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ACS Canberra 50th Anniversary - reflect on the past and look forward to the future - part 3

Friday, 21 Aug 2015

Flashback to the 80’s - ICT in Canberra

Flops in computer launched in March 1984, everybody expected the jr to be a huge success until they got their hands on one. Photo: Bob Resnikoff.

The Columbia Computer Center IBM Machine Room, about 1980. Visible at right center is some of the last surviving punch-card equipment.

By the 1980s computing in Canberra was entering and exciting phase. Canberra emerged as a hub for the development of computer electronic and communication equipment, with over 200 small businesses in the region. By the late 1980’s the majority of government departments had installed their own computer facilities. Interest grew in advanced computing developments in Canberra, as indicated by the Australian Tax Office’s $100 million development, an enormous investment at the time.

The decade also saw significant developments such as MS-DOS, WORM disks (Write Once Read Many times), Turbo Pascal, Motorola 68000 processors, new technology called laptops, and most notably in 1989 the first hint of the World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee . The Canberra Branch also worked towards supporting the three Canberra tertiary institutions offering ICT courses, which had grown significantly in enrolments.

The ACS Canberra Branch 2015 Conference will be held on the 9th September 2015 and is celebrating the 50th year as the Canberra Computer Society. We are proud to announce that some of the keynote speakers for this event will be Randall Brugeaud, Chief Information Officer at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection; Dr Sarah Pearson, CEO, CBR Innovation Network ACT; Marie Johnson, Managing Director and Chief Digital Officer, Centre for Digital Business Pty Limited. To register for this premier event register online now at