Computer ranking or grading of essays has been a research topic for over half a century. With powerful computing systems and modern data bases of word based information, essay grading products are now a reality. This talk discusses the history of auto ranking, natural language processing, aspects of how these programs work, their limitations and how well they compare with human markers. Brief Bio: Alan Harvey has worked in pattern recognition for over 25 years, mainly in image processing; projects included vehicle number plate location and reading and processing of text data in graphical form. He has lectured at RMIT and PIT for some 25 years in Automation and Electronics, and worked in industry for some 16 years at Australian Paper, BP Australia, BP UK and Aquamill. Presently he is runs a medical laser supply company, Acupak Pty Ltd.