Flash mob computing

From: Jules Richardson <julesrichardsonuk_at_yahoo.co.uk>
Date: Tue Feb 24 00:40:01 2004

On Mon, 2004-02-23 at 22:50, Tom Jennings wrote:
> On Mon, 2004-02-23 at 13:47, Curt Vendel wrote:
> > I agree.... the fabled days of Supercomputers kinda died when the Cray's
> > became obsolete and lost their awe and allure...
> > >>http://www.flashmobcomputing.org/
> 'supercomputing dates from WWII'? Did I miss a world war somewhere?
> There were massed arrays of computers then, but they ate lunch and slept
> at night, operated mechanical calculators and later got fired when
> computers of the automatic, digital, electronic type actually came into
> existence.

Well Bletchley ran 10 MKII Colossus machines breaking Lorenz ciphers by
the end of WWII; I'm not sure if those exactly qualify as supercomputers
but it's a far cry from humans using mere machanical calculators.

I'm not sure of valve count on the later machines but the MKI was around
1500 valves. Output was by hardcopy; input was via a paper tape reader
running at 5000cps - not bad for 1940's technology. Programming was via
plugboard; there was no concept of machine memory back then.

It gets nice and cosy in the room housing the rebuilt Colossus example
from all those valves :)


Received on Tue Feb 24 2004 - 00:40:01 GMT

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