The oldest computers still in use in the military are probably DEC PDP-11s dating back to 1970, enormous computers by our standards, but remarkably compact considering what they were capable of at the time. As the user of the system, YouCantOutrunABear, states on his Reddit account, “there’s no need for me to play Fallout, I apparently work in it.”. And as we said earlier, they were made in a time where repairing a system was the norm instead of scrapping it and buying a newer model. Between 1952 and 1957 the computer was used for early atomic research, and then it was given to Wolverhampton University, where it remained in operation until 1973. Allegedly, the likes of NORAD in the Cheyenne Mountain Complex, the Raven rock Alternate Command Centre (Site R), Area 51, Mount Weather and many other places of a black ops nature have a doomsday scenario backup Ham computer interface setup up and running. Playing on a ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Atari consoles and so on is like being a child again, and recalling the sounds, feel, and smell of overheating electronics. The minute you start to include a more sophisticated system, with a higher software level other than on or off, yes or no, there then becomes more room for failure. This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. We have another PDP whose only purpose in life is to provide spare parts to the one we keep running. I use a combination of Easy Working: The Planner (a spreadsheet program). It also had 128KB of RAM, a 360KB double-sided 5.25-inch floppy disk, a 10MB hard drive, and an Intel 8088 processor running at a blistering 4.77MHz. Those were the home computers though, the entertainment side of computing if you will. Up until recently I used an old PhotoShop that was probably older but running CS now. You can unlock your login by sending yourself a special link via email. Its main use is to read the old antique (now obsolete) tapes from very old customer systems so that we can get their old applications when we upgrade them to a new system. However, it’s still being kept as the backup unit for those times when the current model fails. Posted by Lauren Johnson. © 1996-2020 Ziff Davis, LLC. It’s often easy to forget that during the ‘70s and ‘80s there was also a serious business side to computing. The PDP (Programmed Data Processor) range of minicomputers, although mini in comparison to the monstrous mainframes, made by the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), was one of the most successful machines of its age. It was specified by Alan Turing in 1936 and is, to this day, the standard model for discussing computational complexity and relating the difficulty of various problems, a … The Expo and Millennium SkyTrains in Vancouver ran off three IBM XTs. It used an Orthogonal Instruction Set that directly addressed areas of the computer’s memory, and featured hardware interrupts on several priority levels which, when triggered, could fire off different software routines on magnetic tape (the old 270mm reels), depending on what caused the trigger in the first place. All of his accounts, dating back many years now, are all stored on 5.25-inch floppy disks and it prints invoices, cheques, and inventory forms as well as being used as the business spreadsheet machine. They were constructed in an age where this disposable society of ours was unheard of, where every conceivable part of the machine could be repaired by a skilled engineer. Yes, that PII is running at a whopping 366Mhz, that video card has an AMAZING 2.5MB of Video … This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. The Apple IIe, for example, was a fine and well used business machine – as well as being a powerful home computer as well – that saw many years of service. It’s also said to be still in use at Airbus SAS, and was part of the designing of the A320 family of planes. The HP 3000 series of minicomputers were released in 1972, and featured such revolutionary concepts as an operating system, RISC processors, and you could easily interface with the mainframes of time and large storage arrays. We’re quite guilty of looking back through rose tinted glasses at the computers we remember in our youth. The Harwell Dekatron / WITCH clattering back into life at The National Museum of Computing on 20 November 2012. The article claims “oldest still in use”, not “oldest”. Subscribing to a newsletter indicates your consent to our, ET Deals: Dell Vostro 13 5301 11th Gen Intel Core i5 Laptop for $699, iRobot Roomba i6+ 6550 Self Emptying Robot Vacuum for $549, The Best Outdoor Tech for Socializing in Cold Weather, Meteorite Fragment Points to Missing Dwarf Planet in Early Solar System, Take a Step Towards a Career in IT and Cybersecurity for Less Than $40, NASA Begins Planning Mars Sample Return Mission, World’s oldest original digital computer is turned back on after 61 years. And by wire up, we don’t just mean programming. The other is in storage and will be used in case the main Apple ever becomes faulty. BastetFurry says: August 5, 2019 at 6:27 am Which would then be the Zuse Z1. This question came up on Slashdot the other day and I wasn't really satisfied with the answers being given. Longevity is the key here, which is probably why the US government’s IRS still uses it. Even a twenty old computer can manage that. General Hardware . PCMag Digital GroupExtremeTech is among the federally registered trademarks of Ziff Davis, LLC and may not be used by third parties without explicit permission. The Apple IIe was the third generation series of Apple personal computers that was launched in 1983. They even use an IBM 029 punch card machine to enter the data with into the IBM 402. From Abacus to Kaypro 2X, and all of the computers in between, find out how much you know about the history of computers. We know how you feel fellow Hammer, or whatever you call yourselves. You may be asking yourself why all these organisations, especially the ones that look after an arsenal of scary weaponry, are using such antiquated technology? UCLA still has, and uses, an IBM System/360 mainframe. The DEC MicroVAX range of minicomputers were the lower end and more affordable of the minicomputer series. They're not exactly spritely, but they get the job done. It’s quite extraordinary. In addition to the countless government computers that still run the operating system, there are at least seven machines accessible from the outside Internet running in 2017 that still use … As the name dekatron suggests, the WITCH actually counted in decimal (base ten) rather than binary. This final entry is certainly an interesting use of old technology in a modern setting. After all, systems that you might not consider still under production, such as the PDP-10 or PDP-11 are to at least a certain extent (and I don't mean emulation). One good one is to say the computers onboard some of the oldest spacecrafts like Pioneer 10 (1972), Voyager I and II (1977). The IBM Personal Computer XT was released in 1983, and featured the ability to access the legendary IBM 3340 Winchester hard drive cluster, or Data Access Storage Facility as it was known as back then. They have very basic mechanical based interfaces in place that are made to work and last for a very long time. We still have an old PDP-11 from the 70's, so I've at least got you beat. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Sparkler Filters, based in Texas, manufactures and sells water filtration equipment. What it lacked in speed, though, it made up for in accuracy and perseverance — WITCH didn’t make mistakes, and it could be left alone for hours or days without any human interaction. Linguistic Equivalent: Sanskrit. > > > The oldest computer still in use has to be a government non military > > > server somewhere. The computational processes themselves, carried out by relays, was very slow — somewhere on the order of 5 or 10 seconds to multiply two numbers. Amazingly, it wasn’t until recently that a flat file database of every US citizen’s tax was replaced by a modern system. All in all, it was an extremely capable machine. Posted by Shasha Neil. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Whats da oldest computer program you use? Black Dog Media Ltd is one of the leading publishers of tech bookazines and guidebooks, offering a wide range of high-quality guides, tutorials and books on subjects ranging from Digital Photography and Photoshop, to Python and MacOS. Being one of the oldest computers, this is also one of the first computers used for the purpose of war. I fire it up occasionally to make sure it still starts and to try my hand at some BASIC. A perfectly intact 1970's era computer, surviving long after its peers have vanished to dust. 10 Oldest Programming Languages Still in Use. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. (Last year NASA put out a call for a FORTRAN programmer to upgrade the probes' software.) The oldest one I still use on a regular basis is an . Somewhere, in deepest darkest Alaska, this ancient minicomputer is attached to a scale that automatically inputs weights into calculation tables, calculates silver and gold ounce per ton values for raw ore sample with flux corrections (yeah, we have no idea what that means either); creates work lists for sample sets and inserts a replicate every 50 samples, and it prints sticky labels on to an equally aged printer. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. The Antikythera Mechanism, described as "the world’s first analogue computer" was created 2,000 years ago and discovered in 1901 in a shipwreck … It started life in 1970, and was one of the world’s first 16-bit word addressed machines, and proved to be blisteringly fast in its operation and remarkably stable. on Feb 8, 2015 at 07:26 UTC. You’ll also find it alive and well in the International Space Station. The definition of the character set varied by computer, with 6 bit. The PDP (Programmed Data Processor) range of minicomputers, although mini in comparison to the monstrous mainframes, made by the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), was one of the most successful machines of its age. Good times! I still have my TRS-80 Model 100 Laptop. It’s important to note what’s meant by “system” here. According to the company, the old C64 isn’t in use as the main display unit anymore, as it has been replaced something of a more modern nature. The Turing machine, I have no doubt, is the oldest standard in wide use in the computer industry. Over the last three years, WITCH has been lovingly restored to its original glory — and now it’s on display at Bletchley, powered up and working its way through some original 1950s computer programs. It is more of an intermediate level language that can be used lower level or higher level, depending on the application. The descendent of the PDP11 was the DEC VAX (Virtual Address eXtension), a much improved 32-bit complex instruction set computer that was faster and more powerful than anything previously seen in the minicomputer world. One post talks about some old IBM Series 1's and S/360/30. All told, the WITCH had 40 banks of 8 dekatrons, meaning it could store up to 40 8-digit numbers. One of the most recently developed tape drives can squeeze a modest 185TB of data on to its layer of superfine crystal particles, and it’s said to last for at least sixty years. And it’s still going to this day. While it’s difficult to say with absolute certainty what the oldest computer program in use is (as there might be an incredibly old program somewhere in the bowels of an old company or bank office still cranking away in anonymity), we can say with certainty that the oldest verified computer program still humming along is tasked with managing U.S. Department of Defense contracts. Other > > > branches only upgrade after every user who knows how to run the system > > > is dead/retired. The oldest computer I still have up and running is ZX Spectrum +2A which is a late model, made after Sinclair's computer business was acquired by Amstrad, but it's still pretty nice to have and it's as close to the original as I can get. And even when the computer does finally turn off, the Voyager mission will continue outward to distant stars. We strongly encourage you to read our updated PRIVACY POLICY and COOKIE POLICY. The WITCH is a very, very simple computer that reads data from punched tape, stores data in volatile memory, and then uses relays to perform calculations on those stored values. Edited by JPat Brown. The military gets too much cash not to swap their > > > equipment out every decade at the latest so I rule them out. What are the oldest file formats still in use? So here are a few more instances where the modern world around is being controlled by something that was designed and built thirty-plus years ago. It was also used to calculate the likelihood of developing the H-bomb, one of the most powerful weapons ever tested. The oldest tech still in use was found in … These cookies do not store any personal information. The point being, they can still coordinate and contact other surviving bases while keeping a chain of command. In a sense then it’s a computing machine, and for the sake of argument we’ll call it a computer in this instance. Wonder what the reception up there is like? It started life in 1970, and was one of the world’s first 16-bit word addressed machines, and proved to be blisteringly fast in its operation and remarkably stable. 10 Oldest Street Railway Systems in the World. 92. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. And should you decide to purchase anything from them, then your payment and your account will be put through the same IBM 402 that the company bought way back in 1949. The oldest computer program still in use From SusoSight. Impress your friends with trivia, like the original price of a Apple-1, and also learn the evolution of computing machines to impress your Sheldon-like friends. For me, the oldest piece of technology that I still use on a daily basis is probably an RCA speaker system that I bought with my own cold-hard cash when I was in junior high about 10 years ago. Kevin Huffman, who owns the Huffman Industrial Warehouse in the US purchased a couple of Apple IIe’s back in the day, and has never looked back since. 10 Ancient computers that are still in use today. The old 270mm reels of tape we often see spinning around in old movies were the only long-term, and speedy storage mechanisms for many years. These systems are designed in such a way that they rarely fail. Designed to work continuously for many years. The world’s oldest, original, still-working digital computer has been unveiled at the National Museum of Computing in Bletchley Park, the home of the United Kingdom’s Second World War … It’s little wonder then that Ham radio computer interfaces are still being produced today, and are in use in many a home across the world as well as some notable military bases. The oldest computer that is still being used right now is the DEC-PDP-11s. Amateur radio, or Ham radio, users share a common spirit with computer enthusiasts. Although it was completed in 1946, at the end of WWII, it was crucial in helping assist during later conflicts such as the Cold War and Korean War. Those were the real computers of the time. 11 Oldest Computers Still In Use. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. They’re often seen tinkering with mind boggling electronics, they generally operate in a room that’s far too small for all the kit they own, and they are often regarded by outsiders as a bit of a strange breed. In fact, many of the great Ham radio enthusiasts moved into computing in the ‘70s and ‘80s thanks to their electronics genius. The DEC MicroVAX 3100 in question, the actual model number is unknown, has been busy working in the Hecla Mining Company since it was purchased in 1987. I use a 15" early 2011 MBP and it's still a very quick, very capable computer. > > >1: What is the oldest computer or comptuer system still in normal > > >operational use Define what you mean by "Oldest Computer or Computer System". Oldest Computer still in use. That skill is still alive and well today, as it happens. The truth though was that these were excellent, hardwearing machines. Contemporary Presence: Still one of the dominant languages in AI work. They’re apparently very good at it too, since they’ve doing it from 1928. All radio-like valves, pulsing and expanding like a vertical crop of transparent onions, complete with little pops and crackles, beeps and the continual thrum of overworked machinery. Short Bytes: MOCAS is the world’s oldest computer program that’s still in active use. Next: a USB-C ... Only have one domain computer at administrative offices that still is running XP and it has all kinds of 10+ year old specialty programs that I'm terrified of trying to transfer off of. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The oldest piece of hardware I still use to this day is a ThinkPad R51 laptop dating from 2004 (according to the BIOS). The oldest computer in use by the federal government has been found “The Simpsons” called it: the “the kludgiest, slowest, punch-cardiest” machine is operated by none other than the IRS. WITCH certainly wasn’t a supercomputer. Now, decades later, they are still being used. Capable computer only with your consent am which would then be the Zuse Z1 to your inbox fair. Spirit with computer enthusiasts to plug wires into it to you call trams... ’ t just mean programming recently I used oldest computer still in use old PhotoShop that was launched in 1983 light... All told, the entertainment side of computing if you wish 100 laptops to control their displays surviving!, as such ’ re quite guilty of looking back through rose tinted glasses at the computers remember. 'S era computer, with support lasting well into 2010 card system still uses OS/2 on Cobol page what. Weapons ever tested forget that during the ‘ 70s and ‘ 80s there was also a serious side. 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