Herewith two pictures of CSIRAC, claimed to be the fourth digital computer ever built, and the oldest still in existence.

CSIRAC at the Melbourne museum
· · ·
CSIRAC at the Melbourne museum

768 20-bit words, 1000Hz, lots and lots and lots of vacuum tubes.



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From: Gus Gollings (Jan 11 2007, at 07:38)

CSIRAC is thought to be the first computer to play digital music, as early as 1951 (see Doornbusch, Paul 'The Music of CSIRAC', <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1863355693/qid=1125020932/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/103-4217120-6039829?v=glance&s=books&n=507846">at Amazon</a>). The original programmers working on the machine had no way to know when a computation had finished, so they installed a speaker which would beep when the machine was done. A clever imaginative leap, and some nifty programming, and CSIRAC was playing 'Colonel Bogey March'...

[link]

From: Justin (Jan 14 2007, at 22:38)

You know when I saw that computer, I was pretty sure that Neal Stephenson used it as inspiration for the first digital computer

built by his character Waterhouse in his novel "cryptonomicon". The Waterhouse character was stationed in Australia at the time too.

[link]

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