Sunday, August 20, 2006

World's Oldest Computer


The Observer | World | Revealed: world's oldest computer: "Revealed: world's oldest computer

Helena Smith
Sunday August 20, 2006
The Observer

It looks like a heap of rubbish, feels like flaky pastry and has been linked to aliens. For decades, scientists have puzzled over the complex collection of cogs, wheels and dials seen as the most sophisticated object from antiquity, writes Helena Smith. But 102 years after the discovery of the calcium-encrusted bronze mechanism on the ocean floor, hidden inscriptions show that it is the world's oldest computer, used to map the motions of the sun, moon and planets.

'We're very close to unlocking the secrets,' says Xenophon Moussas,an astrophysicist with a Anglo-Greek team researching the device. 'It's like a puzzle concerning astronomical and mathematical knowledge.'

Known as the Antikythera mechanism and made before the birth of Christ, the instrument was found by sponge divers amid the wreckage of a cargo ship that sunk off the tiny island of Antikythera in 80BC. To date, no other appears to have survived."

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I saw this just a month ago! I wish they'd had the latest scientific update posted in the case.--Karin

Anonymous said...

Doesn't it bug you that it says "1 comments" when there's only one comment? A lot of people have a message like that on their answering machine. "The Smiths" is not available ...

Carl V. said...

That is fascinating...am going to have to check out more about that.