The Book

Imagine a world without computers, the internet, email, barcodes and Smartphones... business and personal life as we know it today would literally grind to a halt – and it’s only around 50 years or so ago that computers were even invented!!

In the 1960’s Australian business was populated by a handful of huge mainframe computers  used only in Government, large banks and insurance companies, but smaller and affordable (midrange) computers started to hit the market around the time Armstrong walked on the moon in 1969.

Enter the software entrepreneurs: in the 70’s and 80’s a small number of intrepid risk-takers put everything on the line to create repeatable software applications (packages) to bring the new-fangled computers to life to feed the rapidly growing and hungry SME business market.


‘I conceived this book because a vital pioneering period in Australia’s exciting software history was rapidly disappearing into the quicksands of time and desperately needed to be put on permanent record for future generations.’


John Neller

Software Industry Pioneer

Author - All Systems Go!

All Systems Go! is a beautifully presented must-read work for anyone wanting to learn how the pioneers bridged the huge software gap from mainframe to midrange to personal computer to smartphone in only 50 years – literally a blink of the eye in the context of history.

This 240 page book traces the evolution of the Australian software package industry, providing older readers with a veritable feast of nostalgia while demonstrating to younger readers that anything is possible.


‘The deeper I delved into the personal stories in All Systems Go! the more amazed I was by the adversity and challenges faced by these courageous individuals and their organisations.’


Len Rust, Executive Director,

Dialog Technology Management and Computer Industry Analyst

Using a unique structure of corporate case studies and personal profiles contributed by the people who actually lived the challenges of the period, the book’s numerous insights provide an invaluable guide to any would-be entrepreneur of the modern era.  


If today’s entrepreneurs can learn anything from these battle-hardened oldies, it’s that you need to be courageous, innovative and very creative to succeed.  They were able to extract enough revenue from a small and challenging market to build profitable businesses, against what at times looked like insurmountable odds. And without the Internet to assist them…

‘As an IT Journalist for The Australian, I knew John Neller well as one of the first generation of modern IT entrepreneurs, known and respected throughout the industry. His book captures the dynamic early days of computing history and shows that today's entrepreneurs truly are standing on the shoulders of giants.’


Leila Henderson, Fellow of the New Ventures Institute of Flinders University, Tech Entrepreneur

This historically important book traces the evolution of computer software packages in Australia from their birth in the mainframe and midrange eras of the 60’s and 70’s right through to the now ubiquitous smartphone of the 21st century. It is a ‘must read’ book for anyone involved in the computer industry in the second half of the 20th century and wanting a record to which they can relate their own experiences. 

‘All Systems Go! tells a long-overdue story. It's a story of Resilience, true vision and leadership - qualities that are perhaps even more important in entrepreneurs today than they ever have been.’


Rick Carter, Adjunct Faculty, Carnegie Mellon University Australia, and Founder , Innovation In The City 



This important book captures some of the rich history of Australian technology invention and development. Drawing on contributions from 30 entrepreneurs of the era, it records first-hand experiences of the successes, pitfalls and failures of those involved. These are real stories from real people.’


Barrie Williams

Software Industry Veteran

'I'm sure thousands of people who lived through those times will experience the same heartwarming reminiscence I did. And those newer to the tech scene may discover why things were the way they were, what we have inherited from those decades today and the cycle of life as we all march into the AI, IoT, VR and Blockchain era.'


Sonja Bernhardt

Technologist: Governance & Risk. Health sectors, Presenter (AI, IoT, VR, Blockchain...), Vintage Women in Tech Advocate

©2018 by All Systems Go Book. 

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