World's Oldest Working Computer Comes Back to Life
November 20, 2012 2:06 PM
The Witch is being unveiled at a ceremony at the National Museum of Computing today
The world's oldest original
working digital computers
has been restored and brought back to life in a UK museum.
The computer, called the Witch (short for Wolverhampton Instrument for Teaching Computation from Harwell), is from the 1950s and was used to replace adding machines.
The Witch was first designed and and built in 1949 to help the UK's Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell in Oxfordshire with calculations. In 1951, the 2.5 tonne computer was ran for the first time. However, at that point, the Witch was called the Harwell Dekatron.
The Harwell Dekatron took up to about 10 seconds to multiply two numbers, and was used about 80 hours per week. But in 1957, smaller and faster computers hit the scene, and the Harwell Dekatron was moved to the Wolverhampton and Staffordshire Technical College to teach programming. This is where it acquired its new name, the Witch.
Later, in 1973, it was donated to Birmingham's Museum of Science and Industry, where it was displayed until 1997 when the museum closed. From there, the Witch was taken apart and stored.
The Witch had been forgotten until a trustee from The National Museum of Computing, named Kevin Murrell, noticed the Witch's control panel in a photograph brought in by another computer conservationist. He recognized the parts after having seen the Witch many times as a teenager.
This led to the restoration effort for the Witch, where it's piece were found in storage and reassembled. After cleaning it up and replacing a few parts, the Witch is alive again. About 480 relays and 828 Dekatron tubes are all original on the computer, making the Witch nearly completely original to its former 1950s self.
The Witch is being unveiled at a ceremony at the National Museum of Computing today.
"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard
Dell Earnings Disappoint as PC Sales, Windows 8 Fail to Save It
November 16, 2012, 7:19 PM
Do you hate to do yard work?
October 20, 2016, 5:00 AM
Smart Technology Mood Collar To Understand Your Dog’s Emotions
October 17, 2016, 5:00 AM
iBeat: A heart monitoring smartwatch that can save lives by Monique C. Bethell, Ph.D
October 8, 2016, 10:25 AM
How Difficult it is to Buy Electronics
October 7, 2016, 6:00 AM
Inspiron Laptops & 2-in-1 PCs
September 25, 2016, 9:00 AM
The Samsung Galaxy S7
September 14, 2016, 6:00 AM
Most Popular Articles
Problems with Windows 10 – Update Now
October 15, 2016, 7:30 AM
Comcast Fined $2.3 Million for Trumped-Up Charges
October 13, 2016, 5:00 AM
IBM – Cloud Object Storage Cheaper than Amazon S3
October 14, 2016, 5:00 AM
Paralyzed Race Car Driver Recieves Nevada License
October 12, 2016, 5:00 AM
Researchers Move Closer to Breakthrough Gene Therapy to Cure Sickle Cell
October 14, 2016, 5:00 AM
Latest Blog Posts
T-Mobile Data Problems
Oct 20, 2016, 10:17 AM
Annoying Apple Watch Problems and How to Fix Them
Oct 20, 2016, 5:00 AM
Your Mail May Soon Be Delivered By Robot
Oct 19, 2016, 9:34 AM
2018 Jeep Wrangler Prototype Sells At Junkyard
Oct 18, 2016, 5:00 AM
Samsung Shines with Gold Edition Tablet
Oct 17, 2016, 9:24 AM
Tesla Hints Mysterious Product Debut for October 17th
Oct 16, 2016, 10:14 AM
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Phones on US flights
Oct 15, 2016, 5:00 AM
Comcast Fined $2.3 Million For Unconfirmed Services Charged To Customers
Oct 14, 2016, 5:00 AM
“American singer / songwriter “Bob Dylan is awarded 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Oct 13, 2016, 10:33 AM
Battery Defect in Medical Device
Oct 12, 2016, 5:00 AM
IBM Bolsters Social Services Sector With Technology Grants
Oct 11, 2016, 5:00 AM
Scientists Sound Alarm on Climate but US Still Toys With Skepticism
Oct 10, 2016, 5:00 AM
IMEX America Trade Show
Oct 9, 2016, 10:00 AM
Phone Wars – Google VS Samsung Free Gifts on Purchase
Oct 6, 2016, 5:00 AM
Member of Parliament’s opposition car exploded in Tbilist capital of Georgia
Oct 5, 2016, 2:52 PM
US Government Cuts Cord On Internet Oversight
Oct 3, 2016, 10:34 AM
Are farm children less likely to have allergies and asthma in adulthood?
Sep 30, 2016, 5:00 AM
MH 17 shot down by missile 'brought from Russia' into Ukraine's rebel territory
Sep 29, 2016, 5:00 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information