Feeds

Mammoth computer found in closet in Australia

Boffins think we will see it browse again

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

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".

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.