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Author Topic: NCR Century 200 and Panama Canal  (Read 12110 times)
Aleksandrs Guba
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« on: August 23, 2006, 12:08:16 pm »

Constantly looking for interesting facts regarding NCR computers of the 20th Century I have found the following info, dated September 1973:

"An NCR Century 200 computer is expediting the 15,000 ship passages made through the Panama Canal each year. It accomplishes this through the use of a ‘Ship Data Bank’ which is believed to be the world’s first fully comprehensive ship data system in an operating environment. To facilitate storage of the data, each ship is assigned a permanent identification number. This remains constant regardless of changes of name, ownership or flag. Using the number to find the stored data, the computer can automatically determine the number of pilots, towing locomotives, wires and tugboats needed for each vessel as it traverses the canal. These are based on the ship’s length, beam, displacement and location of her bridge."

It would be interesting to have more information regarding this fact.
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uglytuna
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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2008, 10:31:30 pm »

I can give you more info on this system.

Between February 1970 and December 1972 I worked in the On-Line support team run by Ray Gleadall & Bob Henderson.  It was part of Field Systems run by Haskell Cehrs, which in turn was a part of Systems Services run by Steve Loewy.  We were located in Building 26, and then in the 341 Building in Dayton.  Most of the team members supported the B2 Operating System on the Century 200, but two of us, Dave Roberts and myself supported B3.

One of my many support field trips was to install B3 on a Century 200 for the Panama Canal District.  My project was to configure and install B3 to run a B2 partition in which they ran their on-line ship scheduling application, and a B1 partition in which they concurrently ran their batch processing applications.

It was a very successful trip professionally, and a highly rewarding experience personally.  I became friends with the DP manager and the Operations manager in the process, and we corresponded for several years afterwards.

Best Regards,

Herb Fish
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Aleksandrs Guba
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« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2008, 12:18:40 pm »

NCR 200 wasn't the first NCR computer at Panama Canal.

Now I have (thanks to Ian Ormerod) materials saying that the first computer at Panama Canal was NCR 315. It was officially opened for operation on June 21, 1965 at Data Processing Center in the Balboa Heights Administration Building. Inauguration ceremony has been opened by Canal Zone Governor Robert J. Fleming Jr.

The computer controlled inventory on merchandise ordered by the Panama Canal retail stores from the warehouse and regulated orders from the warehouse to outside vendors.

I will prepare these materials for publishing and post them to the site.

Aleksandrs

« Last Edit: April 13, 2008, 12:42:32 pm by Aleksandrs Guba » Logged
uglytuna
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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2008, 09:55:27 pm »

Re. my previous post:  I just remembered that the name of the building that we worked out of in Dayton was the 741 Building, not 341.  NCR bought a closed discount (grocery?) store located on Ohio state highway 741 on the south side of Dayton to hold the expanding Systems Services Division.
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Ray Roton
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« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2011, 08:24:39 pm »

NCR 200 wasn't the first NCR computer at Panama Canal.

Now I have (thanks to Ian Ormerod) materials saying that the first computer at Panama Canal was NCR 315. It was officially opened for operation on June 21, 1965 at Data Processing Center in the Balboa Heights Administration Building. Inauguration ceremony has been opened by Canal Zone Governor Robert J. Fleming Jr.

The computer controlled inventory on merchandise ordered by the Panama Canal retail stores from the warehouse and regulated orders from the warehouse to outside vendors.

I will prepare these materials for publishing and post them to the site.

Aleksandrs



I was trained on the 315 (in Dayton in 1965 and 1966) and there were two guys in my class from Panama.
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uglytuna
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« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2011, 03:49:37 am »

Hi Ray,

I was also trained on the 315 in 1965 and 1966.  August through June, 42 weeks.  I'm sure we must have bumped into each other going through the tunnels to see the movie during lunch...

Herb
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