Computers in the workplace

Although computers were slowly being introduced into the workplace by the time of this 1977 photograph, they remained a novelty. Here Dianne Macaskill, the General Assembly Library’s statistician, sits at a terminal that gives access to a new computer system on which data relevant to the government is constantly updated.

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4 comments have been posted about Computers in the workplace

What do you know?

Jamie M

Posted: 24 Nov 2017

Tom - the original caption called it a personal computer, which is the update we made to the caption. The orignal source gives an exact date - 13 Dec 1977 - which was probably related to when the newspaper it appeared in was published: https://natlib.govt.nz/records/23013505?

Tom

Posted: 23 Nov 2017

It still says 1977 in the caption and it is still in the 1970s collection but Dave's analysis seems correct. So when was this photo taken and can the caption be edited?

admin

Posted: 26 Mar 2012

Hi Dave
Thanks very much for pointing out this anachronism, I've updated the page now.
Kind regards, Jamie Mackay

Dave Booth

Posted: 24 Mar 2012

The date given for the photograph, 1977, is much too early for this to be a personal computer. They began to appear about seven years later.
Judging from:
* the shape of the housing for the display tube
* the positioning of the logo top centre above the display
* the colour scheme of the keys
* the 4 * 3 layout of the keypad to the right
I can identify this as an IBM 3277 terminal like the ones I used about 1980. It must be connected to an IBM mainframe (perhaps a System/360 or an early System/370?) elsewhere in the building. There is a clear high resolution image of such a terminal here:
http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Yuh79IMWKAono3Pe08-1Cg
These terminals, unlike PCs, could not load and run software. They were used only to interact with programs running on the mainframe.