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Here's a rare look at the Harwell Dekatron, which is better known as the WITCH computer. At 2.5-tons, it's "made from parts more commonly found in a telephone exchange; the mammoth machine, which fills a room, is as heavy as 20,000 iPhones but computed at speeds even humans could keep pace with." Continue reading for a video and more information.

When it was built in 1951, this computer was a marvel of technology. Yet only a couple of decades later, the same processing power was available in something a little smaller. Pocket-sized, to be accurate. But for its time, the Harwell Dekatron was highly impressive. Capable of calculating sums with great accuracy 24 hours a day, it was based at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment in Harwell, Oxfordshire, where it was used for mathematical modelling.

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This entry was posted on 11/20/2012 01:00am and is filed under A Look Back, Computers .
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