A working computer from 1949 that runs on water. Hard to believe?
Features Wednesday, December 03, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute | November 29, 2014 | 10:05 am IST There was once a time in history when computers did not have monitors and ran on water, not electricity. Hard to believe? A machine called the MONIAC (Monetary National Income Analogue Computer) was built in 1949 which basically pumped water through pipes and tanks and predicted the future of the economy. The inventor of the seven foot tall MONIAC, Bill Philips used the water in this peculiar way as he wanted to visualize the economy at a time when computer monitors were still undiscovered, a report in Wired adds. The machine√Ę‚ā¨‚ĄĘs various tanks and flows represent different parts of an economy, such as banks, consumer spending, personal savings, taxes, foreign holdings, and more Only about 14 MONIACs were made and most of them are rusting in university basements around the world but one at the Reserve Bank Museum in New Zealand and another at the University of Cambridge are still in working order.¬† The video below is an excerpt from a MONIAC demonstration by Cambridge engineering professor Allan McRobie, who restored the university√Ę‚ā¨‚ĄĘs machine a few years ago. The video to the complete 45 min lecture can be found on the Cambridge Website here.