When Orac met EDSAC

  |  Published: Sep 1st 2014

The Summer Bytes Festival at The National Museum of Computing on Bletchley Park is springing lots of surprises and last weekend (9-10 August) Orac, the supercomputer from the late 1970’s science fiction series Blake’s 7, met the reconstruction of EDSAC, the computer that transformed scientific research in the late 1940s.

Whereas Orac was disdainful of human beings and talked down to them, EDSAC was a servant of the scientific community of Cambridge University in the 1950s and helped academics achieve Nobel prizes in Astronomy and Biochemistry.

Orac was damaged during the destruction of underground facilities featured in the TV series, partly repaired, but brought to TNMOC by special effects maestro Mat Irvine to reawaken memories at the Summer Bytes Festival last weekend.

 EDSAC on the other hand is being completely reconstructed by volunteers at TNMOC and is expected to be fully working at the end of 2015.

 Summer Bytes continues at TNMOC until 2 September with computer music being featured this weekend (16-17 August), daylight astronomy on 23 August and a computer games extravaganza on 23-26 August. See www.tnmoc.org for details.

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