Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ancient 2,000 Year Old Greek Computer Rebuilt... Out of Lego

 A Piece of the Ancient Computer
Arguably the first computer ever, the Greeks designed a computer now referred to as the "Antikythera Mechanism" long before the modern information age.  This computer dates back further than 2,000 years to 100-150 BC and was used to calculate the motion of the planets and stars.

The device was discovered in 1901, pulled from from a sunken ship in the depths of the ocean. It is extremely complex, using different gear boxes to perform certain arithmetic calculations, before linking to other gear boxes that perform more arithmetic calculations on top of this.  The result is turning hands that, when aligned, predict certain celestial events.

A working replica of the ancient computer was recently reconstructed out of Lego by Andrew Carol.  It works exactly as the original did, able to make predictions just as well.  Watch the video below to see how the lego replica works.

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