals were used to transmit data on the performance of refinery equipment, enabling the Model 65 to highlight areas where corrective action should be taken by Shell engineers. Hand sets in the foreground giver the computer centre manager voice communications with terminal operators. IBM technology continues to optimise the extraction and use of oil around the world, including 3-D seismic modelling to locate fields; sensing technologies to track oil flow; and virtualisation to manage oil tracking and mining remotely.

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