World's oldest original working digital computer gets a reboot

Computing has come a long way. Take a look at this clip of the Harwell Dekatron, otherwise known as the Wolverhampton Instrument for Teaching Computation (WITCH). The supercomputer from 1951 was restored over a period of three years by experts at England's National Museum of Computing in Bletchley Park. This week, they rebooted the beast in front of reporters.

And what a beast it is. The world's oldest original working digital computer is the size of a garage door and resembles something from a campy science-fiction flick about Martian invaders. True its functionality is rather modest by today's standards (it can multiply two numbers in less than 10 seconds, for example), but darned if it isn't impressive to watch. Lights blink, tubes whir and switches flicker.