Resurrection for computer that died in 1973

Considered the UK?s oldest complete computer, the Harwell is set to return
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The UK’s oldest computer, which made its final boot sequence back in 1973, will be brought back to life and displayed at the National Museum of Computing

The 2x5 metre machine, known as the Harwell, was first designed back in 1949 to continually process mathematical calculations.

Dick Barnes - who originally helped build the device at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment - told the BBC that it could have had more than a single purpose.

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"Officially, it was to help with general background atomic theory and to assist in the development of civilian power," he said.

"Of course, [the Research Establishment] had connections to the nuclear weapons programme.”

After being used at Atomic Energy, the device was used in computer education, until 1973 when it was stored away.

The restoration project is expected to take a year.

Front image: BBC



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