The Ferranti Atlas: Britain’s First Supercomputer Turns 50

This is a short film produced by Google to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Britain’s first supercomputer, the Ferranti Atlas.

When first switched on in December 1962, Ferranti Atlas was the world’s most powerful computer. Some of the software concepts it pioneered, like ‘virtual memory’, are among the most important breakthroughs in computer design and still used today. In this video you can see archive footage of the Atlas running as well as interviews with some of the engineers and researchers who used it.

My favorite quote from this film: “People thought that only one Atlas will be needed ever. And now your washing machine has a more powerful computer in it than Atlas.”

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