||Federation and Meteorology
Table of Contents
Observers and Volunteers
Commissioning Ceremony of the Bureau's IBM 360/65 Computer
ComputerImportant Forward Step
New Era for Meteorology
How We Got the Computer
Processing 159 Million Rainfall Observations . . . Approx
Computing in the BureauThe Early Years
The ComputerNo. 145 August 1968, Item 1553
The Bureau' s computer complex will be one of the largest in Australia.
Each IBM has a store capacity of 65,000 'words', where 'word' is made up of thirty-two 'bits'. A 'bit' is the simplest of information and a number of 'bits' is required to constitute alphabetical or numerical character.
In addition, there are, as backing store, a total of eight magnetic discs each with about 56 million 'bits' and eight magnetic tape units each capable of storing approximately 128 million 'bits' connected to the central processing unit. Thus each computer had 65 thousand 'words' of 'core storage' in its central processor and the system has a capacity of 46 million 'words' in its directly connected ancillary store. Disc packs and tape reels are removable so that, theoretically, there is no limit to the amount of information which can be stored in the data library associated with the computer complex.
One of the most dramatic features of the installation is the unit which automatically draws the familiar weather charts. This unit draws isobars on pre-printed maps in the amazing time of 2.5 minutes. It can also be used for preparing graphs presenting results of research.
Three printers are included in the complex. Each is capable of printing 1,000 lines of data per minute, each line containing 132 characters, so that information can be printed out at the rate of 132,000 characters per minute from each printer.
The tasks to be carried out by the Bureau' s, computer complex fall into the two broad classifications of 'real-time' and 'non-real-time'. The real-time tasks will be those associated with the use of current observations, including the collection and recognition of meteorological messages, data validation, preparation of analysis and prediction charts, and dissemination of charts of desired data to the Bureau's 'customers'. The 'non-real-time' tasks will involve past weather data, the preparation of routine climatological bulletins and summaries as well as the non-routine or 'one off' type of operation which forms a large proportion of output from the Bureau's Weather Records and Statistics Section.
© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
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