The Man and the Machine

"That machine seems to be entirely appropriate for Leavenworth Penitentiary, but somewhat less appropriate for use at the University..."

That's Charles U. Daly, vice president for government and community affairs, talking about one of Hall's cost accounting devices--a palm-print scanner to crack down on dining hall freeloaders.

Hall says not that although the idea for the machines--which would encode student hand-prints in magnetic tape on bursar cards--came out of his office, he takes no direct credit for them. But at the time he said he thought the installation of such a machine would be reasonable in light of the money that it would save.

Formerly the machine had been used only at Strategic Air Command bases and high-security banks.

Hall has had more success with his flash card security system at Eliot House, and his Delta 2000 program.

The Delta 2000, the ultimate in automation, is a machine that is connected up with hundreds of fans and ventilators and other mechanical apparatus spread all over the University. It monitors the working of each and every one of them.

"Never more should we have a burnt-out boiler," Hall said at the time of the machine installation in the basement of the Science Center. "Harvard is way ahead of the competition in this area."