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United Kingdom Hardware

The World's Oldest Original Digital Computer Springs Back Into Action At TNMOC 65

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the netbsd-accepts-challenge dept.
New submitter prpplague writes "After a three-year restoration project at The National Museum of Computing, the Harwell Dekatron (aka WITCH) computer will rebooted on 20 November 2012 to become the world's oldest original working digital computer. Now in its seventh decade and in its fifth home, the computer with its flashing lights and clattering printers and readers provides an awe-inspiring display for visiting school groups and the general public keen to learn about our rich computer heritage."
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The World's Oldest Original Digital Computer Springs Back Into Action At TNMOC

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @06:24AM (#42038529)

    With 828 dekaton counter tubes I reckon it's not a digital computer (2 base) but a decimal computer (10 base).

    There are 10 kinds of people who understand binary...

  • by HybridST (894157) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @08:36AM (#42039217) Homepage

    Copypasta from TFA:
    Power Consumption: 1.5kW
    Size 2m high x 6m wide x 1m deep
    Weight: 2.5 tonnes
    Number of Dekaton counter tubes: 828
    Number of other valves: 131
    Number of relays: 480
    Number of contacts or relay switches: 7073
    Number of high speed relays: 26
    Number of lamps: 199
    Number of switches: 18

    It uses about the same power as the space heater in my living room which does dim the lights across the apartment. I'd expect a museum to have slightly better power than the century-home I live in although I may be mistaken on that point.

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.