News from the UK reports that the world’s oldest high-performance supercomputer has been rebooted and is now a clattering and flashing body of power after a three-year restoration effort. The machine is known as WITCH and was the hardware for the UK’s atomic energy research program in the 1950s. Forgotten with the advancing technology, WITCH was accidentally rediscovered in a municipal storeroom where it waited for 15 years. Now that is a pleasant surprise.
Our computational-modeling enthusiasts can’t help but feel a little nostalgic about this piece. To think – this is where the supercomputing industry began. It is pretty incredible; being that it was only 61 years ago. It really brings to light just how quickly technology advances. Not that long ago, supercharged workstations didn’t even exist. When working with them every day, this time frame is pretty hard to imagine in the long-term perspective but it is also inspiring. We can only imagine what strides the next decade of technology will bring.
To read more about WITCH and its rediscovery, check out an article by Extreme Tech here.