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Do not fold then staple or mutilate this car. The slogan of the computer a University of Illinois radio service presents a series of programs about you and the computer from banks to hospitals and from airlines to music. It's application in this team and these programs will give you a glimpse of these countless applications and what they mean to you. Do not fold carries the nation's travellers by land air and sea tourists on vacation who want to go up up and away aided by special computer based reservation systems and flight control equipment. Businessmen sending freight by rail discover a new efficiency because of computers as trains travel the countryside the railroad industry approaches a new era.
Just as the diesel has replaced the steam engine in today's railroads computers have replaced older switching and routing equipment. Companies from coast to coast are counting on electronic data processing to provide a new kind of traffic control. Already timpani assistant vice president of the operating administration in the Penn Central Railroad comments on recent developments. Probably one of the most significant uses any in the industry and particularly on the New York Central prior to murder was the installation of centralized traffic control. So that one in a remote location. Good supervise all the signals and switches over territories extending up to 300 miles. Where the routes are automatically being selected for the trains as permitted to move for us to move our freight trains at speeds of 60 miles on the right. When we passed and moved only at 13. The centralized traffic control permitted us to move more traffic on two tracks than previously we had been able to
do with four. The other significant advancement was a development of electronic freight classification. In these yards trains are received and automatically switched into the proper classification for make up about on trains. Through the use of an analog computer cars were waiting. The rolling resistance was determined by the variables that related to weather conditions or the particular condition of the rail was inputted into the computer. The switches were automatically inline and the only process requiring manual intervention was a physical separation of the current. What were the conditions that prompted these changes it had in Central. There are a million eight hundred thousand freight cars in this country. No one today knows how many there should be a new freight car particularly the type used for the
automobile industry can cost up to forty five thousand dollars. So if you multiply those two numbers you'll see the magnitude of the investment and the potential for savings with a system that can help us determine how many cars we should have and where they should be. Now input data for the computer file can be received from hundreds of freight yards. Whenever a train departs a yard. A brief description of the engine car's canzone and the other destination information is teletype to the next yard on route. This data allows the Penn Central to trace any freight card when a customer asks about a location. Concern over perishable goods or quickly needed items can be allayed with his bank of up to date information. Car hire or per Deum costs can be reduced by consideration of foreign employees on the Penn Central Line. These cars can be moved off sooner so that Penn Central pays less for each car on its road that it doesn't
own. Maximum distribution and utilization of Penn Central on freight cars can also be obtained by careful use of the data on file. Cars that are moving too slowly can be spotted and problems can be tackled before there was a shortage of freight cars in a particular location. The complex city of such a process has cried out for the abilities of todays computers. Such applications of computers are also being implemented at the Illinois Central Railroad which is trains running from Florida to Chicago. Mr. W.H. Thompson director of data control in Chicago outlines the important communications network which allows the I.C. to keep track of freight cars on the line. We have 93 communication lines. Connected to the computer. That terminate at key locations throughout the almost central system connected to these 93 lines we have one hundred and eighty seven terminals of which
sixty two of them. Are IBM 10 50 systems 100 and 25 teletype systems. And then in addition we do have the capability of utilizing telex and ti to be excellent in the average day's business. We will process through our computer sixteen thousand two hundred messages consisting of approximately three hundred forty nine thousand lines of traffic. What use to our knowledge is the largest railway tunnel processing network in service today tele processing means that you have field input output devices such as teletype machines and IBM 10 fifties connected to a computer which enables the field to have immediate processing of data and in turn information reports return back to them
so that each of these 93 or better yet each of these one of your 97 terminals in fact has a commute a computer at its command. Now with having this knowledge of the system lets go into the matter of how it functions. We have a database that is based on the universal document that all cars move on and this is called a way bill. And we capture from this way well all of the data pertinent to its movement which includes a car initial number the origin the destination freight the weight of the car the route that it must travel in such as this. As soon as a car comes online from a connecting line connecting railroad or originates on our line. We keep punch this it this way little data into tape or IBM cards. And transmitted
within one to two hours. Pointer C to the central computer. Why has the Illinois Central install such an elaborate system. What makes such a difference now. W r Wardlaw assistant superintendent of the Illinois division and champagne comments on the development of a computer operation. Well basically in the pre-computer days it was all a matter of visual sighting and paper and pencil checking a little drawn out affair. However it was the. It was the best in its day and with the use of computers we eliminated that in our strike rate and what we call a pickle operation perpetual inventory car location. They utilize this fashion of actually switching the IBM cards and a yard as the cars are being switched by the engine crew
and the yard forces which has eliminated visual checking and the pencil and paper and application of walking traction. So on and so forth. Mr. W. H Thompson justifies this pickle operation. I think if the industry wishes to survive as private enterprise. That it is as necessary as two rails are to the operation of a rare on the element of control of expenses. All the distribution and utilization of the equipment is becoming so important on a local level as well as a national level that without computers ation it will be impossible for the railroads to function. Dollar wise revenue wise if you are able to control your operation in the area of expanse and an area of service more specially in area of service customers
will they they themselves are installing computer installations for the prime purpose of monitoring their various modes of transportation. And we are being analyzed daily by at least 20 to 30 of our customers as to how well we produce as a part of their assembly line. Now it's very evident to those of us in the industry that unless we do produce the traffic goes elsewhere so that it's not a case of gaining new revenue. It's a case are retaining what you have and then growing to new revenues not roads that have moved into the area of computerization in advance of Elmo central there's been one or two have shown increases after the installations are in and the personnel have adapted themselves to its use and performance have enjoyed increases in traffic from 8 to 20 percent.
As a result by being leaders in the area I think we we find ourselves in a position of no longer having the time to sit back and wait for someone to develop new techniques. We must be the leaders in developing new techniques to the extent that we gain the profits from it. And this is how you really justify the use of a computer by taking the leadership and moving forward with new technology. When a train of 135 or cars pulls away from the open pit mines and shrub for Bella NE Canada only three hard facts are known about its load it weighs about 11000 long tons. It contains iron and it is destined for such
ILS 300 miles distant by the time this train reaches that ILS. Computers have provided data about the precise grade of each carload and where it must go into stockpiles or into waiting ships on the St. Lawrence chemical analysis of each alone has been up tamed by computer and relayed to set ILS computers on the Quebec North Shore and Labrador line also guide trains instructions prepared by computers move cars through the crowded 12 tracks at ILS classification yard. How do men who work on these railroads and others in Europe and Asia feel about computer assistance. Some welcome it but others are worried about their jobs. As in any business automation threatens men at work and the computers often cause fear among union members in the nation's railroads. Most companies have promised job security and retraining programs but worries still persists.
The age of jet air travel is barely 10 years old its growth has in turn imposed on industry a new concept of business operation. Airlines must now have faster reactions expanded capabilities and a wider variety of services. This is meant a need for instantaneous passenger reservations crew and flight scheduling inventory control of spare parts for aircraft and in-flight meal planning. Computers have made possible such systems as the Sabr Reservations Network of American Airlines. This system ensures that the passenger seat is no longer a losing battle. A seat unsold by departure time is every trip will be lost with advanced real time computer operations. Airlines can make a reservations list accurate to the second and use every available seat guard Wilcoxon reservations manager of American Airlines in Chicago reveals the goals of this system. Well the basic. Purpose of Saber was to reduce. Time both in the American Airlines and also with the customer who was on the telephone.
But basically it is a real time computer. That provides each reservation salesman or ticket salesman with availability. American Airlines seats on all segments of flights for 365 days advance in three seconds. These salesmen can determine. Whether there is seat available on a given flight on a given date or not. Secondly. If the customer wishes to purchase the seat and we have the ability to sell him the seat. Then and also then has an inventory control. It reduces the seat that we are sort of the customer or on the other hand if he is coming to us to cancel it puts the seat back in the inventory so if they complete inventory control on all the segments again all the flights for a year in advance before the system was installed that American Airlines conditions were often chaotic. Mr. Wilcox and explains what problems frequently encountered were eliminated by the computer
image Torii of flights every segment for a year in advance and even in the future. Had to be controlled on paper or charts. Certainly there is always room for error in recording a sale. Canceling the seatback console and so forth so that it took the human element most of the human element out of the business. The other portion was the. Communication aspect between one city and another city. Even though we had fast teletype. Even though they were advanced in telephone communication what we call a private line numbers between cities. Again this was always a point of misinterpretation by voice. Or a misprint on Teletype. This again takes us out of the business. So the quickness of the recording and reserving span pays space for the
customer Plus the accuracy. And the time saving in the availability of inventory for resale. Where the need advantages and we have found that the cost of the system itself has paid for these savings that we've had in the system. Now that Saber is in operation. Customers may simply approach a ticket counter and receive full information about available space Reservations can be made on the spot. But the cost of such a system are great complex communication networks are coupled with several computers at the American Airlines central office in Briarcliff New Jersey. How can the cost of such an installation be justified. It certainly was expensive. As far as dollars go. And I'm certain that we have been able to justify the expense of the time that we spent in the US by savings of time. Savings of space. Savings of personnel. Now the office here in
Chicago certainly is even greater or larger today than it was prior Saber. But this bases because of the growth of the industry in the. If we were not for example to have sabr today. I would have an office probably. Again a third as large or a third larger than I have today because of the space we need for the outside wreckers. If we did not hear saber. But. So the savings in headcount if we had not his saber I would assume our headcount could be over 40000 rather than 33 as we have it today. But. More than that I think that the advantages to the customer are the service we haven't been able to provide to the customer. Has. Probably paid off. In compare the expense we've had the advantages we gain.
The customers we attracted because of our system. As well as a savings of space and personnel. I'm certain that we would say conclusively. That the money that we put into the system with IBM has paid off with the full still problems do arise when the system was first in vision. Estimates were made to future reservations loads for American Airlines. These estimates were not entirely accurate. The main problem that we have had really. Was in the beginning of anticipating or forecasting the great growth. In the reservation system. The system that we have these 7 0 9 0 is that we bought. We found that it during for example the strike two years ago this summer. We had already reached the input that we had planned for 1970. So the basic the basic problem has been that we were evidently unable to forecast the
great growth in the airline industry that we did not at that time plan for the size sold. Consequently. Last fall we have contracted. We are already tying on to our system. 360 computer which will then double the capacity. This is been the biggest problem. Behind it. One day I shall be OK if I have to say I treat us. As aircraft fly in and out of one of the busiest airports in the world. Every move must be carefully calculated at O'Hare Airport in Chicago planes are lined up on runways for departure and stacked in the skies to land. The Federal Aviation Agency must watch over this traffic jam at all hours to ensure safety. O'Hare airport has its own branch FAA tower which handles actual departures and
landings in the immediate area. You know Aurora Illinois the Chicago FAA Center determines the paths of aircraft in a broad portion of the Midwest. Once a plane leaves O'Hare it must clear its destination with the Chicago Center that did it that way but that was a. Good attitude to be honest I didn't read that to the winds directly getting changed actually making that up actually sexuality at the age of 11 I love the show and I just want to drive show up. To the fact that the doctors are like a dress actually planted. Culture so stiff I was taught. That if it were not right now the position of this flight is indicated by radar and pinpointed by men at the Chicago Center. They located each plane on their radar scope with a plastic chip called a shrimp boat. One screen may be covered with these shrimp boats and surveyed by only one man actually
three men work at each post and correlate flight plans. Radar locations of aircraft and radio communications with the pilot Thomas McMahon Data Systems coordinator at the Chicago Center explains their duties. We have direct communications to aircraft in the air to ground communications throughout this entire area. We have radar coverage. We are actually controlling traffic. We're not flying the airplane by any means. We are. Providing. Traffic clearances as to the safety of the flight. He departure will sail for the Chicago where O'Hare Airport. Pilot will request a specific route. A specific altitude. This will be forwarded to us. The aircraft will request the traffic clearance from the O'Hare. Tower. Air will issue a departure clearance to get them through their area. Transition to our. Area of jurisdiction. Our parents
will include a safe altitude in this is an altitude that we know based on the other. No one has to move traffic. No other aircraft will possible either exist or be in conflict with it. And. As this flight was progressive with the press through our area and the same situation. Changed Over or the information passed to the end Jason to air traffic control center. In the flight would go on its way to destination. Right now this system does not seem to involve electronic data processing. Where do computers fit in. Currently. The. This is all. Pretty much a manual. Preparation that is the flight plans are. Called in the. Uniform. This should be a telephone basis. To an assistant controller who will manually prepare flight information. To present to the controller. Who in turn. Will issue a departure or issue a
clearance. The subsequent strips and information in the prepared manually passed manually from point to point. With our computer. When it becomes operational. The majority of these functions will be done by the computer. The flight plan will be entered. Directly to the computer from the. Dispatcher or flight service station. The computer will process it and present it directly to the controller. The controller of fine issuing his clearance. And. Placing a departure time. In the computer computer will further process this information for and ultimately the computer will pass this information to the next owner. If this and I have to be in a. Computer Center also at the moment however man at the FAA centers across the United States are worried they feel the load of work is excessive. The Chicago Center may handle 6000 aircraft in a day. Each
post may be watching over 10 aircraft in a specific sector at one time. This heavy load is being reached daily and safety tolerances are growing smaller. Mr McMahon returns to the real purpose of the FAA centers. Safety of course is our crime. This is our prime object. Safety first and you hear and see this. A lot of places. Well. Each controller down there realizes is. His actual job has responsibilities to him on a life. That he is handling and that so this is a. Very large safety. We'll say. It's. Real and fake This is just the first thing. Too many people transportation means the automobile for daily trips the car is the most
likely source of transportation and the biggest headache for the driver is the traffic jam. Larger cities are discovering that stop lights one way streets and freeways do not always alleviate the pressures of rush hour traffic. Now San Jose California west London England and Glasgow Scotland are profiting from the experiences of Toronto Canada. Computers are being used to sense and control the traffic stop lights no longer spell the difference between a half hour and a 45 minute trip just because the lights were out of phase to establish progressive movement of traffic all related signals are connected and coordinated so that a vehicle will leave one stoplight at the start of a green interval and will arrive at the next just as it turns green. Since traffic conditions vary throughout the day these intervals cannot be fixed. Now hundreds of vehicle detectors have been installed in the metropolitan area of Toronto and these have been connected to a central digital computer. The computer may determine with the available data that the stop light interval should be changed
and can directly operate each signal. The actual operation of the stop lights can be monitored and if orders to change are not followed and equipment fails the signal in question will immediately revert to its automatic mode of operation. Such flexibility of control is highly desirable in heavily populated areas of the city. The computer is able to study individual intersections at the rate of a thousand or more a second is able to determine the crossing of streets and the complex maze of intersections controlled by stoplights the memory can quickly provide information to coordinate the operation of all these signals. Thank. The daily rumblings of trucks on the nation's roads can be detected with the aid of digital computers. Work has been done at the coordinated Science Laboratory in Urbana Illinois by Professor
H W O noble and by senior research engineer Beatty Kirkwood. These men have taken specialized microphones underground and analyzed vibrations from nearby traffic to determine the type of vehicles passing. The frequencies of these vibrations actually seem to indicate a special signature for each truck or car that passes this signature by sound. Also may show the speed at which the vehicle was traveling. Police may someday be able to say I heard you speeding and mean it. Even traffic at sea is under the surveillance of computers. The U.S. Coast Guard on Governor's Island has an automated merchant vessel report system which monitors an average
of 1800 ships on the high seas each day. The system takes its information from radio transmissions of ocean going ships and can print out a list of nearby ships for emergency situations. It can also indicate the direction in which ships are heading and tell whether doctors are on board ships may even be able to help planes in distress. If the AMBER system indicates that they are in the proper area. Do not fold is a ticket to a new kind of transportation. In the computer a. Airlines railroad ships and automobiles may reach new levels of safety and efficiency because of electronic data processing. On the next program in this series we'll talk about the communication process of man and how computers may change television radio and the press. Each week the University of Illinois radio service brings you a new meaning behind the slogan of the
Do Not Fold
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Producing Organization
University of Illinois
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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"Do Not Fold" is a program about the growing applications of computer technology. Each episode focuses on how different professions and sectors are using computers to explore new possibilities in their line of work. Interviewees discuss how they are incorporating new technology into their work, what these innovations mean for the future of their field, and how they may affect the general public.
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Producer: Johnson, Jiffy
Producing Organization: University of Illinois
Production Designer: Haney, Edna
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 69-19-9 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:30:07
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Chicago: “Do Not Fold; 9,” 1969-05-08, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 22, 2021,
MLA: “Do Not Fold; 9.” 1969-05-08. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 22, 2021. <>.
APA: Do Not Fold; 9. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from