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

dwight elvey dkelvey at hotmail.com
Thu Feb 14 22:22:26 CST 2008

 I wish to make a correction. The tubes were called audions and were
not made until 1906. Low gain made them hard to use for radio uses
but that has nothing to do with digital uses.

> From: dkelvey at hotmail.com
> To: cctalk at classiccmp.org
> Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2008 20:08:46 -0800
> Subject: RE: Oldest operational computer was Re: cctalk Digest, Vol 54, Issue
>> From: wdonzelli at gmail.com
> ---snip--
>> I am sitting here, reading this thread, and am astounded by what
>> people think tubes could do back in 1906. It would have been
>> *impossible* to make any sort of computing device using the technology
>> of the time. You would have better luck porting OS/2 to a 709.
>> Tubes back then barely worked. When they did work, they barely
>> amplified. And you were lucky to get 50 hours out of them. A try
>> getting two that were vaguely similar electrically. And then try to
>> find someone that actually knew how the things worked.
> Hi
> Where did you get this infomation?
> Audiotrons were used for telephone amplification and generally ran
> for a thousand hours or more. Many collectors have these tubes that are
> still operational today.
> Gain was low but for digital that is desired. A gain of three or four
> in power is more than is required for digital computers. More than
> that would be a waste.
> Although, I don't have any audiotrons myself, I do have tubes
> made in the 20's that are still working at close to new specs.
> I do agree that the large number of tubes required would be difficult
> to remain operational but requirements for a digital computer are
> not that great compared to other applications.
> Dwight
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