Technostalgia

No, This is the First Computer

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This is the Antikythera Mechansim. And it just may be the first computer, unlike that other first computer. The Antikythera Mechanism is a computer that would calculate astronomical positions. It was first discovered in a shipwreck near the Antikythera islands of Greece in 1900. Even Jacques Cousteau went to this ship wreck looking for more pieces of this fascinating discovery.

A schematic of the Antikythera Mechanism

The intricacy of the gearing, and the capabilities of this computer make it truly astonishing, considering archaeologists place its creation between 100 and 150 BC. Through the work of The Antikythera Mechanism Project, archaeologists and scientists believe that it would show the position of the sun, moon and other planets based on a date entered in with a crank.

It would be 1900 years before the Jacquard Loom and other Victorian-era computers would be invented, making this most likely the first computer.

Thanks to Tim Odell for the tip!

(Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

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