Wednesday, December 17, 2008

2000 year old computer, rebooted

A little over a hundred years ago a shipwreck was found off the Greek Islands which contained a rusted mechanical calculator, now considered to be the world's first computer. Named Antikythera, it was (recently) dated as being as old as 150 BC. Pictured above, in Xray, the mechanism contained several gears and is understood to have functioned by calculating astronomical positions as a sort of super-advanced calendar, and was presumably used in relation to ancient Olympic games.

The current issue of Wired Magazine documents how Michael Wright, a former curator at the Science Museum in London, has built a fully functional replica of the Antikythera. Click here for the full story, including video.

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