Britain’s oldest working computer, rebooted
The oldest original working computer in the UK, which has been in storage for nearly 30 years, is getting restored to its former glory.
The Harwell computer, also known as WITCH, is getting a second lease on life at the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park. The machine is the oldest surviving computer whose programs, as well as data, are stored electronically, according to the museum.
It was a feat for its time. Harwell was operational until 1957 and was then used in computer education until 1973. After that it was disassembled and put in storage – only to be revived now.
The Harwell will be housed alongside the rebuild of the earlier, code-breaking Colossus Mark II, the world’s first electronic computer.
Bluetooth burglar alarm protects mobiles and laptops.
Radio controlled alarm fobs off thieves.
Mobile technology specialist TenBu has launched a Bluetooth based security gadget called Nio that protects laptops and other Bluetooth devices while you’re away from the office. Nio works by creating Bluetooth links to your mobile devices and sounding an alarm if the link is broken, such as would happen if you accidentally abandoned one of your devices in a restaurant or if a thief tried to run off with one.
This is an interesting use of Bluetooth technology, but it raises several questions. For example, Bluetooth devices have a poor reputation for battery life. Although the makers claim Nio’s battery would last for several weeks before needing a recharge, it remains to be seen what impact using Nio would have on the batteries in laptops and mobile phones.