50-year-old computer restored in Britain

Oct. 23, 2012 at 8:24 PM

BETHERSDEN, England, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Two British computer enthusiasts say they have restored to working order a 50-year-old computer that once appeared as a prop in a James Bond movie.

The ICT1301 computer dubbed Flossie, one of the world's oldest commercial computers, was brought back to life by engineers Roger Holmes and Rod Brown, the BBC reported Monday.

The 20-foot by 22-foot machine, with less than a hundredth of the computing power of a typical smartphone, was designed to replace armies of office workers doing clerical work.

Holmes, a Computer Conservation Society member, called it important for putting modern technology into context and said he was looking for a new home for Flossie.

"It's a big beast. I would like it go somewhere they will continue to keep it running. If it is kept behind a case, people will not be able to experience what it was like in the 1960s," he said.

"With it working, people can walk in, hear it, smell it and almost taste it, and have a flavor of how it was back then."

Built for $400,000 in 1962, equivalent to $6.7 million today, Flossie appeared as a prop in the James Bond film "The Man With The Golden Gun" and also showed up in the "Doctor Who" BBC television series.

It was purchased in 2003 for its scrap value: $300.

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