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MMD > Archives > April 2005 > 2005.04.15 > 06Prev  Next

Player Piano Company and Computers
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All, In response to Robbie's editorial comment, I found the
following message from Durrell Armstrong in the 1978-1981 Player
Piano Company catalog:

  "Again, greetings -- and a somewhat late catalog.  If things keep
  going as they have, many of you will be reading this traditional
  page for the first time.  Player Piano Co. started growing from
  a one-man business nearly thirty years ago."

According to Durrell, the business was started in 1951.  In 1971, he
got his first computer.  Naturally, special programs had to be written
to handle his unique inventory, invoicing, billing, etc., etc., and
the costs were relatively enormous.  But he was, or had been, convinced
that computers were the wave of the future.  So, he 'bit the bullet'
and kept sinking money into the computer systems and programs.  By
1986, after having had some serious and very costly problems with the
system, he did some number crunching and found that he could save about
$100,000 a year by getting rid of the computers and returning to the
old methods of bookkeeping and inventory control.  So, he go rid of the

While Durrell readily admits that computers have come a long way since
the mid-80's, his prior experiences with them have kept him from
getting involved again.  Now, at age 70, he's content to keep running
the business as he has for the past 20 years.  (If it ain't broke,
why fix it?!)

John A Tuttle
Brick, New Jersey, USA

(Message sent Fri 15 Apr 2005, 13:22:37 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Company, Computers, Piano, Player

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