HPE Unveils The Beast

If computers are electronic devices for storing and analysing data, then abacuses and addiators presumably do not comply. Thus, Charles Babbage’s analytical engine was not really a computer either, although it did contain the essential ideas. The first digital computer turned up in 1937. Various others followed during the vacuum tube age.

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Addiator Fotolia 5470751

By 1947, computers had begun using transistors, which were more reliable than vacuum tubes. UNIVAC 1 burst into the world of bemused commerce in 1951. By 1953, IBM was making its mark. By the time the third generation arrived, there were over 100 programming languages.

The integrated circuit era arrived in 1963. Its chips enabled faster, more powerful machines. Microsoft responded with MS-Dos in 1980. In 1981, IBM invented the personal computer. The rest, as they say, is history.

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IBM PC 1981 Fotolia 95245805

Now, Hewlett Packard Enterprises has unveiled a monster with 160 terabytes of memory. If you have a mathematical bent, you may already know a terabyte is a unit of information equal to one million million (1012) or strictly, 240 bytes. The sound you heard was the Auger mind overheating.

The Machine, as HPE calls it, could examine 160 million books at the same time, so it could handle big data on its back. Curiously, it uses a Linux-based system. We’ll assume for now it does not wanna cry.

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