In spite of, or perhaps because of its geographical isolation, Australia, with its tiny population, has always punched above its weight when it comes to inventiveness.
Some AUSTRALIAN computing ‘FIRSTS’ – that the ACMS knows about …
- Australia was a MAJOR EXPORTER of computing technology prior to WW-II. Largest installion: 132 ‘real-time’ input stations (terminals).
- First Electronic Computer to play music – CSIRAC, 1951, IFIP Conference, Sydney.
- CSIRAC was also first computer to have both 5-track AND 12-track paper tape input.
- First Computer with hardware Square-Root function, Woomera, S.A.
- First Computer system to run ‘non-stop’ for 30 Years, ETSA, Torrens Island Power Station.
- Professor M. W. Allen, FIRST person to work on 3 different computer designs, using 3 different technologies.
- Jindalee, OTH Radar project, ref Doug Rickard.
- AARNET, linking Universities – and the USA, c/- Digital.
- Wi-Fi, created by CSIRO, 1980s.
- ‘GEORGE’ programming language developed at UNSW, on UTECOM by Charles Leonard Hamblin.
- Australia’s FIRST satellite launched from Woomera, 1967.
- “Traffic Analyser”, analogue/digital system built at IHTR-UNSW, 1960s.
- Square-Km Array, in W.A.
- Traffic Signal co-ordination 1960s, Sydney, using PDP-8 systems (Tom Elliott, DMT).
- Micro-Bee computers in Schools, with upper + lower case character display.
- EDUC-8, kit computer developed by/for ‘Electronics Australia’ magazine.
- First ‘self-serve postal station’, using touch-screen technology, A/Post.
- Cochlear implants – helping deaf people communicate.
- In 2001 – A silicon sphere was polished at NML to an accuracy of about 50nm (on a 93.6mm diameter ball) and as such it was the ROUNDest object in the world, and a step towards a new mass standard. AND, only one of an ongoing series of technical/scientific ‘FIRSTS’ produced by the Australian CSIRO.
Australian Firsts – by JAG, Jan-2019.