1st Analog Computer is Sicilian, Can't Run Vista

The Antikythera Mechanism was salvaged out of a shipwreck in 1900. It's the original HotHardware -- the first known example of an analog computing device. Scientists estimated it was made in 100 BC. Researchers are still trying to find out exactly what the device can do, and identify who might have made it, but according to an article in the journal Nature, newly deciphered markings on the crusty old thing's dials suggest it was likely made in Syracuse, a Sicilian city that was then a colony of the Greek city of Corinth

The mechanism’s connection with the Corinthians was unexpected, the researchers said, because other cargo in the shipwreck appeared to be from the eastern Mediterranean, places like Kos, Rhodes and Pergamon. The months inscribed on the instrument, they wrote, are “practically a complete match” with those on calendars from Illyria and Epirus in northwestern Greece and with the island of Corfu. Seven months suggest a possible link with Syracuse.

Inscriptions also showed that one of the instrument’s dials was used to record the timing of the pan-Hellenic games, a four-year cycle that was “a common framework for chronology” by the Greeks, the researchers said.

So far, researchers have determined that the device can predict solar eclipses, keep track of the calendar, and chart the four year cycle of the Olympics. The picture of the condition of the device when it was discovered testifies to the inferiority of analog computers -- the device hadn't been used in two centuries but it needed to be defragged. Oh well, it was still better than a Heathkit EC-1.
Tags:  Vista, computer, can, Lian, COM