3 Wegematic 1000 Memories

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Alfons Ahlnäs

Alfons Ahlnäs, Mirja Friman (Picture Ove Holmström)

I spent several months in Bollmora in order to learn how Wegematic 1000 was working technically. Together with technicians from other sites we assembled a machine from ready parts. The most difficult unit to assemble was the magnetic drum. The read-write heads should be placed near the surface with little tolerance but should not scratch and destroy the surface. I got the impression that keeping technicians here for a long time was a way to lower assembly costs.

The last part of the visit I spent in Gottenburg, probably at Chalmers, on learning to program the machine. Completing even a small program was a time consuming activity as everything should be written correctly in detailed machine code.

The delivery of the machine was repeatedly delayed and I spoke to Laurikainen about this pointing out that machines were produced but were delivered to other sites which were more aggressive in requiring delivery at promised delivery times. Laurikainen on phoning was assured delivery in November.

The machine was built of a huge number of electronic tubes and diodes, possibly 10 000. It was very sensitive to variations in the voltage which we were unaware of and should have required some stabilizing device. Sometimes the voltage was stable and sometimes there were a sudden drop in the voltage possibly due to passing street cars resulting in errors in the computations.