The Last Working Olivetti Mainframe Sits In a Tuscan High School

Aug 27, 2019 226

BY: Jean Kumagai

About 10 years ago, Elisabetta Mori and some friends were doing research for an art exhibit on the theme of “archives of memories.” “We approached the theme literally, and so we looked for old examples of physical memories—computer memories,” Mori recalls. “We tried to see the oldest computers built in Italy.”

At the Museum of Computing Machinery in Pisa, they saw the Calcolatrice Elettronica Pisana, an early digital computer built by the University of Pisa in 1957 with the support of the Olivetti company. But the machine had long ago stopped working. Then they heard about a working model of the ELEA 9003, Olivetti’s first commercial mainframe, introduced in 1959. They lost no time tracking it down.

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SOURCE: https://spectrum.ieee.org

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