Thursday, 17 October 2013

Cable Harnessing and the 50 Year old Computer

The past 50 years have seen plenty of changes in the technology industry with an amazing progression in computing. When once your computer would be the size of a room, projections say that handheld tablets will be the norm, even overtaking laptops.

One such computer who was around for the start of it all was Flossie: a giant machine that’s looking like making quite the comeback. As an ICT 1301 model, the main task was to produce test results for students at the University of London and measuring at 5 tonnes, Flossie could not be more of a far cry from modern day machines.

Flossie would have benefitted from the use of cable harnessing due to the significant amount of maintenance that had to go into keeping her ticking over. Fascinatingly, due to the bulky size of the model, the ICT 1301 found stardom after appearing in Doctor Who and James Bond.

The machine was later discarded and studied by students before finding its way to a farm owner who kindly donated the gigantic treasure.

Plans are now in place to fix Flossie’s mechanisms that were sadly damaged during transit by 2016. The idea is to house the enormous computer in The National Museum of Computing – a team dedicated to preserving historic parts of technology. Kevin Murrel, a trustee with the group said, "One of the problems with computers as museum artefacts is that when they are switched off they are fairly boring - it's fairly difficult to learn anything from them," explained Mr Murrell.
"So ideally we want it switched on, and once we've restored it we will be able to run the original software.”
An intriguing and passionate initiative, this news says a lot about the evolution of computers and how it has grown from humble beginnings to what it is now.

Cable Harnessing at Lapp: http://www.cableharnessing.co.uk/home.htm

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