UK's Oldest Computer To Be Restored, Not Given Quad-Core CPU

UK's Oldest Computer To Be Restored, Not Given Quad-Core CPU

Think your computer is old? Think your computer is slow? You haven't seen anything, yet! Just a few months after we heard that an IBM supercomputer had discovered the oldest English words known to man, a computer just as large and not nearly as potent is about to be restored to working order over in the UK.

It's known as Britain's oldest computer, and essentially it was designed only to handle mathematical calculations. In lay terms, it was constructed to be a giant calculator, but too many years of multiplication left it defunct. The unit itself measures 2.4x5 meters, which is plenty to engulf most bedrooms. It was first booted up around a year ago, and it took its last official breath in 1973.

But now, the computer is expected to breath new life as those who understand its importance seek to share that same knowledge with others. We're told that the entire restoration process is expected to take around one year to complete, though there's no mention of just how wildly expensive it'll be. But to us nerds, it'll be worth even penny. Er, pence.
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I wonder if this was one of the Colossus computers, used during World War II to crack German codes? Probably not; those were single-purpose devices. Most computers in that period were "programmed" with patch cords; the ENIAC and the Manchester computers were (in subsequent designs) the first to use volatile stored programs. The former has been disbursed to such places as the Smithsonian and the University of Pennsylvania's Engineering college (where it was designed)... so c'mon to Philadelphia if you want to see a really old computer but don't want to hop the pond.

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I think colossus was quite a bit bigger than this one (as the name suggests). They might both use valve transistors tho..?

'it'll be worth every penny. er, pence.'

It's okay- we use the term 'penny' all the time ;)

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This is a pretty cool PC. I did a little reading on it the other day. It did math calculations about the same speed that a person could do. The reason it was so awesome is that it did the boring math and it could crank out 24/7.

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I wonder how long it would take it to run Super Pi 1M!

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I remember an old Dilbert cartoon: The pointy-haired boss gave all his employees 286-based PCs as a cost-cutting measure.

PHB: "I mean, how many times in your life are you going to do 3D rendering of an image?"

Dilbert: "Once, if I hurry."

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lol....

 

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