In context: Through the Fifties and Nineteen Sixties, computer systems had been nearly completely reserved for high-end companies and authorities utilization. Only a few peculiar residents had computer systems of their houses on the time. So think about a Redditor’s shock once they discover out their grandfather had one of many rarest computer systems simply sitting in a basement.
Somebody posted a particularly uncommon discover on Monday to the r/vintagecomputing subreddit. Reddit person “c-wizz” shared photographs of two classic computer systems found in his grandparents’ basement. One was a PDP-8/e (masthead left), however what actually drew the eye of each c-wizz and different Redditors was the second pc, the LGP-30.
The LGP-30 started manufacturing in 1956 and bought for about $47,000. After adjusting for inflation, the LGP-30 would value almost $513,000 in right now’s cash. The pc was comparatively small for its time, as different computer systems within the mid-Fifties had been nonetheless taking on complete rooms. The LGP-30 is on no account “gentle,” weighing about 800 kilos (363 kilograms).
The LGP-30 was no slouch when it got here to specs for its time both, with the pc together with 113 vacuum tubes, 1,450 semiconductor diodes, and magnetic drum reminiscence. The reminiscence was capable of retailer as much as 4,069 31-bit phrases, equal to round 15.8 kilobytes in right now’s phrases. The minuscule 15.8 kilobytes would possibly sound laughable, however contemplating the computing capability on the time, that was a good quantity.
One other Redditor famous that solely 45 LGP-30s had been ever produced, seemingly because of the excessive worth and lack of client demand. The standing of virtually the entire 45 computer systems is unknown, so to seek out one sitting idly in a basement is an astounding discovery.
In response to c-wizz, his grandfather used the pc for “civil engineering calculations within the 60s”. He was seemingly one of many solely folks in Germany who privately owned a pc. In spite of everything, this was earlier than IBM and Apple launched their private computer systems within the Seventies.
Sadly, c-wizz confirmed that the LGP-30 shouldn’t be in working order. He does look like serious about getting the unit fastened, saying, “I discovered a museum in Germany (the place I am from) that apparently has a working LGP-30. I feel I will attain out to them.” We actually hope c-wizz can get that historical pc functioning once more.