Feeds

Mammoth computer found in closet in Australia

Boffins think we will see it browse again

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Melbourne newspaper The Sunday Age is reporting that a computer weighing 2000 kilograms and an incredible 52 years old has been found in a dusty warehouse in Australia.

This means a working computer has been discovered that is even older than veteran Register staffer Mike Magee. And, according to the newspaper, boffins are racing to get the beast, called CSIRAC, back in action again. The newspaper says that CSIRAC, one of the oldest computer acronyms and one which people have completely forgotten the meaning of, is the only intact first generation machine in the world.*

The boffins are racing against time to re-boot the machine in time for an exhibition to be held in Melbourne next year, The Sunday Age reports.

But CSIRAC, like many now extinct creatures, was slow on its feet and small-brained, consuming 30 kilowatts an hour, and with a tiny brain with only 1024 bytes of memory. The mammoth covered 40 square metres and was noticeable for its huge cabling, technically known as tusks, which were what first alerted the boffins to its existence. It is believed that the entire race of first generation computers was completely wiped out by a meteor called Intel which laid waste both the mammoths and the smaller midis in the early 1980s.

The complete story from The Sunday Age can be found here. ®

See also

The guide to Register acronyms

* A reader writes: The meaning of the acronym has not completely disappeared, since according to this site. It was originally called the CSIR Mark 1, which stands for: "Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Mark 1". This was considered too bland and they creatively renamed it to CSIRAC, which stands for: "Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Automatic Computer".

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.