Down Not Much Memory Lane; OLDEST WORKING BRIT COMPUTER IS BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE IN KENT SHED
Byline: EUAN STRETCH firstname.lastname@example.org
ONE of the world's oldest computers has sparked back into life after being re-booted by two scientists in a garden shed.
And although it looks like the nerve centre of a huge hi-tech network, these bulky machines actually make up just a single computer, an old ICT 1301 mainframe lovingly referred to as Flossie.
Rod Thomas and Roger Holmes have spent 10 years breathing life back into five-ton Flossie, which cost a PS250,000 in 1962.
And technology has whizzed by since then - you would need over four million Flossies just to match the same storage capacity of today's basic 8gb smartphone.
Despite its 25 square foot size, Flossie's 16,000 transistors and 4,000 logic boards only result in a puny 2kb memory and 1mhz processing speed - all of which can now fit on a couple of modernday 10mm silicon chips. Mr Thomas, 67, and Mr Holmes, 59, now face the painstaking task of using 27 reels of magnetic tape and 100,000 punch cards to recover software on the computer, which is currently housed in a shed in Kent. …