Monday, May 07, 2007

Ancient mainframe found 'under pavers'

This column has appeared in The Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland Shire, Queensland, Australia. Image of Burroughs mainframe computer disc farm from Ernie’s Delta Pictures.

THE project has been about a decade in the making but at last the Hindley family can sit back and enjoy a newly renovated patio.
The breakthrough featured in the Times’ Classifieds last week, with the Hindleys offering 20sq m of pavers, ready for loading – and free. Secondhand pavers are always a hot commodity in the For Sale column even with a price tag, so Andy Hindley’s phone rang hot with about 15 callers.
As the first caller loaded his trailer on Friday morning, another in the grip of paver fever dropped in on the off chance the rival did not front.
The householders were pleased to see the trailer’s symbolic departure down the driveway, marking the long-awaited end of an era at the Thornlands home.

UNDER this pile of pavers is yet another Redlands’ business success story. Work pressures meant Andy and his wife Val kept putting off the patio concreting.
In the early 1980s, Andy was working with Smith’s Crisps in London as an operator on a Burroughs mainframe computer – "it was as big as a house and needed three people to run it" – before he and Val took a world trip, visiting Andy’s sister down under and touring the east coast for six months.
"When we got back to London it was cold and raining so we applied to emigrate to Australia," Andy says.
"The application took nine months but we arrived here in early 1982."
In 1983, the couple settled at Alexandra Hills, and soon welcomed their first daughter, Zara, now 21. They later lived at Alexandra Hills and had another daughter, Emma, now 17, before the family moved to Thornlands.

ANDY and Val had already started a home-based business, making leather belts for markets but they then set up Bayside Belts, to supply leather belts for school uniforms.
Andy obtained the first order for 36 belts from Nudgee College.
Today, Bayside Belts supplies about 100 schools in four States, selling its products direct to the schools and through uniform retailers.
That’s why the patio project had to wait.
"When you run a small business from home, it can be hard to get spare time," Andy says.
"There is a lot happening in business at homes nowadays and it’s not something you can see.
"A lot of the activity is hidden away."

THANKS for joining me to meet the great people in the marvellous community of classified advertising.

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