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Posts Tagged ‘ The National Museum of Computing ’

Harwell Dekatron: rebooting the most dependable computer ever

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Harwell Dekatron
The National Museum of Computing has done it again, bringing yet another historical computer back to life. But where the Colossus and Tunny were war-time codebreakers, brought back to life through scraps of information, the Harwell Dekatron was merely in pieces in storage, with two of the three original developers still alive.

The 2.5-tonne beast was built in 1951 at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment in Harwell, making it the “oldest working digital computer,” according to TNMOC. It was out of date by 1957 — people wanted the latest technology even back then — so following a competition, it was handed to what was then the Wolverhampton College of Technology, where it was renamed Wolverhampton Instrument for Teaching Computation from Harwell (WITCH).

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