Oldest operational computer was Re: cctalk Digest, Vol 54, Issue

Jules Richardson jules.richardson99 at gmail.com
Thu Feb 14 08:02:32 CST 2008


Roger Ivie wrote:
> On Thu, 14 Feb 2008, Gavin Melville wrote:
>> Not completely on topic, but my boss wishes to build a computer using
>> modern knowledge, but only materials, IO etc that existed as at 1st Jan
>> 1900.    The basic premise is that had a need existed, and they knew how
>> to make one, could have it been done.
>>
>> That initially seemed hard, and certainly isn't easy, in that I'm the
>> one doing the "building" :-)  however we have fairly quickly identified
>> that magnetic logic is the only likely candidate.
> 
> I'd be thinking fluidic logic, but I'm strange.

No idea why, but whenever I come across a system, I end up asking myself "how 
could this have been done* without electronics?" - I find mechanical analogues 
of electronic/electrical systems fascinating...

* Not cheaper, faster, to the same scale etc. obviously - just whether it 
could be done at all.

Anyway, my first thought on reading that previous message was how to do it 
using pure mechanical devices (and fluidic logic's a definite possibility). 
And now's probably a good time to mention the Heath Robinson Rube Goldberg 
computer again ;)

cheers

J.




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