The Harwell Dekatron

Speaker: Kevin Murrell
Date: Thu 16th January 2014
Time: 14:30

Fellows Library of the Science Museum, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2DD

About the seminar

Kevin Murrell will describe the re-discovery of the Harwell Computer and the restoration process that lead to it being re-awarded an entry in the Guinness Book of Records as the "Worlds Most Durable Computer".

Kevin will describe the setting up of the research centre at Harwell, the development of the computer in the late 1940s and its imaginative retirement package. The machine did sterling service in education for many years before being broken up and lost to museum storage.

The Harwell Computer is known for its reliable operation and was partly designed as a test bed for new components that would be used in the nuclear industry. Its reliability, and its ability to run unattended over a weekend, was essential as the simplest arithmetic operation could take many seconds!

The computer was re-presented to world in December 2012 and Kevin will include a video of the reboot day.

For more information about the computer see www.tnmoc.org/special-projects/harwell-dekatron-witch

Click to see a podcast of the event