Feeds

Save hefty Dr Who and Bond girl 'Flossie', pleads vintage computer man

5-ton ICT1301 boasts 1 MHz clock speed, 2kB RAM

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Engineer and vintage computer enthusiast Ron Brown is struggling to save Flossie, one of the world's oldest working computer mainframes and a bonafide movie star, from extinction.

The '60s era ICT 1301, which was a prominent feature in Scaramanga's lair in Bond film The Man With The Golden Gun, is currently being housed in a barn in Kent, after a nine-year restoration project. But the barn is located on a farm that's now up for sale, threatening Flossie's future, Kent News reported.

The mainframe was restored by Brown along with fellow engineer Roger Holmes. Brown is now trying to find a home for Flossie.

"I would love the Science Museum to take her, or perhaps even Bletchley Park,” he said.

The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park, which houses exhibits like the Colossus, told The Register that there were some logistical issues to be fixed before it could offer help to Flossie.

“The National Museum of Computing warmly congratulates the restorers who have conserved Flossie," TNMOC said. "In principle, TNMOC would be interested in hosting Flossie if it were to be offered, but in practice there are resource and space constraints which would need to be resolved.”

Originally built in 1962, when it would have cost a whopping £250,000 - equivalent to millions today - the computer is the last of the 150 or so ICT mainframes that survive and it's also the first one that was ever built.

Flossie has just 2kB of memory and a processor running at 1Mhz speed. She takes up 25 square feet of space and weighs five tons. The computer's data is kept on 27 reels of magnetic tape and 100,000 punch cards.

Brown and Holmes restored the mainframe to full working order after buying it for £200 in the 1970s.

As well as appearing in Bond movies, the computer also starred in episodes of Doctor Who and Blake's 7. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Chipmaker FTDI bricking counterfeit kit
USB-serial imitators whacked by driver update
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.