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Vintage documentation for what was once the world's fastest computer is up for grabs at eBay this week. Manchester's Atlas dates back to what Verity Stob calls the 'Robbie the Robot' era of computing. It was a collaboration between the city's university and Ferranti, was designed at the West Gorton site (familiar to visitors as the ICL building), and its valves first began to glow in 1961.

Microsoft researcher Lyndsay Williams is auctioning the test specs for the Atlas, the documents having been in the family since her father worked on the machine. You can find out more here.

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these? You'd need a very large room indeed.

Six weeks ago a unique collection of historic computing documents and papers dating back to Berkeley (the philosopher, not the early UNIX™) went under the hammer at Christie's, in New York. ®

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