+61 434 196 897 secretary@acms.org.au
“The modern museum has multiple purposes – to curate and
preserve, to research, and to reach out to the public.They
challenge us and ask us to question our assumptions…”

-Kate Williams(British Historian)

“The modern museum has multiple purposes – to curate and
preserve, to research, and to reach out to the public.They
challenge us and ask us to question our assumptions…”

-Kate Williams(British Historian)

“The modern museum has multiple purposes – to curate and
preserve, to research, and to reach out to the public.They
challenge us and ask us to question our assumptions…”

-Kate Williams(British Historian)

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Attention all ACMS Inc members and supporters –  May 18th

The family of John Deane has advised that John passed away last Thursday, May 14th.  


John’s daughter Helen has provided this statement: 

My father John Deane passed away on the morning of Thursday 14th May peacefully in his own bed holding my Mum’s hand. Dad had been having some trouble with his memory and health for some time, but in his usual fashion, kept it to himself until he wasn’t able to anymore. A year ago he was formally diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, although we and the doctor suspected he had been covering it up for some time. This is testimony to his mental strength and dignity of character. In recent weeks his health had deteriorated rapidly, but he never lost his sense of humour and insisted he was just a bit tired. He was an accomplished scientist, but more than that he was a gracious, gentle and kind hearted man. 

In these strange times, funerals are limited to small numbers meaning that not everyone that wants to see off this fine man will be able to. In lieu of this, if anyone would like to share stories of his life or offer condolences, please feel welcome to contact me. It would be of great comfort to the family.


Helen kindly added this, for the ACMS: I know how committed he was to the ACMS cause and I am only sorry that he never got to see it come to fruition.  


I (John Webster) have offered our condolences to the Deane family in their loss of John, and added:

It is unfortunate that John’s illness meant that we were unable to visit him. 

I am sure he’d have enjoyed meeting our recent ACMS newcomers, many of whom knew of his career, especially his WiFi involvement at CSIRO, about his involvement in the ACMS and the contributions he made, especially while President for many years, and financially too.  They wished they could meet him.

John contributed to and authored many articles of computer history. Max Burnet, Bob Moran, Graeme Philipson and Matthew Connell were some who praised his knowledge and writings and asked after him.


Helen Deane spoke with me this morning: John’s funeral will take place later this week. The pandemic effect will limit funeral attendance, but also the CSIRO is apparently well to the fore, and the funeral will be recorded (video, I believe). No doubt there will be a rerun of WiFi development history broadcast soon.


During the bushfire epidemic, and then the pandemic, and even before those – during the time we were preparing to retrieve JFD’s collection – I asked members to funnel contact with the Deane’s through me.

Helen Deane is willing to accept phone calls now, though I’d suggest leaving unimportant matters until after this week. She mentions “condolences, and stories of his life” above – her mobile is 0438-871-077. 

After a reasonable break, we shall need to retrieve the final portions of John’s collection at Blackheath.


Feel free to contact me about these matters (preferably before midnight!)

John Webster    ACMS Hon.Sec.          02 9743-4279    0434-196-897  

Our motto: ctrl-alt-preserve

ACMS President Jennifer Seberry. Professor and Former Head, Department of Computer Science. Foundation Professor and formerly Director, Centre for Computer Security Research, University of Wollongong.

Since 1994, it has been the dream of the ACMS to open a dedicated computer museum to the public – something which every other developed country already has.

In 2018, the ACMS has seen an influx of new members and revitalised energy – our new staff will not tire, nor will they surcease in their efforts until Australia has a dedicated computer museum.

In the early days of computing, Australia was a world leader – the third country in the world to design and build a functional computer. Can’t we now, in our trillion-dollar economy, support a computing heritage museum to preserve the artifacts and history of this marvellous technology which we helped pioneer?

Our members have been working tirelessly for many decades to save and preserve the invaluable historic computers and associated documentation, software, peripherals, photos, manuals, magnetic media already in our collection.

We are seeking Government support, and private and corporate donations, to open our museum to the public in a suitable building. Our passionate volunteers of long experience in computing will be in attendance to assist visitors.

Retro computing enthusiasts will be welcome to participate in the operation of the museum and encouraged to engage in the quest for a full complement of the history of computing in Australia.

From the early days of valve machines, to the mini-computers of the 70’s, to the bedroom revolution of home PC’s – the history of computers is a rich, fascinating and compelling tale.

Help us tell this story by joining or making an ongoing contribution.
Give Australia something to be genuinely proud about again.


The Microbee system was designed and developed in Australia. The descendant of S-100 systems, it was originally sold as a DIY kit, but went on…

IBM 1401(1959)

The 1401 is considered to be the first fully transistorised computer of the mainframe era. Over 12,000 units were produced and many were leased or…

APPLE II (1977)

A genius of open-ended design, a true poem of elegance, excellence and expandability, the Apple II was the realisation of a dream Steve Wozniak had…

COBOL is back!!!

The plus 50 year old that is still looking good today

Estimates are 220,000,000,000 lines of code are in use and $3T in commerce are using COBOL

In 2020 companies are looking for COBOL skills (you may have to fly to the USA) but they are looking.

Governor Laura Kelly of Kansas said:
“So many of our Departments of Labor across the country are still on the COBOL system. You know very, very old technology,” Kelly said Tuesday. “Our Department of Labor had recognized that that was an issue and had initiated modernization, and, unfortunately, that’s something that takes time. This (virus) interfered and they had to cease the transition to a much more robust system. So they’re operating on really old stuff.”

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy made a television appearance to plead for COBOL programmers to help.

To get you started here is a sort of HELLO WORLD program for COBOL (not mine but courtesy of stackoverflow) and the traditional COBOL coding form.

DISPLAY "Hello, world".

The HELLO WORLD program is not really good COBOL.
If you want an example of a real COBOL program that calculates computing a paycheck for hourly employees let m,e know and i will post it

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Check out our latest podcast episode!

player.whooshkaa.com/episode?id=659738The official podcast for the Australian Computer Museum Society (ACMS). Andrew Tridgell - Samba, Rsync, Linux. RIP John Deane

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We have a new podcast episode coming out this evening, featuring Andrew Tridgell.

open.spotify.com/show/0pBMU5XOoEWv1Cq6Z7fiwCListen to Autocode on Spotify. The official podcast for the Australian Computer Museum Society (ACMS). This podcast discusses Australian computing history and ICT, and the history of computing in general. Hosted by: Dr Riley Tipton Perry. Produced by: Dr Riley Tipton Perry, Tennyson Delarosa, and Dr...

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