Daily Archives: May 27, 2015

Unveiling Of IBM’s First ATM Machine In London (U.K.), mid-1970s — A STORY.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail

by Anura Guruge

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The story in the January 26, 2015 issue of the U.K. “Daily Mail”, that I talked about here, which memorialized IBM in terms of ‘floppy disks and the first modern ATM’, brought to mind this story. With the book in the works I had been too busy until now to get around to sharing it with you.

My business cards from the mid-1990s to about 2003 used to say: ‘analyst, author and raconteur’. The latter in the main was to embrace the fact that a major part of my then life was about relating stories — verbally and in writing. Doing standup seminars was a huge part of my life and I used to write even more than I do now!

I still think of myself as a raconteur though most of my storytelling is now restricted to my writings. But sharing stories, especially those with historic significance, is important to me — because I do NOT want them to disappear. So it has been very gratifying, especially this year, that my story about what happened in 1948 during Ceylon’s Independence Celebration has now received significant coverage in Sri Lanka. That is the point. I would have hated for that story to have died with me.

So, this story, is in the same spirit.

Unveiling Of IBM’s First ATM In London, mid-1970s,

I heard this story, c. 1977, while working for IBM (U.K.) at Hursley. I can still remember the event, vividly, in my mind’s eye. It took place in the Hursley ‘Special Engineering’ lab (in the low-slung, single story, bunker like building in which all of Hursley’s ‘Special Engineering’ group was housed at the time). We were all gathered around, informally, around an 8100. There was about eight or nine of us from various projects. I think we were just taking a break. The story was told by a ‘Planner’ (IBM terminology at the time for what today would be a ‘Product Manager’). Hursley ‘Special Engineering’ would have, of course, played some role in the U.K. version of an ATM. IF nothing else the ATM, most likely an IBM 3614 or 3624, would have had to have been customized for ‘UK English’ and to handle UK Sterling currency. That would have been done by Hursley ‘Special Engineering’. So the Planner telling this story probably was involved with this ATM unveiling from the start. As with the Ceylon story I never tried to verify it — at the time. It was no big deal. We were a group of friends, chatting. Nobody was trying to score points. So the chances are that this story, like the Ceylon story, is true. It is even possible that the Planner had been there. Again, I never asked. I, alas, no longer remember his name (and folks know how bad I am with names). I can, however, visualize him.

I found this story online. The timeframe ADDS up. Again this was not the first ATM, first ATM in the U.K. or first ATM in London. It was IBM’s first ATM in London. Got that? OK.


IBM 3614 — one of the first IBM ATMs.

The Story
The unveiling was a ‘big deal’. I think it was a Monday at the City. There was a Royal involved. It might not have been the Queen per se. It might have been Prince Philip, Princess Anne or a second-tier Royal such as Prince Michael of Kent. [IBM, at in those days, did NOT have trouble getting Royal patronage given their clout in the U.K.]

The ATM is installed in the lobby. On a wall, IBMers had been working on it all weekend to make sure it worked perfectly. But as was fairly normal they did all of the testing using ‘mock’ paper currency. The unveiling is close. The ATM is behind a curtain. There are cameras. Speeches are being made. An IBM engineer loads the machine, behind the curtain, with REAL money. It is now ready for action.

Lots of fanfare. The Royal is given an ATM card. IBM VIPs are at hand, at the Royal’s elbow, to offer instructions on how to use the machine.

The Royal inserts the card, types in a pin and enters a cash amount.

The machine ‘whirrs’ into action and suddenly everybody hears VERY CLEARLY the dreadful sound of paper being ripped. Nothing is coming out. Just this awful ripping sound from within the ATM.

The IBMers are looking at each other — mortified. Eventually they jump into action — like all good IBMers are expected to do. They escort the Royal backwards and draw back the curtain.

The engineers immediately open the side of the ATM and dive in.

To their horror, but also to their amusement, it is very obvious what had gone wrong.

The person loading the ATM with £5 notes, in his excitement and nervousness, had FORGOT to take off the rubber bands that held the notes together.

That was IT.

So per the story, and I am sure it is true, that was what happened at the unveiling of IBM’s first ATM in London, U.K.

THE Queen’s 2015 Speech For The State Opening Of Parliament.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
by Anura Guruge

Related posts:
Queen’s Christmas speech 2014.
Queen’s Christmas speech 2013.

>> Queen VE Day 70th anniversary 2015.
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++++ Search on ‘Queen’ for many other posts over the years >>>>

The official, FULL-LENGTH, 15 minute video (in HD),
by the U.K. government, on YouTube.

Queen's 2015 speech parliament opening

Click to access YouTube video.

The official transcript of the speech by the U.K. Government at gov.uk.

Click to access.

The BBC’s take on each of the proposed Bills
talked about by the Queen.

Click to access.

As ever, very good coverage of the issues involved by Reuters.

Click to access.

The issue closest and most dear to my heart is that of the
EU Referendum. 

As I have mentioned, more than once, I voted AGAINST EU membership
in the FIRST referendum on this matter in 1975.

I have NEVER been a believer of EU membership.

We, THE BRITISH, don’t need the Europeans —
as much as they need us …

PLUS, and this is VERY important …

Glorious British Commonwealth

MY Glorious Commonwealth.

NOIEX, ‘Northern Income Equity Fund’: May 2015 0.045399 Dividend Is Largest Non-December Distribution Since August 2014.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail

by Anura Guruge

Related posts:
NOIEX: Income is an oxymoron.
NOIEX: light on income.
Puny Jan. 2015 distribution.
NOIEX: flat after Dec. distribution.

5/ NOIEX: Huge 2014 distribution.

a/ Sticking with BJBHX till 2015.

++++ Search ‘BJBHX’, ‘IPO’, ‘stock’ etc. for other related posts >>>>


Click to ENLARGE and read.


Click to ENLARGE and read. From Yahoo Finance. NOIEX distributions over the last ‘2 years’.

May’s 0.045399 was ‘about time’. NOIEX since its HUGE December 2014 distribution had been very light on the dividends. That the May dividend was 10 x that of April was telling.

But I am no longer convinced. I think NOIEX is struggling and that I have had it with it. I had meant to dump it BEFORE the May distributions. But with the book, the Jag and the trip to Arizona life has been a bit hectic — and as such, inexcusably, I have not spend as much time as I should working on my investments. Well, I will have to put that right.

So, this is just another heads up on NOIEX.

The Movie “The Hundred-Foot Journey” (2014) Is A Heartwarming Indo-European Yarn.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
by Anura Guruge

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“The Sessions”
Disney ‘Planes: Fire & Rescue’
>> ‘Hyde Park On Hudson’
>> “Frozen” 
>> ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’
>> ‘The Other Son’ etc 

++++ Search ‘movie’ & ‘Disney’  for other related posts using the sidebar options >>>>>>


Click to access IMDB.com listing for the movie.


2000 movie about a Chocolate shop in France. Click for IMDB listing.

I will readily confess, what drew me to this movie, which I had never heard of before, was it ‘marigold’ poster which looked so much like that of ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ — a movie that we adored. I know that the sequel ‘Marigold Hotel II’ is out and I am keeping an eye for it on Amazon Prime Video. That is basically how I found this easy-to-enjoy, set in France, ‘Chocolat‘-with curry. As soon as we saw that it was meant to be an Indo-comedy — with Helen Mirren — we were sold. It was NOT (at least last week) included for free as Amazon Prime. We had to rent it. We watched the trailer, heard one of the Indian jokes, and decided that it was well worth the $6.

It was fun. Incongruous. A one-star Michelin restaurant where everybody insists on talking in English. It is, in the end, more of a heartwarming skill, talent and love will always prevail movie as opposed to a genuine comedy. Easy on the eye and you can literally smell the delicacies being concocted.

Definitely worth watching if you like European comedies starring Indians and with an Indian twist. We enjoyed it.