What computers looked like 61 years ago
The 61-year-old Harwell Dekatron — about the size and weight of an SUV — was originally hailed as a slow, steady machine capable of delivering error-free calculations while running for 90 hours a week. It has survived to become the oldest original working digital computer following the announcement of its completed restoration by The National Museum of Computing in the U.K. on Tuesday. . . .
Running the computer requires about 1,500 watts of power — roughly equivalent to the power consumption of a modern hairdryer. By comparison, a laptop might use just 50 watts (1,000 watts being the equivalent of a kilowatt). . . .Progress has produced increased efficiency. This is a pattern that we see all the time.