what types of long term data storage are used by modern mainframes?

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Bling-Bling, Jun 11, 2005.

  1. Hey, those old washing-machine-size drives could be mobile too
    <http://www.retrologic.com/jargon/W/walking-drives.html >.
    Lawrence D¹Oliveiro, Jun 24, 2005
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  2. Bling-Bling

    Bok Guest

    Ah ha, now I know where you work - thought I recognised the name. I'm
    based in CHCH so you can probably guess who I work for (ask Chas D.).
    Bok, Jun 25, 2005
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  3. Bling-Bling

    Murray Symon Guest

    I was down there on Black Friday for the TOI (I think that's what it's
    Murray Symon, Jun 25, 2005
  4. Bling-Bling

    Bling-Bling Guest

    "Held" amounts explains that.

    The old POSB system was fully in realtime - all transactions of any type
    were processed immediately and fully.

    The only times there were any problems with any transaction not being
    completed instantly was when the central mainframe in Wellington was
    offline for some reason, and the system was in fallback mode.

    Bear in mind that the trading banks use clever tricks to make their sytem
    appear to be in realtime. It is not a fully realtime system.

    Bling Bling
    Bling-Bling, Jun 25, 2005
  5. Bling-Bling

    Richard Guest

    Well transfering from my bank direct account to my national bank visa sucks - it
    has to "clear" before I can spend it. - what the hell should it need to clear
    for? its not a check!
    Richard, Jun 25, 2005
  6. Bling-Bling

    Chris Hope Guest

    Annoying bank to bank transfers... some are better than others. I think
    it depends on the two banks in question.
    Chris Hope, Jun 25, 2005
  7. Bling-Bling

    Chris Hope Guest

    I'm not sure what you mean by a held amount. In my account I have an
    account balance and an available balance. When the transfer was made,
    the balance and available balance were the same, meaning I could draw
    on the deposited funds immediately.

    Obviously not all banks are the same, but ASB (who I bank with) have
    been using real time banking since something like 1967. I know that
    when I transfer money to a Westpac account the transfer appears in my
    supplier's account pretty much straight away. The relationship with
    some other banks are more in the batch process overnight situation (I
    know that National & ANZ into ASB is an overnight. I don't know about
    the other banks).
    And you know this how?

    So if all my transactions are batched and not processed until
    night-time, how is that I can see them on my statement as soon as they
    have happened? It's not just a difference in balance, I can see the
    transaction itself.
    Chris Hope, Jun 25, 2005
  8. Bling-Bling

    Bling-Bling Guest

    I have already discussed the Auckland Savings Bank as it was in the early
    '80s. I know nothing about the Taranaki Savings Bank.

    My main point of comparison was between the four trading banks and the
    Post Office Savings Bank.

    The Databank system carried more types of information per account to the
    Cashier's terminal each time details of that account was accessed, but was
    essentially an overnight batch-processing system - classic of its era, and
    passbooks (especially BNZ savings accounts) were updated by hand entry
    with datestamp and initials.

    The POSB's system was a much leaner and faster system that strictly had
    only current (current to the last data offload) transaction and statement

    All other account information was held in useable form in branches on
    microfische (sp?).

    I used three different types of data terminal in the POSB two types of
    Olivetti's and their replacement - Philips terminals.

    The Olivetti's were much nicer to use than the Philips terminals. It was
    possible to key in transaction data faster than what the Philips could
    cope with and cause buffering errors due to a measily 8 character input

    The Olivettis were bloody fast machines in all respects except printing;
    and it was possible to key in up to nearly a whole transaction in advance
    - and the terminal would still remember what one had keyed in. One had to
    know what one was doing and had to be accurate, because there was no
    monitor on those terminals - everything was on paper, and you had to know
    what buttons on the keyboard - and what combination of buttons were used
    to initiate and to progress through the transaction and to finally send it.

    Most people over 30 will remember the Olivetti 308 (8?) model in Post
    Offices - very noisy clattery machines used by the Tellers - being
    basically a modified teleprinter terminal.

    The other type of Olivetti actually had a b/w monitor and was more geared
    towards back office account maintainence work. We had one of these
    terminals located upstairs in the Electorial part of our branch. I only
    used it about once a week, usually when I couldn't get access to a front
    counter terminal.

    All the Olivetti terminals were connected directly to the regional
    mainframes and security was via terminal keys (4 keys per terminal that
    had to be signed for prior to use). The Philips terminals required a
    branch server in order to work.

    When the old POSB regional mainframes were upgraded in the mid/late
    80s, I heard that the only component that was useful for salvage and sale
    was the gold. The rest was trashed - so I heard.

    Also, the POSB would have had the first network of ATMs in New Zealand,
    but the rollout was blocked by the government of the day. They were kept
    in storage for several years until finally all the trading banks had
    already installed ATMs and the POSB was then permitted to install their
    then rather old looking ATMs.

    Bling Bling
    Bling-Bling, Jun 25, 2005
  9. Bling-Bling

    Bling-Bling Guest

    Like I said - the system used by the four Trading Banks is not a realtime
    system. And, of course, all transactions going between the different
    trading banks and the VISA system are processed overnight. I'm not sure on
    this, but IIRC the VISA system is still a separate system - not even on
    the same hardware.

    Bling Bling
    Bling-Bling, Jun 25, 2005
  10. Bling-Bling

    Bling-Bling Guest

    I know people who worked until recently at EDS.

    With regard to the POSB system, I worked for the PO until the
    restructuring of the late '80s when I saw the internal culture change
    happen and I jumped ship.

    Statements also are batch-produced overnight.

    Bear in mind that just because the customer can see a transaction on their
    mini-statement that does not mean it has been fully and finally processed
    - which it has not until overnight.

    BTW, transfers between the trading banks and the POSB were by money
    transfer into a BNZ account - one account for every branch. One of my
    duties was to collect the statement every day from the local BNZ and to
    key in the MTS deposits into the destination accounts.

    Also, automatic payments were done by tape transfer, and were usually
    completed by about 10am each morning. But sometimes there were problems
    and the transfer had to be re-done, or resumed or, rarely, aborted for
    that day.

    Bling Bling
    Bling-Bling, Jun 25, 2005
  11. Bling-Bling

    Chris Hope Guest

    Interesting info - thanks.

    Couple of questions for you:

    If none of the banks really do real time processing, then why does the
    ASB claim to do so, and claims to have done so since 1969?

    Why haven't any of the banks implemented a system like POSB?
    Chris Hope, Jun 25, 2005
  12. Bling-Bling

    Bling-Bling Guest

    I will say it again:

    The Auckland Savings Bank, in my experience of it as a person who held an
    ASB account in the '70s, DID and probably STILL DOES use a realtime system.

    My comments were mostly a comparison between the Databank system as used
    by all four trading banks, and the internal system as used by the POSB.

    I have no comment to offer about the former trustee savings banks (other
    than the limited comments that I have made about the ASB) because I do not
    know how their systems work.

    That I really don't know.

    I find their systems generally to be clumsy - at best inelegant.

    My guess is that the trading banks want more information about their
    clients delivered to their cashiers. That could be useful from a banking
    sales perspective.

    I am aware that the new system recently deployed in central Wellington
    branches by the BNZ has digitized copies of its clients signatures
    displayed to cashiers for comparing the clients signature during a

    Also, that same system has largely taken away the necessity for the BNZ's
    cashiers to be able to accurately add two numbers together.

    Bling Bling
    Bling-Bling, Jun 25, 2005
  13. Bling-Bling

    shannon Guest

    Its a long time since the late 80s
    Bling Bling is now in baggage management.
    shannon, Jun 25, 2005
  14. Bling-Bling

    Crash Guest

    Bling-Bling wrote:
    I thought most banks (if not all) operating in NZ now use their own
    independent computer systems with what was the databank system now being
    used purely as an inter-bank settlement system and ATM-machine switch.

    In the past banks did use the databank system as their primary system
    but IIRC the baking regulation changes in the 80s allowed the banks to
    do their own thing.

    The 'community savings banks' such as TSB, ASB etc. certainly never used
    the databank system directly (IIRC at one point each used a nominated
    trading bank) so they were never constrained by the databank system.

    A bank system can never be a purely real-time system because of interest
    calculation not being a real-time transaction (in the same way as a
    deposit and withdrawal). However when banks moved from databank to
    their own systems I would have thought that they would have employed
    real-time transaction processing as much as possible.

    Crash, Jun 25, 2005
  15. Bling-Bling

    Chris Hope Guest

    So when you talk about the "4 trading banks" you are not including the
    ASB Bank? I do not recall you making comments about the ASB earlier and
    had assumed you were lumping it in with the other banks.

    Chris Hope, Jun 25, 2005
  16. Once I saw one of these drives "eat" a full 2400bpi tape. There was call
    because the B6910 died (the DISK family crashed). I went with the technician
    because they suspected a cold start would be needed. The operator put the
    tape on top of the big "washing machine" without the seal, and the big fan
    inside the disk drive started sucking the tape out until it was entirely
    inside the unit - and of course everything stopped at that point...
    Mauricio Freitas, Jun 25, 2005
  17. Bling-Bling

    Bling-Bling Guest

    Databank no longer exists, other than in history.

    It wasn't a question of regulations requiring the banks to use Databank -
    the four trading banks jointly owned Databank outright.

    They couldn't - it wasn't theirs to use.

    Interest is calculated on a MINIMUM balance in a given period of time.
    That interest is then deposited to a specified account.

    Not all transactions must be in realtime for a system to be fully

    For example, on occasion things can go wrong - eg automatic payments can
    have wrong account numbers keyed-in, and those transactions then need to
    be reversed. If the POSB caught the error prior to the account holder
    seeing it, it was possible to do a series of error correction transactions
    which would fix the error without stuffing up balances.

    I believe that Westpac has its own mainframes now looking after its
    accounts. How the BNZ's system works centrally I don't know - I have only
    seen details of the branch terminal system.

    I understand that Datacom looks after the networking for at least one bank
    that I know of.

    Bling Bling
    Bling-Bling, Jun 25, 2005
  18. Bling-Bling

    Bling-Bling Guest

    The Auckland Savings Bank was not one of the four Trading Banks. It was a
    regional Trustee Savings Bank.

    Hence the Auckland, Waikato, Taranaki, Manawatu, etc all used to have
    their own locally owned savings bank which contributed all profits back
    into their local community.

    Bling Bling
    Bling-Bling, Jun 25, 2005
  19. Bling-Bling

    Murray Symon Guest

    On Sat, 25 Jun 2005 17:30:01 +1200, Bling-Bling wrote:

    That's not how it works on any of my accounts.
    Are you just talking about POSB accounts when you were a teller there?
    Is this your own definition of the term?
    What makes a system "fully" realtime then?
    Murray Symon, Jun 25, 2005
  20. Bling-Bling

    Bling-Bling Guest

    Did any of your accounts exist in the '70s?

    I'm talking about POSB accounts when I was a leger clerk.

    Transactions happening fully and completely at the time the system accepts
    the transaction.

    Bling Bling
    Bling-Bling, Jun 25, 2005
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