The oldest digital computer lives once more..

Many people build or rebuild computers but not quite to this extent!

The Harwell Dekatron, otherwise known as the Witch, has been wonderfully restored with all its original parts and brought back in to use by the National Museum of Computing.

It was first built 61 years ago and has taken 3 years of hard graft to complete.

Weighing 2.5 tonnes and taking 4 seconds to print each character, I don’t think anyone will be letting go of their laptops or tablets but this is a fascinating piece of technology and it’s fantastic to see it is being used to teach up-and-coming programmers.

Next time I’m using a calculator (which is in fact just an app on my smartphone) I might just think of the Dekatron and it’s gas filled glass tubes built to count up to ten and appreciate my basic app that little bit more.

Next time there’s a rainy day I think I’ll go Witch hunting..

Want to find out more? Check out The National Museum of Computing  or read a great article on The Register.


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