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Posted by on Nov 20, 2012 in Science |

Restored the oldest digital computer still running

Restored the oldest digital computer still running

A team of specialists from the National of in the UK (TNMOC) restored the Harwell computer , a computer giant two-ton and a half of the decade of the ’50s that was part of the British to create the atomic bomb, and was for decades lost in the cellars of a museum until it was found by accident in 2009.

The machine began to be built in 1949 and inaugurated in 1951, which later became known as Harwell Dekatron (because he used decatrones as volatile memory) or WITCH, and while it was quite slow as it took about 10 seconds to multiply two numbers, was quite reliable until it could work for 80 continuous hours a week.

After being taken down, the machine was donated to the Museum of Science and Industry in Birmingham in 1973, where he exhibited until 1997 when the museum was closed and dismantled WITCH for storage in a warehouse.

The Hartwell computer gathering dust would have continued if not for Kevin Murrell, a volunteer who found TNMOC 2009. Museum experts took three years to restore the machine retaining much of its original parts, which means that now is the digital computer WITCH oldest still in operation.

Link: Two-tonne computer Witch gets a reboot (BBC News)

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