14:26 16 October 2013
The National Museum announced its plan of bringing back what it believes is the last ICT 1301 computer to ever have a chance of working again on display by 2016. Known as Flossie, the machine was previously used to produce exam results for students at the University of London.
One of the trustees of the museum said that Flossie was specifically designed for use by UK businesses. Talking to BBC, Kevin Murrell explained: "Before this time, computers were absolutely huge with valves and thousands of vacuum tubes and would get incredibly hot, making them difficult to house in a normal business.
“But this machine used transistors, which used very little power. That meant you could have more of them in the same space, you didn't need the complex cooling equipment and you wouldn't require the high power that earlier computers needed."
ICT 1301s weighed about five tonnes and measured 20ft by 23ft. They featured punch card readers and built-in printers which were used to enter and save data by means of creating a series of holes in a piece of stiff paper.
Murrell added: "For medium-sized companies that wanted to computerise their invoicing, their accounting or their payroll, this gave them the help to do that.”
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