In the eight years of operation (about 30,000 hours of 'uptime') at Melbourne University, over 700 computing projects were processed by CSIRAC. A brief list of these projects follows:
- Simulations of the practical operation of the Victorian power supply system by the SECV (State Electricity Commission of Victoria).
- Pattern simulations for the arrangement of atoms in face-centred cubic crystals (eg: tungsten and platinum).
- Evaluation of the growth rate of a stand of Pinus Radiata for the Forestry Commission of Victoria.
- Production of Solar Position and Radiation Tables for Australian capital cities for the CSIRO Division of Building Research.
- Calculation of the loan repayment schedule for University staff member’s housing loans.
- Computation of the radiation patterns of the rhombic antennae used by the Army Signals Branch at Donnybrook.
- Rigid-frame and grid-frame analysis for many of the 'high'-rise buildings (to around 25 stories) built in Australia in the early 1960s.
Earlier, whilst still located in Sydney, the CSIR Mk1 had been used for
- Analysis of flood data for the design of dams for assembling the Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Authority (SMHA).
As you can see, the programming projects were many and varied. A large number of the major engineering projects in Australia during the 50s and 60s had a major input from CSIRAC.
Not bad for a machine that was originally intended
as a research computer, in order that investigation into programming techniques and electronic computer circuitry could be undertaken.