My Planning Office @ Stromlo, wander your mouse over the image for comments, like ACF, Greenie!

One of my several "sheltered workshops", I occupied over 30 years with ACT Forests, under a number of Directors and bosses.


Mark Edgerley was my first Director, who I met before being hired, and taken out by Ian Gordon to meet some of the staff and Foresters of Stromlo, Pierces Creek, and Kowen.

A history of ACT Forests was written for a web site that never eventuated, in the very early days of the web. Then all the stories where lost in the 2003 fires!

A later Director was Tony Fearnside of FACTA and the Westbourne Woods.

Brian Pratt, of Pratt's Tackle Box

Graham McKenzie Smith, when some of the redundancies started under Kate Carnell.

and finally Tony Bartlett, when many of the rest of us were made redundant in 2001, and then the Forests burnt down!



I introduced CAD and computer mapping to Forests, on a NEC APC IV, 80286-80287, in about 1987, using AutoCad 2.52.


At the same time I bought an IBM clone from Peter Harris, of Digital Business Systems and the PCUG. This was a DBS Turbo Plus XT V20 processor, 8086 with an (8087 maths co-processor, bought later) PC Users Group, still running..

640k of RAM, and a huge 30Mb hard drive.

Just for the record..

It was a 4.77/10MHz, with 2 RS232 ports, 2 Centronics, "Tactile Auditory keyboard"!, Games Port, 1x360kb drives, 4 layer System Board, $1450

14" Dual Frequency EGA colour monitor, $899

The 30Mb drive was an extra $799!

EGA card $170

EGA Monitor $899

V20 chip $29

Mouse $119


All up I paid about $3338


It was still running this year, 2009, when I gave it away to the Computer recyclers at Charnwood!


The computer here was the last in a series of PCs I ran, a Total Peripherals Pentium IV running NT. A Miro graphics card enabled two monitors to run, a rarity then.


I had an HP A0 plotter, HP pen plotter, and HP ink jet printer. AutoCAD 14 and Map, was controlled from a GTCO 20" digitizer, buried under maps and papers on the desk.

The desk was a typical National Mapping/BMR desk, built by the Government carpenters in Kingston, in 1971. All long gone..


This is the NT System.. photographed above.

System Information

Norton Utilities 8.0

System Report

Friday, 28 May 1999 12:16

Bill Crowle's Nimrod 486-33Mhz



* System Summary *



--------------------- Computer ---------------------

Computer Name: IBM AT or compatible

Built-in BIOS: AMI, Sunday, 7 July 1991

Main Processor: 80486DX, 33 MHz

Math Co-Processor: (Built-In)

Video Adapter: VGA, Secondary: None

Mouse Type: Serial Mouse, Version 9.01


--------------------- Disks ---------------------

Hard Disks: 239M

Floppy Disks: 360K, 1.44M


--------------------- Memory ---------------------

DOS Memory: 639K

Extended Memory: 7,168K

Expanded Memory: 1,024K


--------------------- Other Info ---------------------

Bus Type: ISA (PC/AT)

Serial Ports: 2

Parallel Ports: 3

Keyboard Type: 101-Key

Operating System: DOS 6.22


I even have a screen grab of the desktop display saved.


  • spelio 6y

    You can see the remains of my office after the 2003 fires, here
    Mess of cabinets, computers and Hasselblad. by spelio

    Here is the pot plant in its early days!
    My Office in North Building Civic Offices 1970s by spelio

    We had moved from Tuggeranong where we stayed for a few years, and then North here to Stromlo, where we were burnt out in 2003, and I was made redundant!
    My Planning Office Stromlo wander your mouse over the image for comments, like ACF, Greenie!
  • spelio 5y

    Here is what an older mapping office looked like,
    Geography Department, 1986 by LSE Library

    but not a real one like this, where scribing and Mitchell nibs and Leroy lettering guides where used...
    Eunice 'Biki' Wilson, 1984 by LSE Library
  • spelio 3y

    After the fires...
    Mess of cabinets, computers and Hasselblad.
    and an aerial view before the fires!
    Aerial shot of Stromlo Forestry Depot  2001 or so.
  • J C Merriman 3y

    And I thought my office was chaotic!
  • spelio 3y

    Me in the last few months!
    man after my own heart
    Thanks to DILBERT and Scott Adams for these thoughts!
  • InTheBush* 3y did a few others I believe :-)))
  • troggonk 2y

    See many more images of the 2003 fires here..
  • spelio 1y

    Wish I had this quote then..
    A cluttered desk like mine
  • spelio 1y

    see the North Building Office here..
    my North Building office in Civic 1987
  • spelio 5mo

    Before XP.. and now!

    Choosing between Windows 7 or 8.1

    January 2014

    It may be the dead of winter, but harbingers of spring abound, including increasing daylight hours and the start of baseball’s spring training. Like the crack of the bat and the season’s first daffodils, April 8th—the day on which Microsoft® officially stops supporting its third-generation technology Windows XP operating system—will also be here before you know it.

    As we’ve previously discussed, businesses that put off upgrading to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 will not only miss out on powerful new features, they’ll also waste time and money on custom Microsoft or third party services to support an obsolete system prone to cyber attack. The question then isn’t whether to replace XP, but rather what to replace it with.

    Though perhaps somewhat more slowly than what might be expected, the news of XP’s plodding but eventual demise is resonating among long-time users. This past fall, Net Applications data showed XP running just more than 31 percent of the world’s 1.5 billion computers [1]—significantly less than the 38 percent recorded early last summer [2]. Notably, companion data showed that in October, Windows 7 accounted for more than 46 percent of the market, as compared to Microsoft’s Windows 8’s slightly more than 8 percent [1].
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