2,000 year old computer?



The Register had an interesting article on the analysis of what may get classified as the worlds oldest computer (2000 years old – Greek.) Apparently it’s been known for a while (discovered in an old shipwreck around 1900). It’s been called the “Antikythera Mechanism” and has more than 30 dials and wheels. Anyway, it’s currently been undergoing detailed imaging analysis which has uncovered some new clues which may reinforce a theory that it was designed to track/predict planetary locations (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn were known to the ancient Greeks.)


From the article it sounds as though they think it verifies the suspicion as to why it was built, but there’s still quite a bit to be done to understand the inscription….

If the Antikythera Mechanism is indeed what the investigators believe it is, then there are further suggestions that it may be based on a heliocentric view of the solar system – highly unusual at a time when most Greeks accepted Aristotle’s view that the universe revolved around the Earth.

It also would speak to the technological capabilities of the ancient greeks.

So – anyone ready for the Antikythera Mechanism challange – ;-) to boot linux on it? I think one could safely offer $1,000,000,000,000,000 to the first person to successfully boot linux on it and get a shell prompt.

(Of course, it’s not my problem that there’s no video plug….)

(Hey – they did it with the XBox and the ipaq and even some network hardware….)

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