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Aussie Firsts

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 …

  1. Australia was a MAJOR EXPORTER of computing technology prior to WW-II. Largest installion: 132 ‘real-time’ input stations (terminals).
  1. First Electronic Computer to play music – CSIRAC, 1951, IFIP Conference, Sydney.
  1. CSIRAC was also first computer to have both 5-track AND 12-track paper tape input.
  1. First Computer with hardware Square-Root function, Woomera, S.A.
  1. First Computer system to run ‘non-stop’ for 30 Years, ETSA, Torrens Island Power Station.
  1. Professor M. W. Allen, FIRST person to work on 3 different computer designs, using 3 different technologies.
  1. Jindalee, OTH Radar project, ref Doug Rickard.
  1. AARNET, linking Universities – and the USA, c/- Digital.
  1. Wi-Fi, created by CSIRO, 1980s.
  1. ‘GEORGE’ programming language developed at UNSW, on UTECOM by Charles Leonard Hamblin.
  1. Australia’s FIRST satellite launched from Woomera, 1967.
  1. “Traffic Analyser”, analogue/digital system built at IHTR-UNSW, 1960s.
  1. Square-Km Array, in W.A.
  1. Traffic Signal co-ordination 1960s, Sydney, using PDP-8 systems (Tom Elliott, DMT).
  1. Micro-Bee computers in Schools, with upper + lower case character display.
  1. EDUC-8, kit computer developed by/for ‘Electronics Australia’ magazine.
  1. First ‘self-serve postal station’, using touch-screen technology, A/Post.
  1. Cochlear implants – helping deaf people communicate.
  1. 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.