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Photos: Missile detecting DEC computer

Handy for when Jaguars go missing...
By Andy McCue, Contributor on
40151911-1-dec1.jpg
1 of 2 Andy McCue/ZDNET

Handy for when Jaguars go missing...

This is a DEC seismometer array station processor, used to detect earthquakes, on display at the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park.

The DEC PDP 1134, pictured here, was a popular machine in the 1970s and was used widely in industry.

Kevin Murrell, trustee at the National Museum of Computing, told silicon.com: "When the nuclear test ban treaty was announced in the 1990s and air explosions of nuclear missiles were banned, everything was done underground and this machine was used to actually detect those underground explosions. Several of these machines were set up with seismic arrays around the world."

See the DEC PDP 1134 in action on video here…

Photo credit: Andy McCue/silicon.com

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2 of 2 Andy McCue/ZDNET

This DEC PDP 1134 is a disc-based computer system, using 2MB discs. A lot of the input/output and data exchange from this generation of machines was quite often done on paper tape.

This machine came from Scotland and had one particularly unusual job to do.

Murrell said: "The RAF lost a Jaguar aeroplane that crash landed in the Highlands and it couldn't be found quickly. This machine, using its seismic sensors, tracked where the Jaguar had actually hit the ground with sufficient force to create a seismic shock and triangulated the position and within a day they were able to find the location of the Jaguar."

See the DEC PDP 1134 in action on video here…

Photo credit: Andy McCue/silicon.com

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